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PRP May Be a Safe, Effective Hair Loss Treatment For Some People

One of the newest innovations touted as a hair loss solution is platelet-rich plasma therapy, commonly known as PRP.

It is a treatment otherwise used to accelerate would-healing, particularly in athletes, and which has found fame as a cosmetic anti-ageing facial, as popularised by reality TV star, Kim Kardashian.

PRP for hair loss – usually Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss – involves a patient’s blood being taken, spun in a centrifuge then injecting the isolated, concentrated platelet-dense part back into the patient’s scalp.

Whilst this is the basic premise for the minimally-invasive procedure, there are various alternative PRP options, which tend to revolve around enriching or ‘activating‘ the PRP mix before performing each course of scalp injections.

PRP Research Italy Feb 2017
PRP being administered for hair loss during a trial in Italy (February 2017)

Generally, the outcome has tended to show that PRP alone is unlikely to have a good success rate in treating genetic hair loss, but may be beneficial when used alongside established hair loss treatments.

At the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (ADD), New Jersey USA dermatologist, Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport gave a presentation advising that, from a meta-analysis of a number of these clinical trials and studies, PRP may be a “safe, effective hair loss treatment” – but not for everyone.

PRP for genetic hair loss and Alopecia Areata

Dr. Rapaport explained how investigators reviewed literature from 58 studies into PRP for various dermatological conditions, which were published in the PubMed medical journal, in order to assess the therapy’s efficacy. This follows a similar review carried out in 2018.

In terms of hair loss conditions, 23 of these studies related to PRP for Male and/or Female Pattern Baldness, whilst 3 covered the autoimmune disorder which causes patchy hair loss, Alopecia Areata. Despite there having been a number of trials exploring PRP for Cicatricial Alopecia, none were found among the pool from which data was drawn.

The team found that platelet-rich plasma “is a successful treatment for various dermatologic conditions, including androgenetic alopecia (AGA), scars, nasolabial folds, and photoaging”. This was considered to be, at least in part, a result of it’s anti-inflammatory properties.

It was concluded that three sessions of platelet-rich plasma treatment, carried out every four weeks, provided a notable improvement to patients hair density (hair/cm2) in comparison to those being treated with a placebo. This mean difference was recorded as 25.61 (95% Confidence Interval, 4.45 to 46.77; P = .02).

What is not known here – and which it is important to understand – is if the studies which led to this conclusion a) all involved the same type of PRP procedure, and b) used PRP as a standalone hair loss treatment, or if it was used alongside either or both of the clinically-proven medications for androgenetic alopecia.

As only the abstract for this systematic meta-analysis, entitled “The Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) in Dermatology,” was presented, we look forward to reviewing the entire study to determine if more information is made available.

Some people may not be suitable for PRP therapy

A critical point of the presentation came when Dr. Rapaport outlined why it is of vital importance that anyone wanting to explore PRP hair loss treatment, should consult an experienced professional:

“Since PRP therapy has taken off, there have been a lot of non-dermatologists performing this procedure. Only board-certified dermatologists have the medical training to identify if you are a good candidate, because this treatment will not work for everyone who experiences hair loss.”

For those with thinning hairwho may be put off by the need for on-going invasive treatments, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a credible alternative. High-tech light emitting diodes dispense follicle-stimulating rays which are dispensed by FDA-cleared devices suitable for home-use, such as the patented HairMax LaserComb and LaserBand.

Research has shown that regular use of at-home LLLT devices – generally used no more than three times per week – can help to promote hair growth and stronger hair in cases of genetic hair loss; it is not currently advised as an Alopecia Areata treatment.

Belgravia specialists recommend using it as a hair growth supporting product as part of a personalised hair loss treatment course containing appropriate medications based on condition, level of shedding and medical profile, for optimal results. This approach is backed by the results of a 2017 systematic review of which hair loss treatments work – the findings of which were the two MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved medications – high strength minoxidil and finasteride 1mg and LLLT.

Anyone concerned about losing their hair – whether through gradual thinning, a noticeable drop in hair density or following sudden hair fall – should consult a hair specialist for a consultation, as finding the most effective treatments starts with obtaining a professional diagnosis.

Please note, due to the fact that it is not currently authorised for the treatment of hair loss by the relevant medical regulatory bodies, the MHRA (UK) and the FDA (USA), The Belgravia Centre does not offer PRP hair loss treatment at present but instead concentrates on non-invasive, clinically-proven hair loss solutions. This article is for information purposes only.


The Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.

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