The body of evidence for platelet rich plasma (PRP) as an alternative treatment for hair loss in men and women of varying causes has continued to increase over the past year. It is widely accepted that PRP can achieve positive results in the fight against male and female pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia) as well as in the treatment of alopecia areata. An advance preview of a paper due to be published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal by Dr Semsarzadeh and Dr Khetarpal, based at the Department of Dermatology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, reinforces this.
PRP is known to act as a chemical messenger and results in the release of a multitude of cytokines. Cytokines are defined as substances that are released by cells of the immune system and have a subsequent effect on other cells. These cytokines include a number of growth factors including the following: PDGF, TGF, VEGF, HGF, Insulin-like GF, IL-1.
These cytokines help to stimulate the stem cells found within the bulge area of individual hair follicles. When these are stimulated they activate and prolong the Anagen phase (growth phase) of the hair cycle. It is well recognised that in male and female pattern hair loss, for reasons still not fully understood, individual hair follicles undergo a process of miniaturisation. This occurs as a result of the anagen phase (growth phase) of the hair follicles getting shorter and the telogen phase (resting phase) of the hair follicles getting longer. The net result of this is that hairs grow less and hence get subsequently smaller and smaller until they finally disappear.
Cytokines are also responsible for increase in angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels – within the scalp. A deterioration in the blood supply to the scalp has been shown to be another contributing factor to most types of hair loss. A richer blood supply means a healthier scalp and slower hair loss.
A large number of studies have been published to date demonstrating that PRP does in fact have a positive effect on hair loss. However, all these studies have presented a wide variety of techniques and protocols.
Recent studies have compared different PRP treatment regimens to assess what works best and which provides the best gains. Researchers compared increases in hair density and thickness amongst patients who received 3 treatments over 3 months with a booster session at 6 months versus patients who received 2 treatments that were 3 months apart. Those patients who received 3 intensive treatments initially demonstrated greater gains in hair density and thickness as compared to those who had 2 treatments over 6 months. They also saw these results much quicker.
Follow-up studies have demonstrated relapse with hair fall coming back 12 months after the last PRP treatment. Researchers have also demonstrated that the longer one has been suffering with androgenic alopecia (male/female pattern hair loss), the less impact PRP tends to have. This is especially true for those males with Stage IV to VI Norwood pattern hair loss.
According to Semsarzadeh and Khetarpal the recommended protocol for PRP for hair loss should be as follows:
- 1 treatment every month for 3 months
- 4th treatment 6 months after last treatment
- Maintenance treatment every 12 months
At Rejuvence Clinic we use Magellan TruPRP and recommend the same protocol as shown above. For further information on PRP treatments for hair loss at Rejuvence Clinic, have a look at our section on PRP for hair loss.
If you are serious about getting PRP treatment for hair loss make sure you give us a call on: 0207 531 6600.
Alternatively book a free consultation through our online booking portal.
- Semsarzadeh, Khetarpal. Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cells for Hair Growth: A Review of the Literature. Aesthet Surg J. 2019 May 20. pii: sjz146. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjz146. [Epub ahead of print]