Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Patterned Hair Loss

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a treatment doctors use to accelerate healing, and it may help restore hair growth in appropriate patients. PRP is taken from the patient’s own blood and contains a high concentration of platelets.

This treatment may be effective in patients diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia, also known as male and female pattern hair loss, in which the hair follicles shrink in size. PRP may boost the hair follicles so they become thicker.

Benefits

The exact way PRP works is unknown. When PRP is injected in the scalp, the platelets are activated and can then release several growth factors that promote hair growth. The known growth factors in PRP include:

  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Transforming growth factor
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Platelet-derived growth Factor
  • Insulin-like growth factor

Disadvantages

  • Minimal risk of allergic reaction or rejection
  • Some injection discomfort
  • Results can vary
  • Insurance will not cover the cost of the treatments

The Procedure

  1. Blood is drawn from a vein in the arm by a medical professional. The amount is similar to basic lab tests.
  2. The blood is placed into a centrifuge, which spins the blood and separates the components.
  3. A medical professional extracts the platelets using a syringe.
  4. A doctor injects the platelets into appropriate areas of the scalp.

Treatment Schedule

This treatment requires several spaced appointments. The treatment intervals should include:

  • Monthly sessions for the first three months
  • Six months after the last treatment
  • Nine months after that for maintenance

Maintenance routines will vary between individuals. It is important to know that PRP is not a cure for male and female pattern hair loss.

Results

The results of PRP will vary from individual to individual, and PRP does not work for everyone. Typically, patients still need to continue their medical therapy to maximize their results. It is important to understand that hair growth will take time.