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PRP vs Hair Transplant: Comparing Hair Loss Treatments For You

PRP vs hair transplant refers to the decision between a therapy that utilizes the patient’s own blood, and a non-risky, non-invasive surgery. The PRP vs hair transplant debate presents a crucial crossroads for those grappling with hair loss. These two distinct hair loss treatments offer unique benefits for individuals seeking to rejuvenate their appearance.

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy and hair transplantation, providing a comprehensive comparison of both treatment types.

Here are the key points from the article:

  1. PRP THERAPY INVOLVES INJECTING PLATELET-RICH PLASMA TO STIMULATE HAIR GROWTH NON-SURGICALLY, WHILE HAIR TRANSPLANT SURGICALLY RELOCATES HAIR FOLLICLES FOR A PERMANENT SOLUTION.
  2. PRP HAS A HIGH SUCCESS RATE WITH SOME INDIVIDUALS ACHIEVING FULL REMISSION AFTER 3 MONTHS, WHILE HAIR TRANSPLANT HAS A HIGH SUCCESS RATE OF 95%-99%.
  3. PRP REQUIRES MULTIPLE SESSIONS OVER TIME. HAIR TRANSPLANT IS TYPICALLY A ONE-TIME PROCEDURE
  4. PRP SESSIONS WILL INCUR EXPENSES AS LONG AS THERAPY CONTINUES, MEANWHILE, A HAIR TRANSPLANT REQUIRES A LARGE SUM AMOUNT TO BE PAID JUST ONCE.


Read on to find out which hair loss treatment suits you the best. 

Differences Between PRP Therapy and Hair Transplant

While both balding solutions have their merit, PRP and hair transplant can be applied in combination as well. Several factors go into deciding if PRP or hair transplant will be effective for you. 

  • TREATMENT TYPE
  • TREATMENT PROCESS
  • HAIR GROWTH RESULTS
  • DURATION OF TREATMENT
  • ELIGIBILITY AND SUITABILITY
  • COST
  • RECOVERY TIME
  • NATURALNESS OF RESULTS
  • RISK OF COMPLICATIONS


It’s advised that hair loss patients discuss the viability of PRP and hair transplant with their hair clinic, but in the meantime, let’s take a quick look at the differences between these two treatments.

Treatment Type

Hair Transplant:

Hair transplant surgery is a non-invasive, permanent solution to hair loss or hair thinning. There are different techniques of hair transplantation, but the most popular one is FUE. As the transplanted hair grafts grow, the patient attains the full head of hair they wanted.  

Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy:

PRP helps heal wounds and promote healthy cell growth. Platelets in PRP become activated when injected into the scalp and release over 20 growth factors, which promote hair growth.

PRP is non-surgical solution that has potential benefits for hair loss prevention.

Treatment Process

Hair Transplant:

Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy:

hair transplantation process, hair graft process
PRP hair transplant, prp treatment, prp dr serkan aygin
  1. Consultation: Your hair transplant surgeon will inspect the are afflicted with hair loss. This way, the number of transplanted hairs can be determined depending on the hair loss situation. 
  2. Before the Surgery: Make sure to not take blood thinners (such as aspirin), alcohol, or tobacco products for 3 days. Wear a button-down shirt or a hoodie with zippers to avoid scraping the scalp. 
  3. During the Surgery: The hair transplant surgery lasts for approximately 6 hours. Candidates for hair transplant are recommended to not talk or move around too much during the surgery. 
  1. Consultation: Depending on your condition, your hair specialist might decide that PRP Therapy is the best hair treatment option for you. 
  2. Before the Session: Make sure to eat a healthy meal 2 hours before the session to ensure that your blood pressure doesn’t go down. 
  3. During the Session: A small amount of blood is drawn, usually from your arm, and put into the centrifuge. The blood separates into three parts: platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma, and red blood cells. PRP is isolated and put into a syringe. Local anesthesia is applied to the scalp and PRP is injected. This procedure takes 20-30 mins. 

Platelets in PRP become activated when injected into the scalp and release multiple growth factors, which promote hair growth up to 12 months.

Transplanted hairs might take approximately 1 year to grow and reach a natural state. Keep in mind that hair transplant is permanent, which means you will reap the benefits of your hair restoration treatment for the rest of your life.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d happy to help you!

Hair Growth Results

Hair Transplant:

The real success rate of a hair transplant can only be calculated by the grafts that survived 12 months after surgery, as this is the criteria that determine hair density and thickness. It is proven over time that:

  • SUCCESS RATE IS AROUND 95%-99% IN TURKEY’S HAIR TRANSPLANT CLINICS
  • BAD RESULTS ARE ONLY SEEN IN 1,97% OF THE CASES.
  • 96.8% OF PEOPLE ACHIEVED THE RESULTS THEY WANTED IN 2 PROCEDURES AT MOST 

Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy:

PRP is biologically unique to every person, so it’s difficult to calculate the true efficiency of this hair treatment method. In a study where 45 male and female participants were injected with PRP once a month:

  • 60% OF PATIENTS ACHIEVED FULL REMISSION AFTER 3 MONTHS
  • 96% OF PARTICIPANTS HAD HAIR GROWTH AFTER THE FIRST MONTH
  • ONLY 31% OF PATIENTS RE-EXPERIENCED HAIR LOSS AFTER STOPPING TREATMENTS

Duration of Treatment

Hair Transplant:

Usually, hair transplant surgery is a one-and-done solution that takes around 5-8 hours. The higher the number of grafts, the longer hair transplant surgery takes.

PRP:

One session takes 30 to 60 minutes, based on the area that needs to be treated. Usually, sessions would be every 2-3 months. After the main therapy, patients are recommended to continue maintenance treatments every 6-12 months.

Eligibility And Suitability

 FACTORS

Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy

Hair Transplant

Female

✔️

✔️

Male

✔️

✔️

Androgenic alopecia below Norwood VII

✔️

✔️

Above the age of 60

✔️

✔️

Androgenic alopecia above Norwood VII

✔️

Thrombocytopenia or anemia patient

✔️

Burn victim or has trauma scars

✔️

Alopecia areata

✔️

Below the age of 20

✔️

Autoimmune disorders

✔️

Going through chemotherapy

✔️

Pregnant or breastfeeding

Has blood-borne diseases or infections

Cost

Hair Transplant:

Hair transplant cost is calculated by multiplying the number of grafts and the price per graft. A hair transplant usually costs around $10.000 to $50.000 if you’re getting it in Europe, the US, or Canada. Turkey hair transplants usually cost around $2000 to $15.000 depending on the extent of the recipient area.

PRP:

The cost of PRP injections usually ranges between 50-500$ per session, depending on the condition of your scalp. Many hair restoration clinics offer package deals for patients who want to go through several sessions. 

Most hair restoration treatments are considered as a cosmetic procedure, therefore, most insurance plans don’t cover them.

Is PRP Cheaper Than a Hair Transplant?

Both yes and no. For people who have lower-level hair loss, a PRP treatment can be a costly choice. PRP is a therapy treatment that can be repeated throughout the year. So, the more sessions you need the more money you will pay. 

Hair transplant, on the other hand, is a one-time procedure. If you experience severe hair loss, a hair transplant is a cost-effective option.

Recovery Time

Hair Transplant:

Hair transplant is a good option for patients who want to return to their normal routine immediately, as there’s no need to stay in a hospital. The downtime after hair transplant is basically zero, but it is recommended that you rest for the first few days. 

The first week after the surgery, you will start to experience minor pain, scarring, itching, scabbing, swelling, and bleeding. Make sure to avoid any strenuous activity and take pain medication as instructed by your doctor. After the initial healing period, most problems will subside. 

Always follow the aftercare instructions your doctor provides.

PRP:

You can nearly immediately return to your normal activities, although resting for a day after therapy is recommended. 

You might experience minor amounts of pain, bruising, or swelling after the treatment. These subside in a few days. Rules to follow for 48 hours if you want thicker hair after PRP therapy: 

🚿 DON’T WASH THE INJECTION ZONE

🍺 DON’T CONSUME ALCOHOL

☕ DON’T CONSUME CAFFEINATED DRINKS

💊 DON’T TAKE BLOOD-THINNING MEDICATION AND SUPPLEMENTS

🧊 DON’T APPLY ICE OR HEAT TO COMBAT THE PAIN

Naturalness Of Results

Hair Transplant:

A skilled plastic surgeon can transform your whole appearance using your hair follicles. 85% of people weren’t able to identify the male or female patient that had a hair transplant out of 5 photographs.

PRP:

Platelets in the PRP solution activate dormant hair follicles to stimulate natural hair growth, increasing hair volume and density gradually. The hair follicles remain in their original place on your scalp with your hair pattern.

Risk Of Complications

Hair Transplant:

Up to 3 months, you might experience other side effects such as folliculitis or scalp necrosis. Most of these problems are easily managed by hair restoration experts, so make sure to have routine checks with your doctor. You might also face shock loss (telogen effluvium), where grafted follicles shed some hair. Shock loss stops after approximately 1 month.

PRP:

PRP is an autologous procedure, meaning the platelets are supplied from the patient’s blood. This reduces the chance of an allergy or an immune reaction to zero. The complications caused by PRP injection are very rare. The main complications are the risk of infection caused by poor handling of blood supply and pain at the injection area. In extreme cases, there might be tissue damage.

Which One Is Better For You?

Assess your level of hair loss. If you’re in the beginning stages of baldness, PRP therapy might be more suitable for you. For advanced baldness, hair transplant is the way to go.

Consult with a hair specialist to learn about your hair in a way you’ve never had before and find an answer to the question: ‘Should I get PRP or hair transplant?’

Looking for a fast solution to baldness? You can choose to combine PRP and hair transplant to cover the hairless areas and support hair regrowth.

Consider your budget. For PRP treatment is done in sessions and there will be an ongoing expense. Contrarily, hair transplant has an initial high cost, and over time, the expenses dwindle.

Prp Vs. Hair Transplant Reviews

💉 Want to check out a satisfaction story regarding PRP? Here’s another happy patient of Dr. Serkan Aygın: 

🩺 Or, do you think a hair transplant is the answer for you? Let’s listen to our patient’s review of his hair surgery:

[1] Gupta, S., Paliczak, A., & Delgado, D. (2020). Evidence-based indications of platelet-rich plasma therapy. Expert Review of Hematology. doi:10.1080/17474086.2021.1860002

[2] Stevens, J, and S Khetarpal. “Platelet-rich plasma for androgenetic alopecia: A review of the literature and proposed treatment protocol.” International journal of women’s dermatology vol. 5,1 46-51. 21 Sep. 2018, doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2018.08.004

[3] Trink, A., Sorbellini, E., Bezzola, P., Rodella, L., Rezzani, R., Ramot, Y., & Rinaldi, F. (2013). A randomized, double-blind, placebo- and active-controlled, half-head study to evaluate the effects of platelet-rich plasma on alopecia areata. British Journal of Dermatology, 169(3), 690–694. doi:10.1111/bjd.12397

[4] Ghimire, Rupak Bishwokarma. “Clinical Outcome and Safety Profile of Patients Underwent Hair Transplantation Surgery by Follicular Unit Extraction.” JNMA; journal of the Nepal Medical Association vol. 56,209 (2018): 540-543.

[5] International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, ”International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery: 2022 Practice Census Results”, April 2022

[6] Le, A. D. K., Enweze, L., DeBaun, M. R., & Dragoo, J. L. (2019). Platelet-Rich Plasma. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 38(1), 17–44. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2018.08.001

[7] International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, 2010 Hair Transplant Challenge Survey Results Summary.

[] Gentile, Pietro et al. “The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Hair Regrowth: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Stem cells translational medicine vol. 4,11 (2015): 1317-23. doi:10.5966/sctm.2015-0107.