A new trial is set to explore whether PRP could be used as an effective treatment for female pattern hair loss. It will also look at whether or not it could prove beneficial at improving the patient’s quality of life.
Although studies have been carried out to determine whether PRP could treat hereditary hair loss conditions, this is one of the first trials to test it against androgenic alopecia or female pattern baldness.
PRP and female pattern baldness
PRP, or Platelet-Rich Plasma, is a fairly new treatment when used as both an anti-ageing treatment and a potential hair loss solution, yet it has been used for over 20 years, it has been used as advanced wound therapy to stimulate wound healing for chronic and acute wounds. In terms of hair loss, PRP uses the patient’s own blood cells to encourage hair regrowth.
The blood is taken, before being mixed in a centrifuge, separating the red blood cells and the plasma. The plasma is then inserted into patients scalp via an injection, where it gets to work promoting hair growth.
Understanding this hair loss trial
The new trial is being conducted by the Wake Forest University Health Sciences Department. It has been titled ‘Evaluating the Efficiency of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy in the Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia’ and is looking to recruit 16 female participants aged 18 or over.
Each of the participants is required to prove their androgenic alopecia diagnosis, and they aren’t allowed to be on any current treatment for alopecia. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are exempt from the trial, as are those who have been diagnosed with anaemia, who have skin conditions and who currently have an infection.
Qualifying participants will be split into two groups, with one receiving PRP on the left side and a placebo on the right, and the other group having PRP on the right side of the scalp. After the initial treatment, the participants will need to return for a follow-up treatment once a month for three months. Then, a non-treatment based follow up will be given at six months.
Throughout the trial, a lot of factors will be assessed to see how well PRP works for regrowth and improving the quality of the patient’s life.
Is it likely PRP will be a viable hair loss solution?
So far, PRP has proven promising in its initial studies. It’s already shown to be effective at helping to treat hereditary-based hair loss conditions, so it has potential to it help with androgenic alopecia.
However, studies have yet to show that it can be an effective treatment on its own. There is also the fact that female pattern baldness is more of a progressive condition. So, while PRP could help treat the problem, the condition will continue to progress. This means treatment would need to be provided continually throughout the patient’s life to maintain results. Therefore, PRP is more likely to be used as a booster treatment, alongside other treatment options.
The new clinical trial is exciting, but it is unlikely to prove PRP is an effective standalone hair loss treatment. It also needs to be noted that this is only a very small-scale trial, so larger, more in-depth studies will need to be carried out to fully look at its potential as a treatment for female pattern baldness.