Category Archives: Platelet-Rich Plasma

$120 PRP Hair Loss Sessions in Mexico

PRP Injections Hair Loss
PRP injections for hair loss.

In a recent chat during “The Bald Truth” hair loss show, a regular American participant named “Mike P” posted something very interesting: crazy cheap platelet-rich plasma (PRP) sessions in Mexico.

He travels to the country every four months to undergo this treatment. I discuss the details later in this post.

Please note that I am not encouraging this kind of cosmetic tourism to a lesser developed nation where you can easily run into unforeseen problems. Especially if things go wrong and you need emergency care or want to take a doctor to court for malpractice. You also have to add the cost of transportation and accommodation if you go to a foreign country (although a half-day road trip to Mexico is possible from the US).

However, considering the exorbitant rates that so many doctors in the US charge for PRP, Mike’s strategy has to be discussed. Especially since PRP injections are recommended at least once or twice per year for hair loss sufferers. A major long-term expense. Most US doctors seem to charge between $1,000 to $2,500 per  PRP session, but I have seen even higher numbers.

If you are a newer blog visitor, make sure to check out my numerous past posts on PRP and hair loss.

  • I used to update the worldwide PRP and hair growth study list at the bottom of this post regularly, but have neglected it in recent years.
  • PRP injection treatment variation is a very big problem. You want to make sure that you go an experienced and reputable doctor or surgeon. Usage of the correct centrifuge and correct platelet concentration levels are both of paramount importance.

Low-Cost PRP for Hair Loss in Mexico

Getting back to “Mike”, he goes to Hair Medical Restoration in Tijuana, Mexico (located right across the border from San Diego) every four months. The cost of each PRP sesssion is only $120. Even less if you have had a hair transplant at the same clinic. Mike claims to have seen very good results and considers it worth the time and expense.

This particular clinic also seems to have a second site. I e-mailed them and did not get any response. However, when I called them, they confirmed the price. The lady who answered the phone also had a very good grasp of English and seemed professional.

Hair Medical Restoration’s main hair transplant surgeon is the somewhat well known ISHRS member Dr. Jorge Cortez. He is also listed on the Hair Center Mexico website and on the Capilar Hair Center website.

Note that the PRP injections at Hair Medical Restoration are done by someone other than the surgeon per what I understood from my brief phone conversation.

The Dangers of Getting Cosmetic Surgery in Developing Nations

I have heard way too many scare stories about cosmetic surgeries and procedures gone wrong in Mexico and the lesser developed parts of South America. Just like in other developing nations (e.g., see my post on hair transplant gone wrong).

Having said that, even places in the US such as Miami in 2023 can be unsafe when it comes to cosmetic surgery. Also of note, Hair Medical Restoration’s reviews are extremely good on Google, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. And on Yelp, they have 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Hair Medical Mexico Reviews
Hair Medical Restoration Mexico Reviews.

In all such review sites, you should go through each reviewer’s past history to see if they seem legitimate or fake. Someone who just has one all-time review is very unreliable. At the same time, if someone is leaving bad reviews for many similar types of businesses, it is often a competitor out to demean others.

Ultimately, you are making an educated guess. On sites such as RealSelf, PRP for hair loss reviews are far superior than what we read about in hair loss forums and blogs. Doctors and clinics will obviously only share good before and after results on platforms where they are allowed to do so. And in many cases, they can also get away with fake reviews and photos.

PRP Hair Loss Treatment Variation

I last updated my main platelet-rich plasma post (does PRP work for hair loss) in 2020. In there, I list over 50 studies that support the benefits of PRP scalp injections for hair growth.

I have written many other posts on platelet-rich plasma. Among the highlights include: a summary of key growth factors in PRP; rare instances of hair darkening; and Dr. John Cole’s interesting experiments with activated and sonicated PRP.

However, most readers are justifiably very skeptical about platelet-rich plasma. We see very few positive testimonials and reviews on hair loss forums, while studies suggest otherwise. One possible reason is that the methods used for PRP treatments are all over the place and impact success rates significantly.

Doctors who are totally inexperienced with hair loss treatments often start injecting PRP into patient scalps without any training. Many use the cheapest possible centrifuges and never even try to measure platelet counts.

In this post, I attempt to describe platelet-rich plasma treatment methodologies used by various leading hair transplant surgeons. Note that some physicians often combine PRP treatments with one or more of: ACell, exosomes and microneedling.

Update: December 2022

Two patients in Croatia got great platelet-rich plasma hair growth results via a novel protocol. Make sure to check out both the before and after photos. Each received an initial injection that contained a large volume of concentrated PRP (cPRP) solution activated by calcium (via the Arthrex Angel System). this was followed by a second, small-volume booster without activation. The Arthrex Angel System achieves a high concentration of thrombocyte cells.

PRP Hair Growth Treatment: Platelets per Microliter

  • Perhaps the most experienced doctor in the US when it comes to using platelet-rich plasma for hair growth is Dr. Joseph Greco. I have covered him a few times. Besides using PRP, he also uses a purified version of PRP called CRP (Cytokine Rich Plasma). See this chart on his site for a comparison of differences between the two.
  • Dr. John Cole who I mentioned earlier is also among the most experienced American physicians when it comes to using PRP for hair growth. Dr. Cole also uses CRP. On his site, he has a very interesting article titled “Dr. Cole discusses differences in PRP.” He notes that most PRP kits in use today lack when it comes to ultimate platelet concentrations and platelet yields. In his opinion, the best benefit for hair growth comes at platelet-rich plasma concentration levels of 1 million platelets per milliliter.
  • Dr. Cole uses a Hemoccult machine that uses light to differentiate cells and quantify them accurately. One interesting thing that Dr. Cole told me was that “What I can tell you for sure on platelet-rich plasma is that you want a reddish PRP. Not a yellow PRP. The best and youngest platelets are on the surface of the red cells. Hence, you want a little flash of red in the final spin to capture those platelets.”
  • Dr. Joseph Yaker shared with me an interesting series of slides he made for a presentation on the need to standardize PRP dosing. Since 2018, he has been using the TruDose™ system at his practice for platelet-rich plasma dosing accuracy. Dr. Yaker offers his own version of platelet-rich plasma called Precision PRP™️.
PRP Treatment
PRP hair loss treatment using the TruDose™ system.
  • The foremost expert on platelet-rich plasma for hair growth in the world might be Dr. Pietro Gentile from Italy. Especially when it comes to number of study publications. Dr. Yaker in his aforementioned slides mentioned a 2015 study from Dr. Pietro Gentile that found an ideal PRP dosage of 1.5 million platelets per microliter. The exact quote from this study:

“A mean of 1,484,555.6 platelets per microliter in the PRP preparation could effectively stimulate follicular and perifollicular angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), which is suggested to be one of the major factors in active hair growth.”

  • Another leading US based hair transplant surgeon Dr. Aron Nusbaum published a study in 2018 titled: “Examining the Variability of PRP with Different Preparation Systems.” Him and his partner found that the concentration of platelets produced by four different commercially available systems demonstrated wide variance. Also, while most systems only require blood collection of 15-22cc, the Arthrex System uses over 120ml of blood. Dr. Nusbaum told me that his clinic uses the Angel System by Arthrex. They found this device leads to the highest platelet concentration. He also adds ACell during the procedure, and they recommend PRP treatments every 6 months.
  • Dr. Jerry Cooley is yet another highly experienced platelet-rich user. In one of his past comments he stated the following:

“There a lot of different ways to ‘do’ PRP. Adding ACell is just one variable. Some of these other variables are: the device used to centrifuge the blood; the concentration of platelets achieved; the total volume injected; the size of the syringe and needle used to do the injecting; the depth level in the scalp it is injected; whether the PRP is ‘activated’ or not; the use of microneedling; etc. All of these can affect the result in my opinion.”

Make sure to see Hair Transplant Mentor Joe Tillman’s video of his platelet-rich plasma treatment with Dr. Cooley in 2016.

Activated versus Non-Activated

Many researchers recommend differentiating between autologous activated versus non-activated platelet-rich plasma. The former entails “activation” to induce growth factor secretion via the addition of calcium gluconate (or sometimes calcium chloride or thrombin). In the above video, Dr. Cooley injects calcium thrombin during the activation process.

A new January 2022 paper titled “Lasers, lights, and compounds for hair loss in aesthetics” contains a detailed section on platelet-rich plasma. It includes a discussion of autologous activated PRP (AA-PRP) versus non-activated autologous PRP (NA-PRP). The full version of the paper can be read via Sci-Hub (whose link keeps changing, so I am not posting here).

Among the most relevant quotes in this paper:

“The number of centrifugations, revolutionary speed, and spin time can affect platelet activity, degranulation, and growth factor viability. For example, longer or faster spin cycles more effectively separate the erythrocytes, buffy coat, and plasma, but this may also damage platelets and cause premature release of growth factors.”

“Preparation parameters should include the presence or absence of an anticoagulant, volume of blood drawn, presence or absence of leukocytes, spin method (speed and duration), activator used, and fraction of plasma collected. Authors should also report the mean platelet concentration, total volume, and volume per area used in treatment. This level of detail will allow for improved standardization that can be applied to real-world dermatology practice.”

Leukocytes and Fibrin Matrix

A proposed classification system that the above paper outlines would break out platelet-rich plasma into five categories:

  1. Pure or leukocyte-poor PRP (P-PRP).
  2. Leukocyte-rich PRP (L-PRP).
  3. Leukocyte-poor platelet-rich fibrin matrix (P-PRF).
  4. Platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM),
  5. Leukocyte-rich fibrin and platelet-rich fibrin (L-PRF).