Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a blood derived biological product taken from your own blood that is injected into your own scalp where hair growth is desired. It is understood that the PRP delivers supraphysiological concentrations of cytokines and growth factors that may promote hair growth and mediate the inflammatory process. PRP is considered to be a drug under the Canada Food and Drug Act and was approved for use in-office by licensed medical providers.
To create PRP, clinicians take a blood sample from your blood and place it into a device called a centrifuge that rapidly spins the sample, separating out the other components of the blood from the platelets and concentrating them within the plasma. After creating platelet rich plasma from your blood sample, the idea is to increase the concentration of growth factors in the injected area to stimulate hair growth. PRP can be used as a stand alone therapy and/or with hair transplantation to facilitate hair growth and healing.
Health Canada has not reviewed the safety, efficacy and quality of PRP for any therapeutic use including hair loss. The use of PRP is still considered investigational for male and female androgenetic alopecia. There are currently no clear established guidelines in regards to the
number and frequency of PRP treatments. Furthermore, inconsistencies in the preparation and volume of PRP differs depending on the clinicians individual practice. Small trials are promising, however larger, high-quality trials are necessary to clarify the efficacy of PRP treatments.
PRP is considered to be a low-risk procedure. Some potential risks are bleeding, tissue damage, infection and nerve injuries. PRP treatments are contra-indicated if you have a systemic or local infection, malignancy, low platelet count or if you are pregnant.