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PRP For Hair Loss: Does it Work?

Knox Beasley, MD

Reviewed by Knox Beasley, MD

Written by Steph Coelho

Published 02/02/2021

Updated 05/19/2024

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves using your own blood to speed up wound and injury healing. But does PRP work for hair loss? 

Evidence suggests PRP could help you regrow hair and reverse the effects of male pattern hair loss.

Below, we outline the PRP procedure, how it works, what the research says about its efficacy, the potential side effects of PRP, and the cost of PRP for hair.

First off, it’s important not to confuse PRP treatment with hair transplantation. While both are medical procedures, the two are not the same. Hair transplantation is a plastic surgery procedure.

Platelet-rich plasma is a medical treatment that supports proper wound healing and helps with recovery from trauma and joint injuries. Research also shows it may help with erectile dysfunction (ED).

It involves using the patient’s own blood cells to support the natural healing process. 

Your blood consists of several major elements, including platelets. Platelets are protein-containing blood cells involved in clotting, healing and tissue growth — all vital for proper wound healing. 

PRP treatment involves extracting blood from your body and placing it into a centrifuge — a device that produces centrifugal force — to separate the blood into its various components.

This process increases platelet count and produces platelet-rich blood that healthcare professionals inject directly into specific areas of your body. 

PRP Therapy Process

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is PRP hair treatment?” you’re probably wondering how the PRP procedure for hair restoration actually works. Let’s break it down.

  1. A healthcare professional draws blood, usually from your arm.

  2. They place the vial of blood in a centrifuge for about 10 minutes to separate blood into its different components.  

  3. The blood eventually separates into three layers: red blood cells, platelet-poor plasma and platelet-rich plasma.

  4. A healthcare professional then draws the platelet-rich plasma into a syringe and injects it. In the case of PRP for hair loss, a board-certified dermatologist will inject areas of the scalp where hair is thinning. 

What happens once the platelets are injected? Scientists are actively trying to understand the mechanisms that make PRP effective. 

According to an article in the Iowa Orthopedic Journal, “There is a general consensus in PRP research that the injection of concentrated platelets, once activated, results in an exponential increase in numerous growth factors at the sight of injection.”

Growth factors and other compounds in platelet-rich plasma can have rejuvenating effects on tissues. They have been shown to encourage cellular regeneration and healing for sports injuries and even hair regrowth. 

Hair loss in men can occur for several reasons, including telogen effluvium, fungal infections such as tinea capitis and alopecia areata.

But the most common type of hair loss is male pattern baldness (or female pattern hair loss) — a form of hair loss that develops due to a combination of genetic factors and the effects of male sex hormones, or androgens.

The key culprit behind male pattern baldness is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which the body produces as a byproduct of testosterone. 

DHT can attach to receptors throughout your scalp and cause your hair follicles to undergo a process called miniaturization, in which each follicle gradually loses its ability to create new hair.

This process generally begins around the hairline, resulting in the receding hairline, a common early sign of hair loss.

Because androgen hormones like DHT play a role, male pattern baldness is often referred to as androgenetic alopecia or androgenic alopecia.  

So, how does PRP help with hair loss? PRP doesn’t appear to significantly impact DHT levels, meaning it’s unlikely to slow down or stop the biological process through which your hair gradually falls out over time.

There is some evidence, however, that PRP may improve hair growth by increasing blood flow to your scalp and supporting the natural growth cycle. 

PRP for Hair Loss: What the Research Says

In a 2019 review of clinical studies, researchers noted that PRP treatment prolongs the hair growth cycle's anagen phase, or growth phase — a multi-year stage during which hair grows to its full length before resting and shedding.

The researchers also noted that PRP improves follicle vascularization, the process of growing blood vessels to improve local blood supply, which may help increase the speed at which follicles move from inactive to active hair growth.

The authors concluded that PRP is a promising treatment for male pattern baldness. Still, a lack of standardization across different types of PRP treatment makes it more challenging to assess its efficacy. 

Even so, these questions don’t undermine the promise of PRP as an effective treatment for hair loss, and research on PRP has shown some noteworthy results.

A 2019 clinical trial of 30 people with androgenetic alopecia showed that PRP was “an effective treatment option” for male pattern baldness, helping to improve overall hair density.  

Another randomized controlled trial found that regular PRP injections for hair loss significantly increased hair thickness and total hair count in men with pattern hair loss. However, changes in hair thickness only occurred until the second injection.

It should be noted that both of these clinical trials were quite small, and ultimately, more research is needed on PRP for hair loss.

And, as of yet, there’s no scientific consensus on the number or frequency of PRP treatments necessary to treat hair loss, including maintenance treatments.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, most people return for treatments once a month for three months and then once every three to six months after that. 

The cost of PRP for hair loss will depend on several factors, including: 

  • The severity of the hair loss

  • Where you live

  • The healthcare professional administering the treatment

A systematic review published in 2020 found that PRP treatment for knee osteoarthritis is typically priced at $1,200 over 12 months, which includes the procedure, the PRP injections and clinical visits.

On average, three treatment cycles of PRP for hair loss cost about $1,000.

However, in some cases, PRP treatments are priced at up to $1,000 each, according to the Harvard Medical School blog. 

Insurers tend to view PRP as a cosmetic procedure, and — like other hair loss treatments — they generally don’t offer coverage unless the procedure is for an underlying health condition.

Still, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance provider before making any coverage assumptions about PRP hair treatment procedures. 

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Because PRP involves drawing blood, it’s important to properly hydrate before the procedure. Your healthcare provider may advise you to eat a regular diet on the day your blood is drawn and let you know to expect some minor soreness and discomfort during and after the procedure.

While uncommon, the potential risks of PRP injections include:

  • Bleeding

  • Tissue damage

  • Nerve damage

  • Infection

It’s important to discuss these risks with your healthcare provider before getting PRP injections for hair loss or any other issue. 

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PRP is generally a safe procedure. However, you may not be a good candidate for this treatment if you smoke or have certain health conditions, like diabetes.

And like with any medical treatment, there’s a risk of side effects with PRP. 

Potential side effects of PRP include:

  • Muscle aches

  • Irritation

  • Inflammation

  • Scar tissue at the injection site

  • Tiredness 

  • Confusion

  • Bladder control issues

Luckily, research suggests that side effects from PRP therapy are unlikely. But, as always, if you have worries about potential side effects from PRP treatment, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider before the procedure. They can walk you through what to expect and outline the pros and cons of PRP.

Hair loss treatments, delivered

Does PRP for hair growth work? While PRP doesn’t seem to reduce DHT levels, the hormone that causes male pattern baldness, there’s evidence that PRP has real benefits for stimulating hair growth. And the body of research on the effects of PRP is ever-growing.

That said, PRP does have its downsides. It’s expensive and doesn’t necessarily address genetic causes of hair loss.

You may have better luck with proven treatments like FDA-approved hair loss medications. These include:

  • Finasteride (the generic version of Propecia®) works by reducing DHT levels.  

  • Minoxidil (the generic form of Rogaine®) stimulates hair growth by moving hair follicles into the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle. 

We offer finasteride and minoxidil solution online, and in a combined Topical Finasteride and Minoxidil Spray so that you can apply both medications at once.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend using these medications in combination with PRP as part of your hair loss treatment plan.

If you’re starting to notice signs of hair loss, it’s important to take action. 

You can do this with our range of hair loss treatment products for men, which are available after an online consultation to learn more about your options for stopping hair loss and stimulating new hair growth.

10 Sources

  1. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/plateletrich-plasma-prp-treatment
  2. Cole, B.J., et al. (2010). Platelet-rich plasma: where are we now and where are we going? Sports Health. 2 (3), 203-210. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445108/
  3. Middleton, K.K., et al. (2012). Evaluation of the Effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy Involved in the Healing of Sports-Related Soft Tissue Injuries. The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal. 32, 150-163. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3565396/
  4. Ho, C.H., Sood, T. & Zito, P.M. (2021, November 15). Androgenetic Alopecia. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430924/
  5. Stevens, J. & Khetarpal, S. (2019, February). Platelet-rich plasma for androgenetic alopecia: A review of the literature and proposed treatment protocol. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. 5 (1), 46–51. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6374694/
  6. Butt, G., et al. (2019, August). Efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in androgenetic alopecia patients. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 18 (4), 996-1001. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30393988/
  7. Bayat, M., et al. (2019, December). The effect of platelet-rich plasma injection in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 18 (6), 1624-1628. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30895745/
  8. Hair Loss: Diagnosis and Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/treatment/diagnosis-treat
  9. Bendich, I., et al. (2020, July). What Is the Appropriate Price for Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis? A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Based on Evidence From Level I Randomized Controlled Trials. Arthroscopy. 26 (7), 1983-1991. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32061971/
  10. Nathan, N. & Senna, M.M. (2020, May 11). Platelet-rich plasma: Does the cure for hair loss lie within our blood? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/platelet-rich-plasma-does-the-cure-for-hair-loss-lie-within-our-blood-2020051119748
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Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Knox Beasley, MD

Dr. Knox Beasley is a board certified dermatologist specializing in hair loss. He completed his undergraduate studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and subsequently attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. 

Dr. Beasley first began doing telemedicine during his dermatology residency in 2013 with the military, helping to diagnose dermatologic conditions in soldiers all over the world. 

Dr. Beasley is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Originally from Nashville, TN, Dr. Beasley currently lives in North Carolina and enjoys spending time outdoors (with sunscreen of course) with his wife and two children in his spare time. 

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