“Doctor, you don’t know what it is to doubt everything … you couldn’t with eyebrows like yours.” – Bram Stoker, Dracula
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) a.k.a. the vampire treatment is a hair growth therapy that is becoming increasingly popular. This hair growth therapy consists of two main steps; retrieval of plasma (main component of blood) and activation of platelets. During this therapy, platelets are obtained from drawn blood. Platelets are the key ingredient in this therapy as they contain growth factors that promote hair growth1,2. The platelets are then activated using manual techniques or automated devices and then injected into your desired hair growth areas3.
PRP treatments have been successfully used to treat male and female pattern hair loss as evident in a 2014 study4. In this study 13 male and female pattern hair loss patients treated with PRP reported a higher hair count and greater hair thicknesses as compared to their baseline values (p<0.0001 and p<0.0001, respectively). These improvements were found 3 months post treatment (1 session)4. Pain, post-treatment erythema and edema were some of the side effects reported in this study4.
PRP has also been used successfully in hair transplant surgeries5. Follicular units, when treated with PRP before being implanted, showed a 15.1% increase in follicular density as compared to untreated implanted follicular units in 20 male pattern baldness pateints5. An increased follicular density can help improve coverage and increase patient satisfaction.
The popularity associated with the vampire treatment can be attributed to the minimal side effects and low cost. PRP is not just a safe hair restoration option; research into its potential use in scarring, ulcers and wound healing have also occurred5. If you are interested in learning more about the vampire treatment, ask your hair loss specialist for more information.
Article by: Sarah Versteeg MSc, Mediprobe Research Inc.
- Okuda K, Kawase T, Momose M, Murata M, Saito Y, Suzuki H, et al. Platelet-rich plasma contains high levels of platelet-derived growth factor and transforming growth factor-beta and modulates the proliferation of periodontally related cells in vitro. J Periodontol. 2003 Jun;74(6):849–57.
- Gupta AK, Carviel J. A Mechanistic Model of Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment for Androgenetic Alopecia. Dermatol Surg Off Publ Am Soc Dermatol Surg Al. 2016 Sep 14;
- Arshdeep, Kumaran MS. Platelet-rich plasma in dermatology: boon or a bane? Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2014 Feb;80(1):5–14.
- Kang J-S, Zheng Z, Choi MJ, Lee S-H, Kim D-Y, Cho SB. The effect of CD34+ cell-containing autologous platelet-rich plasma injection on pattern hair loss: a preliminary study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol JEADV. 2014 Jan;28(1):72–9.
- Uebel CO, da Silva JB, Cantarelli D, Martins P. The role of platelet plasma growth factors in male pattern baldness surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Nov;118(6):1458–66; discussion 1467.