Platelet-rich plasma injections, perhaps better known as PRP, is one of the more gruesome hair loss
therapies to gain popularity in recent years.
Whilst still unproven, researchers are constantly trying to find out whether these on-going treatment courses, whereby the patient's blood is taken, separated and enriched, then reintroduced to the body via scalp injections, are worthwhile.
PRP being administered for genetic hair loss during a separate trial in Italy (February 2017)
Studies have so far shown that, when it comes to androgenetic alopecia - Male Pattern Baldness
and Female Pattern Hair Loss
- the procedure has little effect as a standalone solution, though there may be something of a placebo effect
given, even when no change in hair regrowth is seen, good levels of patient satisfaction has been reported.
Despite this, PRP has been widely praised as an adjunct therapy to support hair growth, especially when used alongside either or both of the only clinically-proven hair loss treatments
Now, a small-scale, 30 person trial held by the Department of Biomedical Sciences at King Edward Medical University in Lahore, Pakistan, has determined there may be merit to PRP as a solo hair loss remedy.
Increased hair density
In 4th November 2018 findings published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
, study authors explain their methodology:
"Blood (9 cc) from each AGA patient was collected in 10 cc syringe, and PRP was isolated using commercially available kit under sterilized conditions. Isolated PRP was injected in the bald areas of scalp of AGA patients. The whole procedure was repeated after one month (two treatment sessions), and patients were followed for six months. The efficacy of PRP for restoration of hair was assessed using parameters such as hair density, terminal to vellus hair ratio, photographs, pull test, physician global assessment score, and patient global assessment score."
They report that, after these PRP sessions and a further six months of monitoring, patients demonstrated "higher hair density" and "no remarkable adverse effects".
The mean average improvement to hair density was 50.20 ± 15.91/cm2 (baseline: 34.18 ± 14.36/cm2), whilst the mean terminal to vellus hair ratio was said to increase in 60 per cent of patients, though information as to how much it increased by is not provided.
As a result of these outcomes, the team concluded "PRP is an effective treatment option in androgenetic alopecia".
Further research needed
Although it is encouraging to see further research into this novel therapy so as to establish it's best place in the arsenal of existing hair loss treatments and hair growth supporting products
, given the small number of participants - 20 men and 10 women - far more larger-scale testing is required to establish a fuller picture as to PRP's likely efficacy in terms of real hair growth for a wider range of people.
Professional debates about the realistic applications of PRP are scheduled to take place on 6th June 2019 at the European FUE Conference in Manchester, UK. This gathering of leading hair restoration experts from around the world will include sessions on 'PRP: Myth or Reality', a comparison of different PRP systems, and the activation of adipose stem cells using HD PRP. Insights from these discussions will be reported here on the Belgravia
hair loss blog as they become available after the event.
For now, those wanting help in regrowing hair and preventing baldness
from genetic hair loss are advised to consult a specialist for personalised treatment advice.