Platelet-Rich Plasma and Stem Cells for Hair Growth: A Review of the Literature

Aesthet Surg J. 2020 Mar 23;40(4):NP177-NP188. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjz146.


The prevalence of hair loss, its psychological consequences, and historically subpar treatments present a unique challenge to the physician. The current Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for hair loss are plagued by ineffectiveness, noncompliance, and adverse effects. Recent advances in our understanding of hair physiology have fueled the development of more efficacious, minimally invasive, and safer treatment options for hair restoration including plasma-rich protein and stem cell therapy. Platelet-rich plasma, the autologous preparation of concentrated platelets in plasma, when injected into the scalp of patients with both androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and alopecia areata (AA), has been shown to increase hair count and density. The clinical findings have been supported by histologic evaluation of the scalp skin. These findings have been recapitulated in numerous randomized controlled trials. Stem cell therapy, although newer in its application in hair restoration, has also been effective for treating both AGA and AA. The isolation techniques for stem cells are varied, but regardless have shown promising results in early prospective and retrospective studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia* / therapy
  • Hair
  • Humans
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stem Cells