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Study comparing PRP to minoxidil for female pattern hair loss

The main problem with platelet rich plasma (PRP) studies is that there are so many different ways of preparing PRP that it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of PRP as a whole. One practitioner may prepare the PRP differently from another or the method of injecting may be different from one another.

Despite this, this study is important because it provides further real evidence that PRP for androgenic alopecia in women is helpful. This study was performed by the Mayo Clinic and was published in Dermatologic Surgery 2020.

This was a randomized, controlled pilot study and patients were treated with either PRP followed by minoxidil after an 8 week washout period, or with minoxidil followed by PRP. The hair was analyzed using a TrichoScan device and looked at hair count, vellus hair density, terminal hair density, and cumulative thickness. The patients were also asked how they felt about the benefit or lack of benefit from treatment with minoxidil and PRP.

The study showed there was a definite improvement from PRP, although the study also suggests that minoxidil may have been slightly more effective in these patients. Interestingly, the patient’s subjective opinions about PRP vs. minoxidil was that PRP was more effective than minoxidil. Lastly, the authors noted there may be a combination effect from the two treatments.

Further studies are needed but this provides more objective evidence that PRP is effective for female pattern hair loss.

Reference:

A Randomized, Controlled Pilot Trial Comparing PlateletRich Plasma to Topical Minoxidil Foam for Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia in Women. Bruce AJ, Pincelli TP, Heckman MG, Desmond CM, Arthurs JR, Diehl NN, Douglass EJ, Bruce CJ, Shapiro SA. Dermatol Surg. 2020 Jun;46(6):826-832