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Does PRP After Hair Transplant Improve Results?
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Updated on April 22, 2024

There are very few studies at this time to show whether getting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy after a hair transplant can improve its results, but those that exist have very promising outcomes. PRP hair treatment appears to significantly speed up post-transplant hair regrowth and increase strand density and length compared to placebo. Moreover, it can promote healing and reduce donor area scarring from FUT procedures [1][2]. 

Due to its healing and regenerative properties, PRP has proven effective in curbing hair loss and stimulating hair growth in various types of alopecia (e.g. androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and even certain kinds of scarring alopecia). Roughly 85% of available studies show that this therapy has had positive results in treating male pattern baldness [3][2]. So it is also likely to reduce hair thinning and increase its density after hair restoration surgery. It may even increase graft survival and surgery success in hair transplants on scar tissue.

However, while the preliminary evidence is encouraging, more studies are needed to determine the exact PRP hair treatment success rates after a hair transplant. Keep reading this article to discover what the available evidence says about:

  • What PRP is and how does it work to stimulate hair growth
  • The benefits of getting PRP after a hair transplant 
  • The risks and costs of post-hair transplant PRP 
  • Effective treatment alternatives to PRP after hair restoration surgery
Table of Contents

What is PRP and how does it work?

PRP is a fast and simple procedure that requires no downtime. It involves drawing some blood from your arm, using a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from your platelet-poor plasma and blood cells, and injecting the PRP directly into the thinning areas of your scalp.

Hand holding a vial of blood separated for PRP extraction

This procedure only takes about 30 minutes in total and is minimally invasive. Getting 2-4 sessions per month for 3-6 months is often enough to improve your hair density and thickness, as well as your scalp and hair health.

PRP treats hair loss by releasing growth factors (e.g. TGF, PDGF, VEGF), which stimulate the development of your hair follicles. Platelets contain a significant amount of these growth factors, unlike other blood components, which is why they are separated and used in this procedure. They also stimulate the formation of new blood vessels, improving scalp vascularisation, promote the production of new strands and play a role in increasing hair shaft length and thickness [4] 

Platelet-rich plasma can also maintain your hair follicles in the growth phase for longer, preventing telogen effluvium [5]. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory effect stimulates tissue healing and helps soothe the symptoms of some common scalp problems, such as seborrheic dermatitis or scalp psoriasis [6].

A surgeon performing a hair transplant on a male patient

Does PRP improve hair transplant results?

The evidence available so far indicates that PRP can indeed improve hair transplant results. And this does not only happen by getting this treatment after your grafts have healed. Studies show that using PRP as a holding solution for hair grafts for up to 6 hours before implanting them in your balding areas can increase follicle density per cm2 by 15% and significantly increase the percentage of graft uptake, reducing the amount of hair falling out 1 year after your hair transplant [1]. 

Moreover, getting PRP during your hair restoration surgery, immediately after your hair grafts have been implanted, can increase follicle growth and reduce the time it takes to see FUE and FUT hair transplant results [7]. It can also increase hair shaft length and thickness. 

Patient hair growth over 9 months (no PRP)
Hair growth over 9 months in a patient who did not receive PRP alongside his hair transplant [7]
Patient hair growth over 9 months (with PRP)
Hair growth over 9 months in a patient who received PRP alongside his hair transplant [7]

Finally, getting PRP after your hair grafts have started to heal can also be beneficial, as revealed by a study performed on 15 men with androgenetic alopecia who also underwent FUE hair restoration surgery. After receiving 3 PRP treatments a month for 3 months starting a week after their hair transplant, a significant increase in hair shaft length and follicular density was observed at the 1, 2, 3 and 6-month checkups, compared to placebo.

Moreover, a significant increase in the number of surviving grafts was noted after 6 months [8]. However, since this study is rather small, further research is necessary to confirm its findings.

Man with one half of his head growing hair and the other half bald

What are the benefits of PRP after a hair transplant?

The reason why getting PRP after a hair transplant can enhance its results stems from the benefits this kind of therapy can provide to your scalp and follicles. Here are some of its most valuable properties [1][9][10][11]:

PRP may stimulate your natural healing process

Injecting the scalp with platelet-rich plasma that contains growth factors can reduce the time it takes your hair transplant to heal. That is because it can help tissue grow and it can attract and activate cells involved in tissue repair (e.g. stem cells, fibroblasts, endothelial cells), speeding up hair transplant recovery.

PRP may increase graft survival rates

The growth factors in PRP contribute to the development of new small blood vessels in your scalp, increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach your hair grafts. This can help them survive and thrive. Moreover, this treatment contributes to the formation of the collagen matrix needed to support the healing tissue, making it easier for the grafts to become secure. 

PRP may reduce the post-transplant dormant phase 

Your natural hair growth cycle is composed of several stages: a growth phase, a brief transition phase, a resting phase and a shedding phase. However, the hair transplant timeline shows how hair restoration surgery temporarily disrupts this process. It is natural to see post-hair transplant shedding due to shock hair loss after surgery. Then, your grafts normally enter a dormant, resting phase (telogen effluvium), which can last for several months, according to the hair transplant growth chart

Diagram of the hair growth cycle phases

However, by increasing the amount of blood flow to the hair grafts and promoting cell proliferation, PRP can stimulate your hair follicles to return to the growth phase faster, helping you achieve hair regrowth weeks or months sooner than you would have without this therapy.  

PRP may increase hair density, length and thickness

The growth factors in platelet-rich plasma can promote hair follicle development and increase the amount of nutrients they receive, helping them grow larger and produce longer, thicker and stronger strands. And since this therapy also supports hair graft survival rates, it can also increase hair density, because you will have more healthy follicles to produce hair. 

PRP may have a positive effect on scar tissue 

Research shows that this therapy can reduce inflammation, improve tissue healing and improve blood flow to the injection site. It can also help accelerate the turnover of collagen (a type of protein present in your skin that changes its fibre structure when forming scars, creating unsightly marks) in your tissue, creating a new network of collagen fibres that appear closer to healthy skin. These properties can help you in two different ways. 

Female patient before and 8 months after a 2000 graft FUE hair transplant followed by PRP therapy
Female patient before and 8 months after a 2000 graft FUE hair transplant followed by PRP therapy [10]

On the one hand, PRP can significantly increase the success rates of complex hair transplants performed on scar tissue resulting from burns [11] or scarring alopecia (e.g. lichen planopilaris or frontal fibrosing alopecia) [12]. On the other hand, it can help reduce hair transplant scars, by promoting faster and better tissue healing and helping you develop smaller, smoother, less visible marks. 

How many PRP sessions will I need after my hair transplant?

There is currently too little evidence to indicate the optimal amount of PRP sessions that need to be undertaken after a hair transplant to achieve improved results. However, one study reported increased hair density and thickness, as well as faster hair growth after patients received 3 sessions per month for 3 months post-surgery (the first session was conducted 7 days after the hair transplant) [8].

What are the risks of getting PRP after a hair transplant?

PRP is considered a safe, minimally invasive procedure, so it should not normally produce severe side effects even after a hair transplant. The most concerning event in this case would likely be an infection or allergic reaction that could jeopardise graft survival if they are not yet fully healed.

 Normally, PRP complications are rare and minor, including the following [4]: 

  • Temporary pain, redness or swelling at the injection site
  • Headaches or head heaviness
  • Infection at the injection site (although PRP has antimicrobial properties, which make this event unlikely)
  • Bleeding or bruising at the injection site
  • Developing an allergic rash on the scalp  
Man applying Minoxidil to his scalp

Is PRP better than Minoxidil for post-transplant hair growth?

At this time, no studies are comparing the effectiveness of using PRP and Minoxidil after a hair transplant, and some studies revealed this therapy to be superior to 5% Minoxidil in treating androgenetic alopecia. 

A clinical trial was performed in 2016 on 220 men with male pattern baldness. Half of them were treated daily with topical Minoxidil, while the other half received 6 sessions of PRP 15 days apart over the course of 3 months [13]. While both groups achieved a significant increase in hair density and length, 99/110 patients who received PRP achieved good or fair results, compared to 87/110 patients in the Minoxidil group. 

Similar results were obtained by a different study, with 40 participants with male pattern baldness, which also found a higher level of satisfaction with treatment results among PRP recipients [14]. 

This may indicate that PRP may also work somewhat better than Minoxidil in restoring hair growth after a hair transplant, but further research is needed to confirm this. 

However, there is a good chance that you can obtain the best results from combining these treatments [1]. That is because clinical trials have demonstrated that using them together in patients with androgenetic alopecia yields superior results to using each of these therapies alone [15]. Still, further research is needed to show whether the same effect is also achieved after a hair transplant.

Take a look at the before and after results of using PRP for hair loss.

Can I get PRP before my hair transplant?

If you are experiencing alopecia and are considering hair restoration surgery, you will be happy to know that it is quite safe to get PRP at any point before, during or after your hair transplant. This therapy has a positive effect in curbing hair shedding and increasing hair density, so undergoing it from the first signs of hair thinning and balding may help delay the need for hair restoration surgery or reduce the number of hair grafts you may need

However, you will not be able to get PRP if you have platelet dysfunction syndrome, critical thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) or an active infection on your scalp at the injection site [4]. It is also recommended to get the advice of a trichologist before getting PRP if you have been using systemic corticosteroids within 2 weeks of your procedure, if you received a steroid injection in your scalp within 1 month of the procedure or if you have been experiencing illness or abnormal blood tests lately [4]. 

How much does it cost to get PRP after my hair transplant?

The total cost of a PRP treatment in the UK can vary with the number of sessions you need and the clinic rates where you choose to have the procedure. On average, you can expect the price of a PRP session to be somewhere between £200-500.

Since you are likely to need about 3-6 sessions for a therapy course, you might need to spend anywhere between £600 and £3000 for a full treatment. However, some clinics offer discounts or special pricing packages if you choose to get both a hair transplant and follow-up PRP with them.    

Treatment alternatives to PRP after your hair transplant

While a hair transplant is permanent, this does not mean that your hair loss cannot progress around the transplanted area. This is why, in most cases, it is recommended to keep taking a hair growth treatment after your surgery.

Here are some of the most common therapies and medications that you can use instead of – or alongside – PRP to enhance your hair transplant results and keep your alopecia from progressing.

If you are considering getting a natural-looking hair transplant and have questions about this process or the best follow-up treatment, book a free hair transplant consultation with our world-class surgeons. They will answer all your questions and give you personalised recommendations tailored entirely to your needs and preferences.

Since the Wimpole Clinic is renowned for hair restoration success rates of almost 100%, you can feel confident that you will still be enjoying your hair transplant results after 10 years or more.

Does PRP After Hair Transplant Improve Results?, Wimpole Clinic

  1. PRP and Hair Transplants
  2. Platelet Rich Plasma and Its Use in Hair Regrowth: A Review
  3. Platelet-Rich Plasma for the Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia: A Systematic Review
  4. Dermatologic Surgery and Procedures
  5. Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for Telogen Effluvium: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Efficacy and Safety
  6. Platelet-Rich Plasma for the Treatment of Plaque Psoriasis: A Systematic Review
  7. Outcome of Intra-operative Injected Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy During Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplant: A Prospective Randomised Study in Forty Patients
  8. Efficacy and Safety of Platelet Rich Plasma after Hair Transplantation of Male Androgenetic Alopecia: A Pilot Study  
  9. The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Hair Regrowth: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial
  10. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) Hair Transplantation in Combination with Platelet Rich Plasma for the Treatment of Scarring Alopecia: A Case Series
  11. Feasibility of Platelet Rich Plasma Use in Hair Transplantation in Treatment of Post Burn Scar
  12. Successful Hair Transplant Outcome in Cicatricial Lichen Planus of the Scalp by Combining Scalp and Beard Hair Along With Platelet Rich Plasma
  13. Comparative Study of Efficacy of Platelet Rich Plasma Versus Minoxidil (5%-10%) in the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia in Males
  14. A Study to Compare the Efficacy of Platelet-rich Plasma and Minoxidil Therapy for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia
  15. Comparison of efficacy of platelet-rich plasma therapy with or without topical 5% minoxidil in male-type baldness: A randomized, double-blind placebo control trial
Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Meena Zareie (GMC)Updated on April 22, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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