Does PRP Therapy for Hair Loss Work?

I first published this post in March 2014. I am now updating it in April 2018 due to the publication of many new clinical studies supporting PRP as a secondary hair loss treatment.


Scroll down all the way to the bottom of this post in order to see the full list of these studies. Most of them have detailed patient statistics on success rates that are worth a glance.

Do note that PRP will not regrow hair in completely bald areas of the scalp. At best, it will thicken existing hair and density, and perhaps make recently miniaturized hair grow back stronger in those who are lucky. If you ever decide to get this procedure, you should go in with no expectations. Even if effective, PRP is definitely not a permanent solution to your hair loss problems.

Numerous people on online hair loss forums have been disappointed with their PRP treatment results. In stark contrast, on local TV programs in every corner of the US, doctors have presented real life patients who claim to be very pleased with their PRP and hair growth results. They always show impressive before and after photos and videos as evidence, and are most likely presenting their absolute best case outcomes.

On realself, 70 percent of patients have thus far voted their PRP hair growth results to be worth it, although I have not done any research of the reliability and accuracy of these reviews (on sites such as yelp, you can find numerous fake reviews). Some great before and after photos in those realself reviews. Also make sure to read my post on PRP possibly darkening grey hair in rare instances.

PRP Therapy for Hair Loss

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is the concentration of platelets that are derived from the plasma portion of one’s own blood. PRP contains various growth factors, cytokines and other bioactive factors. Because the plasma is autologous (i.e., extracted from a patient’s own blood), there is minimal possibility of any significant adverse side effects.

To obtain PRP, a small amount of blood is first extracted from a patient. This blood is then spun in a centrifuge that leads to separation into three layers: platelet-poor plasma (PPP), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and red blood cells. The whole procedure typically requires one or two spins of the centrifuge and takes less than 15 minutes. The concentration of platelets in PRP is usually around five times as much as in normal blood. This PRP is then injected into a patient’s scalp in order to try and improve his or her hair.

PRP Growth Factors

The key benefit from platelet-rich plasma seems to arise from various growth factors. The main growth factors in PRP that are relevant to hair growth include:

  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF)
  • Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1)
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)
  • Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)
  • Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
  • Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-β)

Interestingly, a number of other hair loss treatments that I have read about over the years have also target one or more of the above growth factors. Among these include Shiseido’s Adenosine based products and Follicept’s product to deliver IGF-1 to the scalp. Unfortunately, the latter mentioned company seems to have ceased operations in 2016 after the demise of one its main researchers.

On an important note, it is interesting that one of the ways in which Minoxidil benefits scalp hair growth is via the upregulation of VEGF.

Related to this subject matter, a recent small-scale study from Spain looked at something called plasma rich in growth factors (PRGFs), and found it to have significant benefits towards hair growth.

PRP for Hair Loss Clinical Studies

A number of recent studies on platelet-rich plasma (PRP) have shown favorable outcomes (often when used in conjunction with ACell) on hair growth. I really like the fact that these studies are coming from all over the world rather than from just one country such as the US, limiting potential for any kind of sponsor- or self-interest-driven fraudulent “findings”.

Netherlands, 2018 — Introducing Platelet-Rich Stroma: Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) Combined for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia

Turkey, 2018 — Comparison of the Efficacy of Homologous and Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Treating Androgenic Alopecia

Pakistan, 2018 — Effect of platelets-rich plasma on scalp hair diameter

Egypt, 2018 — The effect of autologous activated platelet-rich plasma injection on female pattern hair loss

USA, 2018 — Platelet-Rich Plasma for the Treatment of Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Patient Survey

Female Hair Growth after PRP Injections
PRP before and after hair growth in a female

Spain, 2017 — A Proposal of an Effective Platelet-rich Plasma Protocol for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia. Image on the right is one of several included in this paper, and shows the patient’s scalp as well as a closeup view of the hair via magnification.

Italy, 2017 — Correlation between individual inflammation genetic profile and platelet rich plasma efficacy in hair follicle regeneration

India, 2017 — Platelet-rich plasma with microneedling in androgenetic alopecia along with dermoscopic evaluation

India, 2017 — A Split Head Study of Efficacy of Placebo versus Platelet-rich Plasma Injections in the Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia

Italy, 2017 — Valuation of Not-Activated and Activated PRP in Hair Loss Treatment: Role of Growth Factor and Cytokine Concentrations Obtained by Different Collection Systems

Spain, 2016 — Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Half-Head Study to Assess the Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma on the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia

Italy, 2015 — The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Hair Regrowth: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial

Thailand, 2015 — At the 9th Congress for Hair Research, Dr. Ratchathorn Panchaprateep from Thailand presented favorable findings regarding combination therapy treatment of hair loss using PRP and Non-Ablative 1,550 nm Erbium Glass Fractional Laser in 9 patients

India, 2015 — Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia

South Korea, 2015 — Therapeutic Efficacy of Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma and Polydeoxyribonucleotide on Female Pattern Hair Loss

Greece, 2014 — Study of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections in the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia Through a 1-year Period

Italy, 2014 — Platelet-Rich Plasma for Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study

Italy, 2014 — The Effect of Autologous Activated Platelet Rich Plasma (AA-PRP) Injection on Pattern Hair Loss: Clinical and Histomorphometric Evaluation

India, 2014 — Platelet-Rich Plasma in Androgenic Alopecia: Myth or an Effective Tool

France, 2013 — Platelet-Rich Plasma: a Therapy for Hair Growth

Taiwan, 2013 (done on mice) — Promotional Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Hair Follicle Reconstitution in vivo

Brazil, 2012 — Follicular Unit Megasessions and Platelet Growth Factors

South Korea, 2012 (done on mice) — Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Potential Therapeutic Tool for Promoting Hair Growth

PRP Hair Loss Treatment Guidelines

Among the reasons that PRP results can vary so much include the significant variance in techniques, equipment used, and concentrations of platelets in the final product. Centrifuge quality, in particular, differs substantially depending on manufacturer.

If you are contemplating getting a PRP treatment on your scalp, it is imperative to choose a reputable hair restoration surgeon with significant experience in the use of PRP for hair growth purposes. In my city of residence, there are a large number of clinics that specialize in cosmetic procedure as well as numerous plastic surgeons who all offer PRP treatments for hair growth. None of these clinics and surgeons are specialized whatsoever in treating hair loss.

The bald truth talk forum section on PRP is worth a visit to read about patient experiences and reviews regarding their PRP hair loss treatments.

PRP and Hair Transplants

If I was undergoing a hair transplant procedure today, I would seriously consider the addition of PRP to the procedure even if the benefits are not always guaranteed. An increasing number of hair transplant surgeons are adding PRP to the procedure in the belief that the growth factors improve yields and donor area healing. Some are certain about the benefits, but it remains to be seen if this is just a revenue making scheme or a scientifically sound add-on.

PRP Cost

The cost of PRP for hair loss varies drastically. In the US, the lowest price that I have read about is $500 per treatment. The highest has been $2,500 per visit, which seems ridiculous since most people will require a few sessions for optimal results. On the realself website, the average price of treatment per patient feedback is currently $1,700.

55 thoughts on “Does PRP Therapy for Hair Loss Work?”

  1. Fascinating that the 2017 study by Gentile and Cole in your link seem to show that non-activated PRP has the same effect as the Arthrex Angel System. The Italian non-activated system uses a light selector device, but still makes you wonder if just centrifuged PRP without any activation system might have more-or-less the same effect?

    Non-activated PRP is massively cheaper – around $50-75/session for hair where I live in Europe – so in theory going every 2-4 months is economically realistic for many more people than the thousands per session for the system.

    Also, btw, in the Gentile/Cole study, they also report on darkening from PRP, as per your post https://www.hairlosscure2020.com/platelet-rich-plasma-prp-and-hair-darkening.

    Thank again to you admin. Massive respect for fighting the fight in such an organized, rational way.

    Cheers…

  2. Updating with my personal experience now for anyone considering PRP:

    I’ve done PRP for more than a half-year at this point. I have a multi-treatment regimen, so it’s impossible to accurately say if PRP alone is beneficial. But I’ve noticed increased shedding and – possibly – growth since starting which I attribute at least partially to the PRP. I’ve also noticed a richer saturation of hair color; again, no idea if it’s PRP, but my guess is that it’s at least partially attributable to the PRP.

    I started with PRP injections in a clinic, and then began my own DIY system for PRP at home in order to have frequent injections at minimal marginal cost. All my research indicates that high frequency of injections is important, so I invested in the equipment so I could just do it myself. I inject all over the scalp once every 10 days. I don’t use activators, kit, light, etc. Simply draw the blood, centrifuge it, then inject the PRP in little injections.

  3. I noticed that I have had less hair annual shedding since prp, but not any real hair growth. When I first started my hair became darker and thicker, especially when I had with Acell. I have also had prp with stem cells 3 mos ago and am currently await to see growth. At least prp helps me feel like I’m doing something. Sometimes I wonder if it did more harm than good.

    1. Felling like you’re doing something, is what some just make money on, a psychological prey on one’s thinking. I will go if you’re having results, than it makes you feel like you’re doing something. I am not criticizing, just want to make sure, money is spent well for outcomes. I would keep everyone updated if you see results or not, as it could help some to decide.

      Gl.

  4. Great post admin as others pointed out, really appreciate the wealth of studies you’ve gathered for us.

    Throwing in my own experience here as well:

    First did PRP a year about after shopping around for nearly 4 years, finally found a doctor I felt like I could trust.

    Overall was very pleased with the results, of course I was (and still am) taking Dut and Minox 5% so those probably helped.

    At the 1 year mark my results faded and my hairline receded a bit.

    After a year off I recently got another PRP treatment from the same practice. Recently they upgraded their procedures.

    From my first experience I know what to expect going into it.
    I feel like PRP just buys you time at best and if it works that’s great. Given the next two years could hold some promise I think that can be a valid strategy, plus it’s still cheaper than a good transplant which is what I’m hoping to delay.

    1. In your experience, since you said, “Buys You Time,” would you say it’s comparable to minox or no….or maybe you can’t tell because you’re on many treatments?

      When did you get your second injection, if I may ask?

      1. After years of dealing with this, my philosophy (these days) about hairloss is that it’s all about the combination of treatments you use in your regiment.

        I never stopped minox or dut so I can’t compare, also consider that everyone is different and YMMV for any of these treatments.
        That being said I do think in addition to those things, PRP was more effective than if it was done by itself. I think I saw great benefits and that’s why I’m doing it again 2 years later.

        The clinic I went to does two injections per session/treatment, about 90 days apart.

        My second treatment started in March and I’ll have the second injection of this treatment in May.

        IMHO it’s cheaper than a transplant and the worst it can do is nothing.

        If your considering a transplant maybe consider this first depending on your own goals.

      1. Howdy Admin!

        I’ve been on Dut for about 3 years starting in 2015.

        I was on Fin before that for a year-ish taking quarters of a 5mg pill.

        When I switched to Dut it helped tremendously in the intial years and it’s my opinion itstill helps.

        However these days I feel my hairline thinning and receding and the top of my head kinda thinning in general.

        This is primarily why I chose to get a second PRP treatment in hopes it can revive what I have left for another year or so.

        I’m using more stuff than I used to, like 6% minox, topical dut as well, RU, hairloss shampoo, and a laser cap(theradome) for good luck.

        2018 looks to be an exciting, year, but so was 2016, so well see ;)

        1. Thanks rockethare. Please do add your testimonial about Dutaasteride (pros and cons) at some point in my post on the subject (link is on home page top right).

  5. I’ve done 5-6 PRP sessions with Alvi Armani over the last few years and can’t really say whether it helps or not. Certainly wasn’t a miracle worker. It was kind of expensive $1500 +

    I’ve heard that Bosley is now offering this, I wonder if it’s cheaper and reliable?

  6. As someone who suffered from parkour injuries and hair loss, PRP does wonders for recovery speed of parkour injuries, but NOTHING for hair loss.

  7. So, I had the free treatments done that you rewarded me with during that lottery. I did two of them about two months apart, but didn’t go through with the last. What it did for me is cause a shed and itching from the injections, therefore, I decided against the third treatment.

    I normally have an itch that has been causing me to lose my hairline regardless of treatments. This itch has lasted 7 years so far, but the itch I had on prp was totally different. I had it in my mid scalp which got crazy thin. It subsided after about 7 months I’d say.

    Maybe on the right candidate, like someone with an autoimmune hair disorder, prp would show benefits. I’m unsure as to why it had that effect on me, but it did not benefit me in any sort of way. Note: I am also on dutasteride at 2.5mg and have been for 2+ years and low dose doxy as an anti inflammatory/ prostaglandin mediator.

    Also, the doctor tried prescribing me low dose .25mg oral minoxidil during the prp and whenever I’d mention that I was shedding he would say that it was the minoxidil, however, I never took it.. he might get better results with that addition, but .25mg minoxidil is a joke dosage. However, I do understand him trying to stray away from its side effects at dosages like 5-10mg.

    The doctor is a nice guy, worth trying it if you want that combination treatment, but alone, I don’t believe in prp.

  8. Not related to PRP, but my colleague Dr Antonella Tosti made a few comments recently about the Aclaris topical JAK inhibitor:

    1. Has entered phase II with results in 6 months
    2. She expects it will be marketed (sold) in 3-4 years
    3. She notes no side effect in Phase I
    4. She reiterates that the topical could work even though the oral rx doesn’t because it reaches more superficial levels of the skin.

  9. I never had itching from PRP and Acell. Had horrible itching from the PRP and stem cells. Still do. I take Zyrtec for it. Seems to have helped with the itching/tingling. I think it was an allergic reaction.

  10. If JAK is released 2021-2022 and Tsuji organ cloning is released 2020 it would be an unusual decision to risk JAK side effects with marginal results over zero sides with maximum results, if that’s what were looking at.

    1. Egghead..I agree with you but I don’t think tsuji will be ready by 2020. Maybe for a very select few as a trial or some small scale release for the rich. But even then I dont think he can get it ready by then. It’s literally a year and a half away. They should be in trials already on human subjects…I hope it comes out in 2020 but I think jak, follica and even follicum will be out before tsuji. Tsuji however, if successful will be the closest thing to a cure unless some gene therapy miracle cure comes out.

  11. @Anon Giant..
    Thanks for sharing but would you please say something more about point no. 1?

    About which result dr. Tosty is saying AGA or AA…

  12. Could anybody explain whether Shiseido could hit the market in 2018? The replicel trial had like 10 Percent regrowth, right? Do you guys think the results of the shiseido trial could be better and when we could get this treatment ?

    1. Letter from the CEO in January of 2018 states:

      “In 2018, shareholders should expect to see:
      Data from the clinical research being funded by Shiseido in Japan measuring the benefit of RCH-01 injections in men and women suffering from hair loss due to androgenic alopecia.”

      Later on it says:
      “This means we now have commercial partnerships in place not only with the potential for near-term commercial launch of RCH-01 ..”

      So from everything we know we would be lucky for a market release at end of 2018. Once it’s released I’ll probably camp outside their door.

  13. is it me getting old or people on hairloss forums are changing all the time. I remember yesterday when fin was introduced to the market first time. If you check the data, fin also promises 12% regrowth on completely bald areas.
    We all know that fin doesnt do anything for regrowth at least for the majority, it is just for maintenance. So how come we can think Replicel 10% means anything?

    1. @donitello the trick is to follow the money.

      Shiseido bought the rights to the technology and invested in a purpose built facility to finish it. They have big pockets and a lot of scientific officers that would have done a lot of due diligence to report to their superiors on what emerging technologies to buy and what to leave alone.

      Why did Shiseido buy Replicel’s technology but leave Aclaris and Follicum and Brotzu and the other alternatives alone? What did their extensive due diligence (compared to our limited understanding) find in Replicel that made them dig into their pockets?

    2. These results of Replicel … This results are in the initial phases of treatment (Phase 1). Propecia does not have regrowth, you must take medication every day, shedding, side effects. It was not yesterday … it was 20 years ago. EVERYTHING was very different.

  14. You need to remember that you more than likely can receive this treatment multiple times, meaning 10% regrowth means 100% regrowth after 10 treatments.

  15. Last night in my dream Minoxidil came in a batman suit and asked me..Do you shed… I said no… And then it said you will…

  16. @Farhan..
    Ha.. Ha.. Hilarious.. Do you use facebook? How can i find you on facebook? I would like to be your friend..

    1. Thanks:-) I have discussed some Chinese hair loss research in the past FYI…just seems way too limited and underrepresented relative to their size. Same with Russia.

  17. “How to study embryos, No embryo required

    … Now, a new study in Nature details the development of a synthetic embryo that can help researchers avoid these issues and better understand the earliest days of development … “

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/05/02/synthetic-embryo-blastoid/

    Just a few steps, and they don’t need natural human embryos anymore to research, because they can create artificial human embryos.

    Anything is possible …

  18. does anyone have thoughts on clear clinic in south korea? they are using hcell technology and say it is like prp but with a critical process/ingredient to enhance vascularity. they claim to halt any further hair loss for a long period of time

  19. Looks like getting fue again is the only option…im glad i had fue few years back which covered my frontal balding… problem is hard to take time for it from work.

  20. Minoxidil made my hair a mess… Still applying it …i wish thanos wipe out every ones hair…so that all look bald and will be a normal thing

    1. Hi Farhan I am looking into an fue for my right side hairline but I’m thinning diffuse behind it so I’m scared of shock loss and making things worse. I’m researching some top ht doctors in America and canada. Did you have diffuse hairloss? You would think with Propecia, minox, lllt, prp, kerastem and all that other stuff available we should at least be able to stop our hairloss. The crazy thing is these treatments can make hair loss much worse for some which is unfortunate. Rogaine thickened up parts of my hair where I didn’t apply but thinned out the areas I did..go figure lol. I really hope these new treatments like follica, sisheido and the other stuff like jak and follicum, sm, can at least stop hair loss permanently.

      1. I’m hoping they would work but the thing is your best years of life are going away… I’m not saying they will come out.. But we are not sure when or even they would work.. maybe in future…i had fue and for 5 years i didn’t even think… But I’m losing other part now… I’m putting minox only once a day…i never will touch fin…. But now i think it’s time to have fue… Right now i can’t… I’m going soon too be dad and full time software engineer… super busy… But may be in 2019 when i loose even more i will get one big done and not worry about it…

  21. Now that this thread is old.

    I have to wonder IF Aclaris knows from AA trials if jak treats male pattern hairloss. A big IF, if they had 20 men with oral Jak who had auto immune hairloss and we will assume 5 ended up showing male pattern hairloss. But when they tried 20 with topical jak and no one had male pattern. They might know.

    Slow day thought I would speculate.

  22. I tried PRP I’m 2016. I certainly couldn’t recommend it. Did nothing. Expensive too. My Doc at Sinclair Dermatology (Melb Aust) told me they once did a trial using PRP on patients with AGA. They eventually decided to scrap it as a treatment due to it being totally ineffective. Save your money. Buy your mum some flowers for Mother’s Day instead.

  23. I had FUT from Rahal in 2009 to fill out frontal recede. Worked very well despite having very fine hair. For years hair loss was not actively on my mind. I’m getting to the stage where I need another HT. This time will go for FUE to fill out diffuse thinning on top. I’m from the UK and traveled to Ottawa for the surgery. Trouble is I now live in Singapore. Unsure whether to search for a surgeon in the region say South Korea rather than travel half way runs the planet to Canada. FYI I stopped minox years ago and have never touched fin.

  24. Thank you Del and Farhan for your feedback. I was looking into Rahal. His work looks food and I hear he comes to nyc a few times a year to perform ht at his office there. My hair is very coarse and frizzy so it’s optimal for a ht and coverage. I would to fill in left and right temple and a 2 inch wide strip of diffuse loss from right temple to crown. It’s starting to thin more and more not noticed by anyone but me for now. My right side hairline however in sunlight or under lights looks like a inch dent. I need to get that filled in. My hair is diffuse. I’m afraid of shockloss and I work in a customer facing environment where shaving my hair and looking scabby and bloody will be very bad. I would only do an fue.

    On a different note is mark Zuckerberg wearing a hair piece? His hair looks weird..

  25. Unite to Cure: Fourth International Vatican Conference: Friday, April 27, 2018
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlVTa7YpcZs
    Interesting watch, Samumed is still going ahead with AGA, phase three this year along with Osteoarthritis. He said they would like to see Osteoarthritis get approved in the next two years so i am assuming this goes for aga to

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