Platelet Rich plasma (PRP) is the latest rage in the hair restoration field. This nonsurgical treatment involves treating the scalp with a portion of the patient’s blood, rich in platelets, to stimulate hair growth. The exact mechanism of how this works is not completely understood, but PRP does lead to the release of high amounts of growth factors. These growth factors seem to have the ability to enhance the growth of existing hairs and stimulate the growth of new ones. PRP can be done as a stand-alone treatment or combined with hair transplant or other hair restoring treatments or medications.
Hair transplant remains a very reliable solution for hair loss. All patients that receive the procedure can expect some new growth, with more than 90% of grafts typically taking. The downsides of hair transplant are that it is a surgical procedure, and most importantly, not everyone is a candidate. Often, patients are too early (young men) or not good candidates (many women) and that it is where PRP most often is a great option.
While PRP has many advantages, such as being nonsurgical and requiring little downtime, there are some disadvantages. First it does require several treatments to receive the maximal benefit. Second and most importantly, while many patients see a nice amount of new growth, some patients may see no new growth at all, despite doing a complete series of treatments. Compare this to a hair transplant where virtually 100% of patients see new growth and you can see why many hair transplant surgeons tell patients this is their best option.
In summary, for those patients who are good candidates and are willing to have surgery, hair transplantation is their best option for the best results. For those unwilling or who are not good candidates for a hair transplant, PRP provides a new and exciting option.