Is There Solid Evidence to Support PRP?

Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, has been on the radar of hair regrowth advocates for a few years. There are many proponents of the treatment but their enthusiasm is tempered by a lack of solid evidence to support the treatment as we previously discussed on our website. However, there is a newly published study that shows favorable results pointing to a promising future for the use of PRP.

The study highlights the results of a randomized placebo-controlled study that compared hair regrowth with PRP versus a placebo group. PRP was prepared for use from a small volume of blood. It was then injected on half of the patients’ scalps in the study while the other half was simply treated with a placebo. The described treatments were administered a total of three times in 30-day intervals.

The endpoints of the study were defined by hair regrowth, hair dystrophy, any itching or burning feelings and cell proliferation. A total of 23 patients were enrolled although 3 were excluded at some point in the study. At the end of the 3 total treatment cycles, clinical improvement was seen in the mean number of hairs as well as an increase in the total hair density. It’s also worth noting that no side effects were detected or recorded during the study period. Any relapse of androgenic alopecia was not studied in any of the patients until 12 months after their last treatment. According to the authors of the article, only 4 of the patients reported any continued hair loss after the 12 month period. They were then re-treated.

More information about the study group, study parameters and more total data from the study can be found here.

What exactly does this mean for the use of PRP as a treatment for hair loss? While the data does show positive effects in combating hair loss, the fact that there were only a small sample size of participants in the study means that the study group and its results might not be large enough to draw an accurate conclusion when it comes to utilizing PRP as a hair loss treatment. Also, as of now, there are no studies that have looked into the long term potential side effects of PRP scalp injections. More studies are necessary with a larger number of participants to accurately determine the validity of PRP as a hair loss treatment.