In your quest to put a stop to your male pattern baldness—and possibly encourage some new hair regrowth—you’ve come across platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy as a treatment option and had a few questions about it. So let’s begin with the most common question: What is it?
PRP is a treatment process in which doctors inject a patient’s own plasma into different parts of the patient’s body to promote healing and growth. It’s not just for hair—it can be used in tendons, ligaments, and muscles, too.
Here’s how it actually works. First, blood is drawn from the patient and is placed in a centrifuge, which is a machine that spins the blood to separate it into its different components—red blood cells and plasma.
Then, the clinician takes the platelet-rich plasma and puts it directly onto the scalp where hair follicles are concentrated by using a syringe and a thin needle. Platelets are known to contain many growth factors, which some believe could help grow hair back and even produce new hair follicles.
While it’s a short, 15-minute treatment, the patient has to have several sessions to maximize their chances for success: four sessions in the first six months, then one time every six months for as long as they want to keep their hair.
So, we wanted to know, do PRP treatments actually work? Are getting all these injections worth it?
“There are enough research papers that show hair growth in many individuals,” says Dr. Shapiro. “But it’s really made for cases that are not severe. I recommend it for men with early-stage male pattern hair loss.”
And while some studies may have concluded that PRP treatment is successful in preventing hair loss and promoting hair regrowth, Dr. Tosti reminds us that some treatments, such as “platelet-rich plasma and low-level light therapy (LLLT) can be utilized in association with the minoxidil and finasteride to add additional benefits. I recommend PRP as a booster and LLLT to reduce inflammation.”
Similarly to Dr. Tosti, Dr. Shapiro also prescribes his patients “a palette of treatments designed for their individual conditions.” This last part is especially important. Every single person’s experience with male pattern baldness is different. To figure out the best course of treatment for you, consult with your physician.
So, what’s the final verdict? PRP therapy can help increase hair density, improve hair thickness, and stimulate hair regrowth. For best results, PRP should be utilized along with minoxidil and finasteride.
The good news is that Keeps already makes it easy for you to get affordable hair loss treatments delivered directly to you so you can treat your male pattern baldness from home. Plus, Keeps will soon offer PRP injections at our state-of-the-art hair restoration studio in New York City. To learn more about our new offering, sign up here.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
If you would like to learn more about finasteride, please see the full prescription information here. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch: https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm or call 1-800-FDA-1088
Photo courtesy of Daniel Frank, Unsplash.