National news outlets have picked up on the growing popularity of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for hair loss. ABC News, for example, recently aired a segment about PRP in which they displayed before and after photos of patients who had the treatment and talked with two patients who were happy with their results.
The news reports typically describe PRP as a new treatment for the millions of people who are experiencing hair loss. While reporters sprinkle in words like “potential” or “promising”, the overall thrust is that it is a can’t-miss treatment sure to ease hair loss in millions of patients.
While there are preliminary studies that show limited efficacy of PRP therapy, more research needs to be conducted to determine if PRP is, in fact, a viable long-term treatment for hair loss in men and women.
It is important for prospective patients to remember that the media can often get out in front of the science. In many cases, the media-generated hype around experimental treatments touted as the cure for baldness turns out to be incorrect. We offer PRP therapy at Bernstein Medical as a treatment for hair loss, but we are open with our patients about the fact that it is a new, relatively unproven treatment. In our PRP FAQ, we note that there is an individualized response with a spectrum of effectiveness and that PRP will not work for everyone. PRP patients at Bernstein Medical are monitored to assess the benefits of the therapy and to determine if a modification to the treatment schedule might improve results.
At this time, we do not know if rigorous studies will conclusively determine that PRP therapy is a viable treatment. We are monitoring research publications as rigorously as we monitor our PRP patients and will publish any conclusive findings.