Solutions

PRP hair loss treatment

Young woman with hair loss problem receiving injection PRP treatment hair loss

If you are suffering from hair loss, your issue is not a lost cause as previously thought. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, around 30 million women in America suffer from hair loss, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is one of the latest, non-surgical alternative treatments available to improve and reduce hair loss. With the latest technology solutions, plasma from your blood can be reinjected into the scalp to help stimulate hair follicles into growth.  

There are a number of solutions which can help to stop or slow down hair loss, even for those with genetic hair loss. From medication, hair transplant, and boosting nutritional intake such as iron and vitamin D, you can begin to counteract the volume of hair loss. How you tackle it will depend on finding the root cause of your hair loss

What is PRP treatment for hair loss? 

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for hair loss takes a portion of the patient’s blood, separates the platelet rich cell from the sample in a machine, and then reinjects the concentrated platelet cells back into the area of the scalp needed for treatment.

PRP is made up of important properties such as proteins, vitamins, nutrients, electrolytes, and hormones. They are essential in helping the body to heal and regenerate, which is why the body’s nutritional material is injected into the scalp tissues to boost the opportunities for growth.

Dermatologist preparing the plasma for a hair loss procedure

Blood is made up of three parts; 55% of blood volume is made up of plasma, 45% is made up of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body, and less than 1% is made up of white blood cells and platelets. During the process, a centrifuge machine will spin at high speed and apply forces to separate the blood into these three parts, of which PRP can be extracted.

PRP for hair loss originated as a treatment for those suffering with skin problems, but in more recent years, dermatologists have taken this same method to resolve other dermatological issues on the scalp. It is considered a non-surgical procedure. 

How long does PRP hair loss treatment take?

The entire procedure takes under an hour from drawing out blood, separating the PRP, and reinjecting it. It can take up to three months before you see growth due to the length of a typical hair life cycle. It is recommended that to maintain and reap the full benefits of the treatment, this process should be repeated every four months for at least 18 months. 

How much does PRP for hair loss cost?

A single session can start around $500 and set of three sessions can cost around $1,500 upwards. It is typically not covered by medical insurance. 

What type of hair loss can be treated by PRP? 

You will need to speak to a medical professional to help determine if this procedure is suitable for you. However, in general, if you suffer from androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as female pattern baldness, which sees the gradual thinning of hair at the crown, then you may benefit from PRP as one of the options available to you. You may find a combination of solutions, such as medication for hair loss, can work well with this to stimulate growth. It can also be explored as a singular option if you wish to stay off medication. 

Those who have undergone a hair transplant (hair restoration) may also benefit from PRP as a supplementary option, to give hair follicles the best chance to grow. Again, these are separate solutions, but can also work in conjunction with other hair treatment plans.

If your hair loss is due to a vitamin deficiency, you may want to explore getting a blood test first to help identify if vitamin supplements are the best way to improve your hair.

Thinning hair. Scalp shows diffused hair parting. Female pattern baldness

This is an example of androgenetic alopecia at a more advanced stage. Hair loss is more noticeable at the crown but also defused throughout the hair. 

Is PRP treatment safe? 

Yes, for most people PRP treatment is a safe procedure. Make sure you check the clinic you attend has the experience and accreditation to conduct this safely. 

 

PRP not suitable for those with thyroid conditions or who are taking blood thinning medication.  

Is PRP a cure for hair loss? 

No, PRP is a treatment but if you maintain regular sessions, you may be able to stop some hair loss in its tracks. It’s important to remember that some types of hair loss don’t have a cure, such as androgenetic alopecia. Others may be temporary, such as postpartum hair loss or stress-induced hair loss, and therefore these types of hair loss are reversible.

To explore more about the different causes of hair loss and what it means click here.  

What evidence is there to show PRP can stop hair loss? 

There currently isn't a large enough body of scientific evidence to verify if PRP can conclusively stop hair loss at this moment in time. However, there are lots of studies into the procedure, as well as evidence from clinics who have seen patient results who vouch for the effectiveness of PRP.

 

In one study by K. Verma et al in 2019, researchers compared a group receiving Rogaine (minoxidil drug) to those who received PRP to reduce hair loss. They found the group who received PRP treatment saw better results than the medicated group. However, scientists also found that the quality of plasma varied hugely depending on a person’s health, and therefore, the results varied depending on the condition of an individual’s blood plasma.

Another study published in the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery journal in 2019, by G. Mao et al, shows an increase in hair density for those who have undergone PRP treatment in comparison to a control group.  

What risks are there to doing PRP treatment for hair loss? 

As PRP takes components of a person’s own blood, there is less risk of the body reacting negatively to the plasma being reinjected. However, like any procedure there some common risks to be aware of including: 

  • Soreness 

  • Swelling 

  • Minor bleeding in the area affected 

  • Headache 

  • Itchiness

These are just a few to name and you should discuss the risks in full with a medical professional before undergoing any treatment. 

How can I ensure I get the best results from PRP treatment? 

Bath running with shampoo and cleaning products

Results will vary from person to person, depending on your hair’s current condition. The best results can be seen from those who seek treatment early on in their hair loss. Those who are a lot further along with their hair loss (i.e. have had significant loss over a number of years) may not have as good results. 

 

It’s important to also follow the aftercare instructions from your clinic too. Avoid washing your hair for up to 24 hours after the procedure. 

References

Please click below if you want to read the science behind this article.

Recommended for you

Woman looking upwards

Read more about the most common reasons why your hair may be falling out.

Hair transplant

Read more about hair transplantation and whether it's the right choice for your hair loss.

Vitamin deficiency and hair loss

Read more about vitamin and mineral deficiencies and how they can cause hair loss.