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Does PRP really work? Is there any evidence to support it?..

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Posted on : October 13, 2016 | Author: John Kahen

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, has long been thought of as a potential treatment for hair loss, and it has been successfully employed in other areas of regenerative medicine. There are many components of the treatment but many question its effectiveness as there’s been a lack of solid evidence to support the treatment. Finally, there are two newly published studies that showcase the favorable results of using PRP to fight hair loss.

 An article in the September/October 2015 issue of Hair Transplant Forum International highlighted results of a 6-month study of PRP treatment in a 23 y/o male diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia. The results showed a significant increase in hair density and decrease in miniaturized follicles.  It also indicated apparent darkening of hair pigmentation. The patient was not on any hair loss medications such as Propecia (finasteride) or Rogaine (minoxidil) while the study was conducted. He was given several treatments of PRP solution in a single session. At six months after the treatment, digital densitometry (a process of using a small, portable, instrument with a magnifying lens and an opening of 10mm2 which is placed on the scalp, enabling a doctor to count the total number of hairs in the field, look at the number of hairs per follicular unit and assesses the diameter of the hair) was used to assess any changes to the scalp compared to pre-treatment. Fewer follicles in a miniaturized state and an increase in hair density were noted. Another clinical observation was a change in the patient’s hair color from light brown to dark brown. The author theorized that this change in pigmentation may be due to significant numbers of hairs rapidly transitioning to the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. As a result of this shift, there was an increase in hair shaft diameter and an apparent darkening of the patient’s hair color.

In a long-term study, 23 men between the ages of 19–63 with varying degrees of hair loss were enrolled. These men were given three injections of PRP at 30 day intervals. The PRP treatment was applied to one side of each patient’s head, while the other side was injected with a placebo. Patients were then evaluated in six stages over a span of 24 months. After the third treatment, the researchers found that subjects experienced an average growth of 33.6 hairs per cm2 and an increase in total hair density of almost 46 hairs per cm2 in the areas treated with PRP. The side not injected with PRP continued to lose hair at a rate of 3.2 hairs per cm2. The density of terminal hairs rose significantly, by an average of 40.1 hairs per cm2 in the treated area, while falling by 5.6 terminal hairs per cm2 in the untreated area. Researchers also observed a thicker outer layer of skin within two weeks of PRP treatment, and an increase in the number of hair follicles. Within three months, new hair was seen growing in the treated area at an average of 33.6 hairs per cm2. At one year after the last treatment, researchers noted signs of hair loss relapse. Progressive hair loss was observed in four of the patients at that time, with the hair loss more evident 16 months after the last treatment. This is why I recommend receiving PRP around every 8-12 months.

These studies confirm that there is a positive therapeutic effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma injections on hair loss.

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