A March 2022 writes (5) that the causes and development of androgenetic alopecia is not completely understood but is known to involve a hair follicle miniaturization (reduction in hair follicle size) process in which terminal hair is transformed into thinner, softer vellus-like hair. This process is related to the dysregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, which causes premature termination of the anagen growth phase in hair follicles. . . the clinical effectiveness of PRP is often difficult to characterize and summarize as there are wide variabilities in the PRP preparation and administration protocols with no consensus on which protocol provides the best results.
A February 2022 study (1) assessed the effectiveness of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in the treatment of Androgenic Alopecia. The researchers write: “Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) represents a novel therapy tested and is used more and more frequently in dermatology and cosmetic surgery for a variety of conditions, including androgenic alopecia. . . ” The researchers re-examined studies concerning the use in Androgenic Alopecia of PRP therapy, alone or in combination, in male, female or mixed patient groups. They found the research demonstrated significant increases in hair density and proved a statistically significant correlation between the number of PRP treatments per month and the percentage change in hair density, as well as a negative correlation between the mean age of treatment group and the percentage change in hair density. “We conclude that PRP represents a valuable and effective therapy for Androgenic Alopecia in both males and females if patients are rigorously selected.”
A March 2022 (4) study writes: “PRP can be used as a new therapeutic option for hair loss including androgenetic alopecia and female pattern hair loss, either as a monotherapy or an adjuvant to conventional therapy or hair transplantation. PRP is also considered a safe, effective, steroid sparing, and alternative treatment for alopecia areata. Moreover, there was evidence showing that PRP can improve clinical symptoms in some types of cicatricial alopecia.”
The effect of platelet-rich plasma on female androgenetic alopecia
A November 2020 paper (2) tested the effect of platelet-rich plasma on female androgenetic alopecia. In this study, 30 women diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia were divided into a PRP treatment group and a placebo or saline treatment group. The patients were assessed at the baseline, four and eight weeks after treatment. Blinded global photographic assessment indicated that 57% of patients receiving PRP versus 7% of patients receiving saline improved at week 24 from baseline. Compared to baseline, there was improvement in average density in the PRP group versus the placebo group at week 8 and week 24. Adverse effects included headache, scalp tightness, swelling, redness, and postinjection bleeding.
Potentially critical aspects of PRP treatment
A May 2022 study (3) offered “to address some potentially critical aspects of PRP treatment and give some reasons why study results may differ.” This is what the researchers suggested: “In recent years, several clinical trials have been published that have revealed different but rather positive results, which offers hope to those affected by androgenetic alopecia and to physicians as well. However, the results were observed in methodologically weak trials and data from randomized controlled trials are lacking. Differences in trial designs have made it difficult to draw concrete conclusions about its clinical efficacy. Even in the studies where no hair-growth-promoting effect could be observed, the majority of subjects were at least satisfied with the result. The combination of several treatment approaches seems to lead to optimal improvement in hair growth.”
1 Georgescu SR, Amuzescu A, Mitran CI, Mitran MI, Matei C, Constantin C, Tampa M, Neagu M. Effectiveness of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy in Androgenic Alopecia—A Meta-Analysis. Journal of personalized medicine. 2022 Feb 24;12(3):342.
2 Dubin DP, Lin MJ, Leight HM, Farberg AS, Torbeck RL, Burton WB, Khorasani H. The effect of platelet-rich plasma on female androgenetic alopecia: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2020 Nov 1;83(5):1294-7.
3 Gressenberger P, Kopera D. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA): a review of the current literature. Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift fur Dermatologie, Venerologie, und Verwandte Gebiete. 2022 Apr 1.
4 Paichitrojjana A, Paichitrojjana A. Platelet Rich Plasma and Its Use in Hair Regrowth: A Review. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. 2022;16:635.
5 Abdin R, Zhang Y, Jimenez JJ. Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia Using PRP to Target Dysregulated Mechanisms and Pathways. Frontiers in Medicine. 2022;9.