The phrase 'damned with faint praise' comes to mind when considering the response to the latest study into platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy as a potential treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss.
Whilst the procedure is certainly popular among some men and women seeking non-surgical hair loss solutions, to date it has not shown strong proof of efficacy in any long-term or large scale trials. This is why we do not currently offer PRP at Belgravia.
A team from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in America carried out a small-scale trial, investigating the effects of PRP scalp injections on 30 women with genetic hair loss.
The research was led by Dr. Matthew J. Lin, who announced details at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery's annual general meeting in October 2019, said of the results, “PRP given at monthly intervals to women with androgenetic alopecia is a reasonable treatment.”
PRP involves blood being taken from a patient, spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-dense part, rich in natural growth factors, so that it can be removed and injected back into the body; in this case, into various areas across the top of the scalp - the area affected by thinning hair caused by genetic hairloss.
In some cases, supplementary additives can also be included in the formula which is then injected back into the patient. This did not happen in the Mount Sinai trial, however.
The prospective, controlled clinical trial involved each of the 30 participants being randomly and blindly assigned scalp injections of either PRP or saline solution (a placebo for control purposes).
There were three sessions in total; the first took place at the start - week 0, or baseline - then there were two further sessions at four-week intervals - week 4 and week 8.
Of the 30 women taking part, 28 successfully completed the necessary treatment. Each one had their hair density - the number of hairs per square centimetre - and hair 'caliber' - the diameter of a strand - (mm), recorded at weeks 8 and 24.
Compared to the placebo group (-26.7 hairs/cm2), an improvement of 71.1 hairs/cm2 mean hair density was observed at week 8 in those given PRP. At week 24 the PRP group recorded a mean hair density of 105.9 hairs/cm2 versus -52.4 hairs/cm2, p<0.01 for the placebo users.
Mean hair diameter measurements also increased slightly for the PRP group at week 8, ( 0.0043 mm vs. -0.0034 mm, p<0.01) and week 24 ( 0.0053 vs. -0.0060 mm, p<0.01).
PRP patients also came out on top in the additional blind global photographic assessments, used to determine overall hair growth improvements. These showed week 24 improvements of 57 per cent from baseline for the PRP group, compared to 7 per cent of saline patients.
No serious or long-term side effects were noted, though approximately 50 per cent of the PRP group experienced mild headaches and scalp tightness for up to 24 hours.
During the presentation, Dr. Lin explained that, due to the small number of participants with limited diversity (most were Caucasian or Hispanic) and short duration, “Further studies are needed with longer follow-up to determine the best way to integrate this treatment into hair loss therapy.”
It is worth noting that this study was funded by Eclipse Aesthetics, LLC - a medical technologies company and PRP solutions provider.
There are MHRA-licensed, FDA-approved and FDA-cleared women's hair loss treatments currently available to help regrow hair in cases of Female Pattern Hair Loss.
Topical applications of the clinically-proven medication high strength minoxidil have been shown to accelerate hair growth for many women, whilst additional hair growth supporting products, such as the LaserBand devices, can further stimulate the hair follicles.
Topping up this pharmaceutical and low-level laser therapy approach can be augmented with in-clinic therapy sessions and/or one-a-day food supplements, such as Hair Vitalics for Women, to help maintain normal healthy hair growth.
As this hereditary hair loss condition is both permanent and progressive, those wishing to prevent further hair loss are advised to have a consultation with a dedicated hair specialist at their earliest opportunity.
This can be done online or in-person and will result in a professional diagnosis, as well as recommendations for a personalised hair loss treatment course, based upon their findings and tailored to the individual's medical profile.
Whilst taking the first step to getting help can sometimes be daunting, especially where such a personal subject is concerned, talking to an understanding expert can be both informative and a relief! After all, with the right approach, Female Pattern Hair Loss is a highly manageable condition.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic 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 from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.