Why PRP for Hair Loss is Not Well Publicized, and Increased Effectiveness When Combined

By: Amiya Prasad, M.D.

Thank you for your question. You’re asking in your question about the efficacy of PRP and you stated you haven’t seen much about PRP in popular hair loss forums and that you have concerns about the shedding and possible shock loss related to things you read about with PRP, you’re looking for some independent information and you’re asking finally is it a very expensive placebo .Well I can certainly give you some guidance on this question which I deal with everyday in our practice a little bit of background, I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I’m the founder of TrichoStem® Hair Regeneration Centers, a system that we developed with using PRP as well as the material called extracellular matrix for non-surgical treatment of male and female pattern hair loss. I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years and I have been taking care of hair loss patients for this time and I have extensive experience with hair transplant surgery. So, to begin with. I’m going to start with something that is a little bit to clarify agendas a little bit.

When you asked about independent study of something like PRP, you have to also understand that in the context of the medical studies in general, there always has to be a source of funding and very often there is some type of agenda with a lot of medical studies particularly when it comes to something which benefits the sponsoring company or sponsoring entity. So, for example if Allergan and I'm not just isolating Allergan, but if Allergan wants to show benefit of a particular injectable filler they will sponsor a study and that's for FDA approval and that's for variety of other reasons and the same thing goes for universities or anywhere where medical studies are performed. So when it comes to something like PRP I think one of the struggles that is there has been with this technology is that there is no large entity that stands to gain from people using PRP. The only people that really make money on PRP from the industry point of view are the people who make the kits and they're not as capitalized as much larger entities.

So when you don't hear about PRP or you have a lot of conflicting information about PRP, at least part of it is due to this issue. As far as efficacy of PRP, I can tell you as a cosmetic surgeon that PRP does have incredible efficacy in a lot of areas we use it every day in our practice for acne scars for pigmentation, for wrinkling. For damaged skin, for as well as an adjunct to wound healing.

Now when it comes to hair loss, I can tell you that the prevailing opinion of those of my colleagues who use PRP is that PRP does help hair loss however it's been my experience that PRP alone does not have long-term benefit with hair loss. What does that mean, well from our experience PRP stimulates short-term growth of hair. It’s kind of like a boost, if there's hair that is not growing you get a PRP injection and you’ll get some growth, but it won't sustain, it'll stop growing so people come to us in our practice who have had PRP injection done elsewhere will often report that they got PRP done monthly and unfortunately a lot of people have experienced discomfort getting these PRP injections, so after the fourth month of getting these injections and felt that scalp was being hurt and they weren't seeing a future endpoint as to when they won't need to keep getting these injections. Now in our practice we developed a treatment called Hair Regeneration and there's a big distinction.

Why PRP for Hair Loss is Not Well Publicized, and Increased Effectiveness When Combined

What we do is we’ve learned how to combine PRP with a material called extracellular matrix which is was originally intended for wound healing, long story short deriving the side effect of a or using the side effect of what we were using it for during hair transplant, we noticed the thinning hair became thicker in addition to expediting the healing process of hair graft as well as improving the wound healing of the donor area. Now the tricky part was trying to figure out how to dose it, how to deliver it and how to customize it and so it took several years to develop this and from that we developed the system we call TrichoStem® Hair Regeneration and what we treat people from all over the world who come to us both men and women for the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss. With this treatment that does use PRP but not PRP alone we’re able to stop the progression of hair loss, restore the growth cycle such that thinning hairs will grow in thicker as well as reactivate hair that's not growing. So from one treatment one injection session we have patients who have continued to grow hair effectively enough lose hair in fact have more hair of it for more than 5 years and that's not a monthly treatment there was one treatment 5 years ago. We follow our patients very closely and that we see patients who live within the tri-state area every 3 months and we have really good documentation, and then beyond that we see people yearly. So, and for people who travel from outside of the country is outside of our geographic area, we try to encourage them to come as often as possible and depend we still customize to individual needs. So I would say that if you were considering the understanding the benefit of PRP I think you have to make a distinction between PRP alone, PRP in conjunction with hair transplant or PRP in the way we use it in the treatment we call Hair Regeneration.

So I know that it is it is a common practice for people to do extensive research but I think it's also important to go out into the world and meet with doctors personally. When you find yourself interacting only online you can only get so much information. I always say that if you, when you meet a doctor who has experience and is actually in the front line and this is a very big distinction between the academic world and the clinical world. For us we treat patients from everywhere from all over the world at we’re in the frontlines - we're helping people with seeing patients every 3 months so this treatment had to be successful otherwise we could stop, we would stop doing it. So you can look for as many studies as you want but when you meet doctors who actually have real success with real patients that they who they treat daily, you really can't get better than that. So learn more, meet with the doctors and hopefully you'll be able to find a find a solution that works for you. So I hope that was helpful I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your question.

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