Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Hair Darkening

At the beginning of this year I wrote a very lengthy post concerning the cure for grey hair.  In that post, I mentioned Dr. Carlos Wesley’s recent surprising forum thread on how platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can return hair to its original darker color.  I found this very surprising, since PRP is not known to grow back hair that has been gone for many years, so how could it make grey or white hair darker (i.e., if PRP cannot bring back long destroyed hair follicle stem cells, how can it somehow bring back long destroyed melanocyte cells)?  I was initially skeptical about Dr. Wesley’s claim that many other clinics around the world have also reported this phenomenon. However, I then contacted a few of the most renowned physicians who offer PRP to treat hair loss, and I got some surprisingly positive feedback.

Please note that the below images could all be best case scenarios, and perhaps very few people do have a chance of reversing their grey hair with RRP.  Nevertheless, I now do believe that PRP is giving select patients superb results, both in terms of hair regrowth and improved hair pigmentation.  Perhaps even in the best case scenarios, hair color only comes back if is has been lost in the recent (5 year?) period, but I have not tried to find precise details on that subject.  Neither have I tried to find out whether this darkened hair becomes lighter again after a few months unless you keep getting PRP injections several times a year.  No matter what your opinion about platelet-rich plasma, it is worth keeping a track of this sector of the hair loss world, especially when it comes to new studies on the subject.  Make sure to read my 2014 post on PRP for hair loss studies from around the world, as well as my updated late 2015 post on PRP and hair loss news.

Dr. Joseph Greco

The first person I approached was the Florida based PRP guru Dr. Joseph Greco.  We have e-mailed each other close to ten times over the past three years, and from what I can tell, he is the most experienced PRP practitioner in the world when it comes to treatment for hair loss.  His own version of PRP is known as cytokine rich plasma (CRP).  See this article from his site on the difference between the two.

Dr. Greco agreed that PRP sometimes does bring back pigment to hair.  I have pasted the content of his e-mail below, followed by a couple of great before and after photos that he sent me of one patient.  The “No Hair Color” label in those photos probably means no hair coloring dye used.

“Yes, I have about two dozen patients (My note: he probably means two dozen patients who saw an improvement in hair color) over the years ranging from 20 to 50’s, both male and female.  Attached is a female patient in her 40’s who has been coming since 2011.  After her initial couple of treatments she does a yearly maintenance and when she came in a few months ago I told her “I like her hair color” and she said she never “colored her hair” so we pulled up her before photo’s from 2011 and here are her results.  Not only is the hair darker, but it is aesthetically denser and looks in healthier condition. This is regenerative therapy so I think it is doing both bringing back the secondary hairs improving the existing hair and turning on the melanocytes.  I have not seen gray hair turn dark, but most patients say “there hair gets a few shades darker.”

Greco PRP Darker Hair 2 Greco PRP Darker Hair 1

Dr. John Satino

For more than four decades, Florida based bio-engineer Dr. John Satino has been heavily involved in the hair loss world and, sad to say, I only heard about him a few months ago while reading a recent news article on stem cells.  He has been among the  earliest adopters and testers of numerous new treatments, including PRP and stem cell based ones.  In fact he has had a hair transplant as well as stem cell injections to his own scalp.  It is not surprising that the two most experienced PRP physicians in the US (Dr. Greco and Dr. Satino) are headquartered in a sunny state such as Florida where appearance is of so much importance

Dr. Satino has had especially significant success in treating patients with alopecia areata.  You can see one of his patients in this video starting after around 2:15.  He has also been upfront about the uncertainty of these treatments (e.g., read this article and this interview of Dr. Satino).

Dr. Satino told me that at his practice he has definitely seen hair darken significantly after PRP treatment in some patients.  He sent me a great before and after photo of an elderly woman showing this phenomenon.  I have pasted that photo after his below two e-mails’ content.

“We were the first pioneers after Dr. Greco to use this technology. We use Aphanizomenon orally, prior to the blood draw.  This helps release more stem cells from the bone marrow, as seen in Cardiovascular Revascularization Medcine Vol.8 2007 CD34 and CD33 in vivo CXCR4 Expression.  We also do fat extraction for more difficult cases.”

“We charge $1,500 for the PRP injections with the Aphanizomenon and laser cap included.  As I stated in our conversation, I believe the low level laser plays an important role in PRP therapy.  So I include a laser cap.  Even if they have a laser comb, they probably don’t use it, since their arm gets tired, and the cap can be used anyplace you can were a ball cap.”

Dr. Satino PRP Darker Hair

Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport

I have covered New Jersey based Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport a few times before on this blog.  My 2014 post with videos about him is worth a reread.   When I asked him whether PRP has darkened scalp hair in any of his patients, he also gave me the affirmative.  Below are three sample before and after images that he sent me (in the female one, it is not too clear if some hair is darker unless you zoom in):


Dr. Rapaport PRP 1

Dr. Rapaport PRP 2

Dr. Rapaport PRP 3


If you ever do get PRP injected into your scalp (with or without ACell), make sure to post a comment in this thread about your experiences.  Blog readers and myself would be very appreciative.

27 thoughts on “Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Hair Darkening”

    1. There is also some hair growth in there if you look closely Vedran.

      In any case, while we await for the cure, we need to also focus on these smaller things, especially since they can help people with limited hair loss a lot.

      1. Especially important for women, I imagine. I think I actually have female pattern hairloss (for a few reasons) and would love to try PRP…. the only issue being cost and access 🙁

        1. I don’t, either. I see hair styled differently, cut differently, etc.

          There’s no evidence that PRP does anything other than self-reported anecdotal evidence by the very same people who are selling it – at $1000+ per treatment (and they claim you need five or more treatments, plus follow on “maintenance”).

          It’s a scam, and a highly unethical one at that.

  1. Very interesting to read PLUS the fact that it is already being offered. I would definitely consider doing this now.

    Also, to the people questioning why a gray hair cure is also important, it’s not a simple matter of “just dye it”. Gray hair is often a drastically different texture to regular hair and looks really awful when dyed (esp on men). Having better options for hair color as well as hair loss is crucial for a good, natural-looking improvement in appearance.

  2. what i dont understand is why the treatments we have nowdays, only work in a small % why? if it works, why doesnt work for every part of our head, for all our follicles? (Min, Fin, Dut, PRP) so frustrating..

  3. I find it very odd that there is an absolute paucity of on-line testimonials about the efficacy of PRP. On the three biggest hair loss forums, there are just about ZERO posts from people claiming to have had any regrowth at all from PRP. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – there are many, many posts from people who say that the protocol had absolutely no effect at all. It seems that the only place one can find positive anecdotal evidence for the protocol is on hair transplant surgeons’ websites Given the average cost of PRP (about $1000 a treatment, and often much, much more – $5000 – $10,000 for a complete course of treatments), I think it may be the biggest scam in the hair loss industry. The fact that it is practiced and promoted exclusively by hair transplant surgeons does not help its credibility.

    1. I have read around 10 positive PRP testimonials on the forums over the past several years (and I never spend time looking for such posts, so there are surely far more). I do think there are more negative versus positive testimonials.

      If you go through all the threads in the below link, you will probably find a decent number of positive stories:

      Many of the people posting do not write the name of the doctor they went to and whether they also had ACell in the mix. That would be useful.

      1. Hey admin if you get a chance could you ask Dr Wesley about how his pilofocus is coming along. Would be nice to at least have the option of a scar less transplant in the near future. Is he even still working on that?


      2. Don’t you think that’s pretty poor evidence? It’s been commercially available for years – if it worked, wouldn’t there be many, many positive reviews, not just a handful? Without hair counts, efficacy is judged by perception, which is affected by a number of variables, only one of which is actual hair growth (and even the casualty of that is unknown without a proper double-blind study).

        Bottom line, $5,000, $10,000 or more (the total cost for a full course of treatments) is a lot to gamble on something that has, at best, very weak anecdotal evidence of efficacy. There is absolutely no good reason for the markup on this procedure (the technology is not capital intensive – just a few vials of blood and a $1,500 centrifuge), except for the fact that the HT doctors who offer it know they can get desperate people to pay that much.

        It’s a scam, and it’s a pity to see so many otherwise well-respected doctors like Wesley and Bernstein taking advantage of their patients.

    2. I don’t get why people pay so much for something without having any evidence that it will yield BIG results, I mean, something that is worth the money… Paying 5000-10.000 for a treatment that, sorry adm I don’t agree with you on this, MEDIOCRE, RIDICULOUS is lamentable.. I don’t get why people get into this, they must be really rich!! Cause it’s too much money for nothing!!

  4. Where can we get PRP treatment in india ? Admin, do you know any renowned doctor in india who is expert in PRP treatment ?

  5. PRP is a nice little earner of these HT docs..does it work?? You will walk out of the clinic convinced that it did.

  6. I had a PRP session using the angel system and I felt like my hair was better. My hair seemed terrible at around month 9. I had PRP with Acell in December. I’ll continue to have this done once a year. Is it a miracle? No. If you have the extra money it’s a addition I would add. I do think This treatment needs to be under $1200 a year.

  7. I had prp with rappaport in nj. I think it helped however just a little. I recall my hair lookimg better a few months after the injections. I dont known if it was worth the drive and money considering im not wealthy but I do feel it was of at least some benefit however nothing major. I would do it again if I were wealthy.

    1. “I had a PRP session using the angel system and I felt like my hair was better. ”

      “I had prp with rappaport in nj. I think it helped however just a little. ”

      Hair quality is so variable that anything that results in it being “a little better” probably had nothing to do with it at all. You could have had a hair cut that makes it look better, your hair could have been in an telogen phase (resting phase – it last around four months on average) before the PRP, then coincidentally and naturally moved into the anogen phase (growth phase) after the PRP. Any number of things could have happened that had nothing to do with PRP to make your hair look “a little” better.” And for that, doctors charge $1000 a session, and want you to commit to at least three to five sessions or more.

      It’s a scam, and a MASSIVE one at that, given how expensive it is.

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