Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 42 year-old male whose hair is thinning. I am on Propecia and Rogaine and it seems to have slowed it down but is not causing any regrowth. I have read about PRP blood treatments for hair loss and wondered what your thoughts were on how effective it might be. I know you have a lot of experience with PRP so your insight would be very valuable.
A: PRP, an acronym for platelet-rich plasma, is a concentrate of platelets derived from a patient’s own blood. Because platelets are packed with growth factors, small peptides that help modulate wound healing when injured, they have been used and shown to be effective in many medical applications. Their success in wound healing and many reconstructive surgery applications and their lack of any known adverse effects has naturally led for PRP to be extended into numerous cosmetic applications. It has been used as an adjunct in facelifts, injectable filler and fat grafting. It is presumed that the platelet concentrate has a tissue stimulating effect for regenerating lost or aging tissues such as fat and skin elasticity. The medical evidence for such effects is weak at best but the idea is so logical that its current use can best be described as a ‘what can it hurt’ approach. PRP use in hair loss treatments or in combination with Neograft follicular unit hair transplantation is another PRP application that has not been scientifically evaluated but numerous practitioners report favorable results with its use. The question of exactly how effective PRP is on stimulating the follicles of hair whether they are in their natural location or after transplantation is not yet known. I am optimistic about the effects of PRP on hair regeneration but no one yet knows how many injection sessions or how often or how many treatments need to be done for maximal benefit. Its use with other hair loss/regeneration treatments therefore is up the patient and their hair restoration physician.
Dr. Barry Eppley