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.

How PRP works

Here’s how it actually works. First, the doctor draws blood from the patient and puts it into a centrifuge, which is a machine that spins the blood to separate it into its different components—red blood cells and plasma.

Then, the doctor takes the platelet-rich plasma and puts it directly into the patient’s hair follicles 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, 10-minute treatment, the patient has to receive several injections: once a month for three months, then one time every three to six months for as long as they want to keep their hair.

What the hair loss experts say

So, we wanted to know, do PRP treatments actually work? Are getting all these injections worth it?

We asked hair loss experts and Keeps medical advisors Dr. Jerry Shapiro and Dr. Antonella Tosti.

“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 only a few hair loss treatments are actually clinically-proven to work.

“The only approved medications are minoxidil (a topical solution or foam applied directly to the scalp) and finasteride (an oral pill),” she says.

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.

The final verdict

So, what’s the final verdict? PRP therapy may help, but unless you only have early-stage hair loss, it’s likely not going to do much on its own.

The good news is that there are other options! Keeps 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. Complete a free consultation today to see if Keeps is right for you.

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.

Finasteride is an oral medication used to treat male pattern baldness in men only. It is not for use by women. When used by men, finasteride is generally safe but it can also cause serious side effects, including but not limited to allergic reactions, sexual dysfunction, depression, and high-grade prostate cancer. Most patients find that problems with sexual function resolve when they stop taking the medicine. For full prescribing information, view the drug label information.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Frank, Unsplash.