Hair Transplant vs. PRP Hair Restoration: What’s Better?
Hair Transplant vs. PRP Hair Restoration: What’s Better?

Many people frustrated with thinning or balding hair will try whatever methods possible to regrow or increase the thickness of their hair.  However, several cheap over the counter creams and shampoos cannot give you the results you’re looking to achieve.  The good news is that there are procedures that can give that head of hair you’ve been wanting.  Hair transplants and PRP hair restoration are two of the most popular hair restoration procedures available.  We took a deep dive into both methods to give you a full overview so that you can decide which would work best for you and your needs.

What Is A Hair Transplant?

A hair transplant, short for hair transplantation, is a surgical technique that actually removes hair follicles from one part of the body where hair is growing and transplanting those follicles to an area that is balding or bald.  Hair transplants are an outpatient surgery, meaning you won’t need to spend the night in the hospital.  Typically, and depending on how large the area is, a hair transplant surgery will take anywhere from 4-8 hours.  This procedure usually involves the surgeon injecting a numbing agent to  the balding area and then removing a strip of skin from there and creates several small skin grafts using that skin.  These grafts are then placed in the balding area in order to replace the follicles that aren’t growing hair in that area.  Most patients describe tenderness of the treated area following the procedure, and you will most likely be given antibiotics and pain medication to take in the days after your hair transplant.

What Is PRP Hair Restoration?

PRP hair restoration specifically stands for platelet-rich plasma restoration, which is a method used by doctors to accelerate healing in certain areas of the body.  This type of treatment is more commonly used with patients that experience illnesses or issues where the hair follicle slows down but doesn’t die completely, such as conditions like alopecia.  Platelet-rich plasma restoration uses platelets in your blood that promote healing in all situations, therefore PRP often promotes growth in areas where growth has slowed down.

Is Hair Transplant or PRP Hair Restoration Better?

It is impossible to direct each individual patient toward which option is better for them, so instead we invite you to decide for yourself.   As a person with thinning or balding hair, you know which specific procedure is more tailored toward your needs.  If you know that the areas affected have been bald for some time, then hair transplant is probably more what you are needing to see new hair growth.  On the other hand, if you are suffering from a condition where your hair is just simply slowing down in growth or needs to amplify growth for some reason, then PRP hair restoration may be a better  choice for you.  We invite all patients to consult with us regarding their hair growth goals and desires to ensure that we are able to recommend the best hair procedure for them.

5 Hair Loss Treatments Recommended by Doctors
5 Hair Loss Treatments Recommended by Doctors

There is so much meaning connected with our hair— whether we wear it long, short, natural, of varying textures, or treated with color, there’s a reason why we call it our crowning glory. Even though we attach so much meaning to our hair, nearly 30 million women live with hair loss or deal with hair that’s thinning. For many, genetics plays a role in hair loss, factors such as diet, illness, stress and time can worsen the problem. Instead of letting this issue affect our self-esteem and whereby we see ourselves, there are now several options for restoring our hair back.

Options for getting thicker hair

Hair growth can greatly decrease due to many circumstances and factors, which produces thinning and hair loss. When hair follicles temporarily stop growing and start to shed, it’s ordinarily because they’ve been presented to particular stressors. As hair becomes thinner over time, it’s owing to the follicles producing finer hairs over sequential cycles. The diameter of hair then grows thinner and the growth cycle grows shorter. Here are four methods top hair-restoration specialists are using with patients fight the problem.

Home devices

At-home light treatment caps give low-level laser therapy (LLLT) by using light at particular wavelengths to increase blood circulation in the scalp.

Who It’s Meant For: Those seeking a progressive solution

Who It’s Not Meant For: Pregnant women and patients with such conditions as epilepsy, thyroid gland disorders, diabetes or cancer.

What to Expect: LLLT brings extra oxygen and nutrients to the head area to support it at the follicular level, encouraging new hair growth and thicker hair. Handheld devices can be done at home, but it is always desirable to undergo light therapy under the guidance of a hair-restoration specialist.

The Au Naturale Way

The demand for using platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to manage hair loss is mostly due to the protocol’s minimally invasive method of making use of the patient’s own growth factors and body nutrients.

Who It’s Meant For: Anyone experiencing androgenetic alopecia for less than 3 to 5 years,

Who It’s Not Meant For: Patientswith underlying medical causes of hair loss such as involving autoimmune disease, iron deficiency, anemia or a hormonal abnormality. Additionally, people who have a scalp disorder such as scarring alopecia.

What You Can Expect: PRP involves drawing 11 or 22 milliliters of blood, whirling down the plasma in a specialized centrifuge, removing the PRP, and then injecting it inside the subdermal areas of the scalp. “I combine this treatment with an oral supplement, Nutrafol, and a proprietary topical and low-energy laser treatment,” says Dr. Shamban. After the treatment, Dr. Rapaport suggests patients “go home and take a warm shower, shampoo and caress the scalp, and avoid using chemicals, coloring or hair fibers for 24–48 hours after.” While some published results seem promising, there can be variability in method and result. According to Dr. Ziering, “I blend PRP with Acell, with my clientele, and when performed every 12 to 18 months, PRP decreases shedding, stabilizes hair loss and encourages overall hair condition and strength.”

Use of RX or OTC

Hair-loss medicines work to hinder the hormones that cause hair miniaturization.

Who They’re Meant For: A doctor will suggest whether prescription birth control pills, for post-menopausal women, finasteride (aka Propecia), is sufficient. Topical minoxidil (found in Rogaine) up to 5 percent has been approved for OTC treatment for women.

Who They’re Not Meant For: Finasteride isn’t approved for women who haven’t gone through menopause; topical minoxidil can produce scalp inflammation.

What to Expect during the first few weeks: Additional shedding may happen as hair switches from an inert to active state. Best results can be observed by 12 months. “I always advise patients to continue using Rogaine and Propecia, even following a hair transplant, because it will simply further supply the other native hairs with nourishment that may have a proclivity to thin and miniaturize,” says facial plastic surgeon Natalie Attenello, MD.

A Modern-Day Transplant

Hair-restoration surgery is the only sound option to manage hair loss. Whereas other treatments operate to slow hair loss, surgery helps place hair wherever there isn’t. “Surgery should be the final resort if all other efforts to manage the progression of hair loss have been tried,” says Dr. Ziering. “It’s also necessary to note that nonsurgical methods can be coupled with surgical protocols for a further integrated approach to managing hair loss.”

Who It’s For: Those with hair loss attributed to genetic/hormonal issues, or from scarring or surgery

Who It’s Not For: Those with severe keloid scarring or scarring alopecia

Procedure Duration: Around eight hours, which varies by procedure

Time of recovery: About a week

What to Expect: The donor site (behind the scalp) is anesthetized and a piece of hair holding the follicles is extracted, which are then collected under a microscope and the hairs are separated into follicular units, or groups of one, two or three; or the donor site can be shaved and follicles extracted one by one. The regions where the units will be grafted are also anesthetized and the hair is laid.

Post-Surgery Expectations: A little discomfort and swelling may happen, but wanes after a few days. Scabbing at the transplant site is normal. “The first few days post-op, I suggest using ice, massaging regularly and sleeping at a 45-degree angle as a precaution against forehead edema,” says Dr. Ziering. “Also, no sun exposure for at least 3 months to avoid the risk of hyperpigmentation.” Some growth can be observed at 3 months; further growth will be apparent in 6 to 9. “The grafted hairs quickly become ‘rooted’ into the scalp, and following a short rest period of several months, they begin to grow for the rest of your life,” states Dr. Attenello.

The Hair Growth Life-Cycle

Stage 1: Hair Starts Growing
Recognized as the anagen phase, this is while cells in the root divide and generate new hair at the root of the follicle, which drives the previous strand out. Hair grows near to the scalp and lengthens down as it proceeds to grow.

Stage 2: Hair Gets a Break
The catagen phase is when hair starts to transition following maximum growth capacity and takes a break. At this stage, it’s still connected to the root, although it finishes growing and prepares to fall out and replenish itself.

Stage 3: Hair at Rest
Designated the telogen phase, this is when hair is resting, and then finally it is discharged and falls out. Ultimately, the follicle remains inactive for 3 months and the entire cycle starts again.

Desirable Lashes and Eyebrows

It just takes one cursory look at Instagram to observe that long lashes and thick brows are a couple of the most desirable features on the face. However just as the hair on our scalp start to thin, so too can our lashes and eyebrows.


Whether the reason for thinning brows is years of plucking, waxing, tweezing or the like, or they’re just thinning out on their own, there are answers. To forever improve sparse eyebrows or bald spots because of a medical condition, medication or the natural process of aging, an eyebrow procedure may be the best choice. During the operation, the doctor will use local anesthesia to extract donor hair from the back of the scalp before transplanting to the eyebrows. Once the region has fully healed, it will be almost impossible to notice the scar.

Expectations: Post-surgery, the region may be sensitive or swelled. For the first few days, scabbing or crusting may happen near the hair follicle in the brow line. Stitches at the donor site will be removed after 1 week.

Duration of procedure: Around 2 hours

Time of discovery: 3 to 7 days


Aging can make eyelashes grow weak and inclined to breakage, causing them to seem short, thin or scattered. An eyelash transplantation can forever restore the hair. Eyelash restoration surgery can enhance lashes and restart a healthy growth cycle, but it can’t get lashes to be thicker or fuller like mascaras and fake eyelashes. It’s more for restoring what’s lost.

Expectations: The surgery, which may only be performed on the higher lashes, uses tiny grafts of donor hair from the head. OVer the first several day post-surgery, the areas may crust, swell or grow pink. It can take 2 months for hair to start growing and one year to observe the ultimate outcome.

Time of procedure: 2 to 4 hours

Time of recovery: 3 to 7 days

PRP Therapy for Androgenetic Alopecia
PRP Therapy for Androgenetic Alopecia

As the most common form of hair loss, Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) affects thousands of people every day.  If you or someone you know suffers from AGA, there may be a new solution.  Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy, also known as PRP therapy, has provided new hope for those dealing with AGA.

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?

AGA is characterized by the miniaturization of hair follicles which doctors believe could be due to high levels of dihydrotestosterone or DHT or alterations in the androgen receptor gene.  The changes that these characterizations cause include a decreased number of hairs in the anlagen, or active growth, phase.  This causes terminal follicles to turn into vellus-like follicles, which are hair follicles that are typically two millimeters long and tend not to grow and eventually fall out.

How Can PRP Therapy Help?

Platelet-Rich Therapy helps those with AGA by enhancing the limited action of growth factors that are created by the increased levels of DHT typically found in people with AGA.  Additionally, there are anti-anti-inflammatory benefits of PRP therapy which are helpful in treating Androgenetic Alopecia as it typically causes skin inflammation and hair follicle inflammation.

PRP Therapy Research

There have been observational and randomized clinical trials performed to test the effectiveness of PRP therapy helping patients with AGA.  Recent analysis has shown that PRP therapy is successful in treating patients with AGA, using hair density as the measure of success.  The other studies performed have been uncontrolled but have shown improvements in hair count, hair density and hair thickness.

Thus far, the most significant evidence has been from a randomized clinical trial in female pattern hair loss.  The trial used twenty patients who were all treated with twelve weekly sessions of intra-perifollicular PDRN injections, and twenty patients who were treated with one session of PRP prior to the twelve weekly injections.  The hair thickness of the PRP + PDRN injections group showed greater improvement than the group who only received the injections without the PRP therapy.

Possible Side Effects

There have been few side effects reported with PRP therapy, however, those that have experienced side effects have reported only minimal discomfort.  Side effects that are commonly reported include erythema, edema, headaches, drowsiness, mild pain, temporary swelling, and scalp sensitivity.

Source: Jeffrey A. Rapaport, Sarah G. Versteeg, and Aditya K. Gupta

New Non-Surgical Option for Alopecia & Hair Restoration
New Non-Surgical Option for Alopecia & Hair Restoration
Have you been considering the various options that are available to those living with the devastating affects of Alopecia?  Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy, or PRP, as it has come to be known, is a new nonsurgical option for those suffering from a variety of Alopecia conditions.  If you’ve been living with this condition and are ready to make a change, PRP may be the perfect solution for you.
What Exactly is PRP?

Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy, more commonly referred to as PRP, is a nonsurgical option that has been studied and shown to achieve results in a shorter time frame than many of the alternative options.

The science behind PRP therapy is that it helps to “elicit regenerative pathways”, effectively resulting in increased hair growth.  Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy works through growth factors and cytokines that are secreted which encourage hair follicles to enter into the active growth phase.  PRP therapy then prolongs this phase, also known as the anagen phase, by pushing cells to multiply and develop new blood vessels through protein pathways that are vital to multiple cell processes.

This process may sound confusing, so to put it in more straight forward terms, PRP therapy gives hair growth cells what they need to grow hair and continue growing hair.

Who Can PRP Help?

Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy has shown promising results for people living with various forms of Alopecia.  Specifically, Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), Alopecia Areata (AA), and Cicatricial Alopecia (CA) and with minimal side effects reported after therapy.  Case study candidates have reported improvements in hair count, thickness of hair, and additional microscopic evaluations have been noted with those having AGA specifically.

PRP therapy for Alopecia Areata (AA) patients is a potential option due to the various clinical trials that have been performed.  The random clinical trials that have been done to this point have shown that PRP therapy has produced results that are superior to both intralesional triamcinolone acetonide injections and minoxidil topical ointment, which are the prior most used solutions for AA.

Patients with Cicatricial Alopecia (CA) have not had as many random clinical trials performed as AA patients have, therefore the success rate cannot be definitively determined at this point.  However, case series do exist that hav been successful in patients with alopecia scarring.

PRP with Surgical Hair Restoration

Lastly, there has been evidence showing that combining Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy with surgical hair restoration techniques can result in further increased hair growth.  After surgical hair restoration has been performed, PRP therapy has been effective in promoting tissue repair, minimizing scarring and promoting new hair growth.

While PRP therapy is still a new solution for those that have a form of alopecia, it definitely shouldn’t be counted out as a viable option.  Given the case studies performed, it is safe to say the Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy is something that is here to stay and will hopefully help hundreds who deal with this condition on a daily basis.

Source: Jeffrey A. Rapaport, Sarah G. Versteeg, and Aditya K. Gupta

How PRP Hair Restoration Can Restore More Than Just Your Hair
How PRP Hair Restoration Can Restore More Than Just Your Hair

When you look in the mirror at your thinning hair, it can undermine your confidence. You may not have the ambition and drive to head out of your house and seize the day, and you may start to shy away from social situations due to your low self confidence when it comes to you hair. You long for your hair to start growing again. For years, there have been many options available for those with thinning hair, which involved hair transplants or medications. Now, there is an new option: PRP hair restoration.

PRP hair restoration is an effective way to enhance the quality of your hair. PRP injections encourage natural hair growth without the need for medications or hair transplants. Platelet-rich plasma injections are created using a concentrated fluid that is taken from your own blood, which is flowing with essential proteins and growth factors.

PRP hair restoration may be a good option for you if:

  • You recently began experiencing hair loss and thinning.
  • You have thinning or “wispy” hair..
  • Your hair loss is due to a sudden illness or stress.

PRP hair restoration may not be a good choice for you if:

  • You suffer from lupus, liver disease, skin diseases or cancers, or thyroid disease.
  • You’ve recently taken a blood thinner.
  • Your hair loss seems to be genetic.

During a PRP hair restoration session, a trained professional will draw blood from your arm and put it inside of a centrifuge and spin it in order to separate it into three parts: red blood cells, platelet rich plasma, and platelet poor plasma. The Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, will be used for your treatment. The professional will then numb you scalp in the area that is receiving the treatment, and may even offer you a bit of laughing as for added comfort during the procedure. The professional then injects the PRP into you skin, exactly at the level of your hair follicles. A microneedling device may be used during certain sessions.

PRP hair restoration is considered very low when it comes to medical risk, and is less costly than hair transplant procedures. While PRP procedures are fairly new when it comes to medical hair regrowth options, it has proven to be an effective choice. Most patients see results within three to six month of treatment Sex, age, blood flow, and hormonal balance all play a part when it comes to results. Treatment is recommended every four to six months for continuous results.

PRP treatment has little to no side effects that have been reported. Although, some patients do experience slight reactions to the numbing agent used or a slight pain during treatment. There is no down time after a session. While there may be a bit of discomfort at the injection sight, you can still go about your daily routine after leaving the office. Warm showers help to increase blood flow to the area, and could assist in the regrowth process. Avoid washing your hair for a day or two after treatment.


Hair Restoration with PRP in NJ Press Release
Hair Restoration with PRP in NJ Press Release

N.J. dermatologist uses new treatment for hair loss to regrow and thicken follicles without surgery Englewood Cliffs, N.J. (Nov. 26, 2014) – A New Jersey physician has been successfully using a new, nonsurgical treatment for hair loss in men and women that, he insists, could change the entire field of hair restoration.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Rapaport, a dermatologist for 30 years and head of the Cosmetic Skin & Surgery Center, was even featured in a segment on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” where he called platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) “the best-kept secret in the world.”

Up until recently, the only alternatives for treating hair loss were pharmaceuticals – specifically, Minoxidil (such as Rogaine) and DHT blockers (Propecia, for example) – as well as hair transplantation surgery. PRP is a noninvasive option that targets androgenetic alopecia – the hereditary, profuse thinning of hair that comes with age, which is mostly common in men. PRP has also proven to be effective for women in treating cases of hair loss caused by the pulling of hair—from ponytails, pigtails or braids—otherwise known as traction alopecia.

“I had been researching PRP and read about it – and it sounded so good that I didn’t actually believe it,” he said. “I told myself, ‘This thing cannot work the way they say it works.’ Then I read an article published in Dermatologic Surgery, which is the gold standard for peer-reviewed journals in dermatology. Out of 64 patients in Italy, 62 got successful results. And when they reviewed the improvement, 40 to 60 percent was substantial. So I decided to prescribe it in my own office and and see if I could duplicate the results.”

With PRP in New Jersey, a patient’s blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge. The plasma portion is separated from the other portion of the blood by a special gel. The platelets and the growth proteins separate in the tube, and are then collected and injected into the scalp where the hair is thinning.

“I thought it was too good to be true,” Dr. Rapaport said. “I just couldn’t imagine taking someone’s blood, spinning it down, taking the growth factors and being able to get hair growth. So I was very skeptical at the beginning. Now I am a true believer. The results we are seeing are pretty remarkable in terms of the regrowth in good candidates.”

Who makes a good candidate? “The best candidate for PRP is someone who has recently started losing hair,” Dr. Rapaport said. “It will not work for those who are completely bald—it is not a replacement for hair transplant surgery.”

The treatment is about 40 to 80 percent effective, which is a significant amount of improvement with minimal risk and pain.

Dr. Rapaport developed what he calls the “rapid PRP technique,” which is more aggressive because it combines multiple monthly PRP injections with the fairly new technique of microneedling to stimulate hair growth, along with Rogaine.

“Initially, I used just the injections, but the best results came from the combination of treatments” he said. “The increased frequency of the treatments allows the hair to grow in faster and thicker before it enters the maintenance stage.”

The entire process, including the injections, takes about 60 minutes and starts at $400 per session. Dr. Rapaport recommends one treatment per month for the first four months, followed by two maintenance treatments per year. Throughout his career, Dr. Rapaport has only seen a few game-changing hair growth breakthroughs in the field of Dermatology. “PRP is definitely one of them,” he confirmed.

One should note that although the process itself for separating plasma has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, injecting into the scalp to treat hair loss has not yet been reviewed. However, Dr. Rapaport noted, PRP has already been used successfully and safely in many other medical fields. These fields include, but are not limited to, Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Cosmetic Surgery, Oral Surgery and Neurosurgery.

About Jeffrey A. Rapaport, M.D.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Rapaport is Medical Director of Cosmetic Skin & Surgery Center in New Jersey, with offices in Englewood Cliffs and Old Bridge. Certified by the American Board of Dermatology, Dr. Rapaport is a Phi Beta Kappa recipient from Emory University and a graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. After internship at Emory, he completed his advanced training residency at Thomas Jefferson University, where he served as Chief Dermatology Resident. He is a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Chief of Dermatology at Holy Name Hospital.

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