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Platelet-Rich Plasma Hair Treatments

Hair loss affects millions of men and women worldwide.1 One of the most common forms of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. Androgenic alopecia results in receding hairlines and balding. Many individuals seek treatments to help their hair regrow. Still, there is a need for the availability of favourable treatment options. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) hair treatments are growing in popularity, but what does the research say?

What is androgenetic alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia is a normal balding process that becomes increasingly common in older age groups.1 Often, people with androgenetic alopecia have a family history of hair loss and balding.1 This form of alopecia typically affects males more than females.However, 38% of women over 70 may be affected.2

Hair loss affects health

Studies show that hair loss has a detrimental effect on the quality of life. Low self-esteem and confidence along with self-consciousness are common with hair loss.3 It’s difficult for clinicians to determine which treatment option is best. Currently, there is a need for standardized treatment techniques.4 

Many available hair loss treatments have adverse events and don’t produce satisfactory results.4 Hair transplantation remains an effective option. However, the surgical procedure is invasive.4

Platelet-rich plasma for androgenetic alopecia

Researchers of a recent Medical University of Graz study investigated a new treatment for androgenetic alopecia.5 Researchers looked at the effects of platelet-rich plasma injections in men with the condition. PRP injections are considered a minimally invasive and cost-effective treatment for hair loss.6 

This study compared hair growth in patients receiving PRP injections to placebo injections. The PRP injections didn’t significantly improve hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia.5 These findings conflict with previous research, demonstrating platelet-rich plasma injections as beneficial in treating hair loss.7 Therefore, the benefit of PRP injections remains unclear, and future studies are needed to further investigate the treatment. 

PRP injections and you

Researchers suggest that platelet-rich plasma injections can be developed to work more effectively in the future.5 So far, individuals with androgenetic alopecia still tend to be satisfied with PRP injections, even if they don’t significantly improve hair growth.5,7 If you have any concerns about hair loss or hair loss treatment, it’s important to contact your healthcare practitioner for more information. 

References

  1. Phillips TG, Slomiany WP, Allison R. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(6):371-378. Accessed December 5, 2022. https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2017/0915/p371.html
  2. Shapiro J. Clinical practice. Hair loss in women. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(16):1620-1630. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp072110
  3. Williamson D, Gonzalez M, Finlay AY. The effect of hair loss in quality of life. J Eur Acad Dermatology Venereol. 2001;15(2):137-139. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1468-3083.2001.00229.x
  4. Nestor MS, Ablon G, Gade A, Han H, Fischer DL. Treatment options for androgenetic alopecia: Efficacy, side effects, compliance, financial considerations, and ethics. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021;20(12):3759-3781. doi:10.1111/jocd.14537
  5. Gressenberger P, Pregartner G, Gary T, Wolf P, Kopera D. Platelet-rich plasma for androgenetic alopecia treatment: A randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. Acta Derm Venereol. 2020;100(15):1-7. doi:10.2340/00015555-3609
  6. Giordano S, Romeo M, Lankinen P. Platelet-rich plasma for androgenetic alopecia: Does it work? Evidence from meta analysis. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017;16(3):374-381. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.12331
  7. Kachhawa D, Vats G, Sonare D, Rao P, Khuraiya S, Kataiya R. A spilt head study of efficacy of placebo versus platelet-rich plasma injections in the treatment of androgenic alopecia. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2017;10(2):86-89. doi:10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_50_16
Andrew Mihalache
Andrew Mihalache
Andrew Mihalache is an enthusiastic learner with a specialization in human physiology at the University of Western Ontario. He possesses a strong passion for epidemiology and medical research and aspires to become a clinician-researcher dedicated to innovating patient healthcare in the future.

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