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Which is Better: PRP or Hair Transplant?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Hair loss is a common condition that affects many. It’s nothing to feel embarrassed about because it’s a part of everyone’s lives. But if the thinning of your crowning glory is something to be concerned about, there are a few effective treatments – like hair transplant and PRP to name a couple – you can opt for.

But between PRP and hair transplant, which procedure can treat hair loss better? Hair transplant is a common solution that offers dramatic results. But for anyone searching for a less invasive treatment, PRP is a non-surgical alternative that promotes natural hair regrowth.

Hair Loss: Why it Happens and How to Treat it

Hair loss affects both men and women differently. It is more prevalent in men, as they experience thinning at the crown or a receding “M” shape in the hairline due to male pattern baldness. On the other hand, androgenic alopecia in women forms a different pattern: it may start at the part line or in diffused patches all over the head.

There are medications and procedures developed to reverse alopecia but PRP and hair transplant are two of the most effective treatments many patients opt for because they provide long-term results. Their main difference is that hair transplantation requires surgery while PRP treatment only uses syringes.

PRP Treatment for Hair Loss

PRP or platelet-rich plasma therapy is a less invasive treatment that uses the patient’s plasma to trigger hair growth naturally. It is a three-step procedure that thickens the growing hair shaft alone or in combination with other hair loss treatments.


The price range for PRP therapy is around $1,500-$3,500 for the first three sessions. An additional injection can be bought for at least $400.This rate can still change depending on the clinic’s location and the quality of the equipment used.

The first three sessions are completed 4-6 weeks apart, but the patients need to return for maintenance treatments every 4-6 months.

Patient Qualifications

Both men and women who experience androgenic alopecia because of different reasons can opt for the PRP procedure. However, there are a few restrictions to consider. To know if PRP is the optimal treatment for alopecia, it would be best to consult a doctor first. PRP therapy might not be for you if:

  • You have a low platelet count
  • You are under blood-thinning medications
  • You are a heavy smoker
  • You have drug or alcohol misuse history

The Science Behind PRP Treatment

PRP consists of different proteins and growth factors that repair body tissues faster. It is usually used to treat muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries. Over the last few years, scientists have been developing the usage of PRP as a treatment for androgenic alopecia. PRP aims to repair the damaged hair follicles for more natural hair regrowth.

PRP hair restoration treatment for hair fall works in three steps:

  • Step 1: Collection – A sample is collected from the arm and put into a centrifuge.
  • Step 2: Separation – The centrifuge runs for 10 minutes to separate the sample into three layers: platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma, and red blood cells. Only the platelet-rich plasma layer is utilized for the therapy.
  • Step 3: Injection – A syringe will draw up the platelet-rich plasma from the sample. It will be injected into the treatment areas of the scalp


Patients who opt for PRP treatment reported an increase in hair volume. Additional PRP injections might be needed if the patient wants to maintain hair growth. However, PRP is only effective for hair loss, not the underlying cause. If the hair fall is caused by a more severe medical condition, proper treatment might be necessary to completely reverse hair loss.

Risk and Side Effects

What makes PRP hair restoration treatment safer than a surgical procedure is that it uses the patient’s blood sample. This means there are fewer risks compared to when a foreign substance is introduced to the body.

However, the patient may still experience minor side effects such as:

  • Swelling
  • Scalp tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Itching
  • Mild pain at the injection site
  • Temporary bleeding at the injection site

Hair Transplant for Hair Loss

Hair transplantation is an invasive surgical procedure that takes hair from other parts of your head and places it on the bald spot. Depending on the severity of the baldness, slit graft or micrograft can be performed. Hair transplant surgery is usually carried out in a medical office by an experienced dermatological or plastic surgeon.


The cost of hair transplant surgery will depend on the amount of hair to be moved, the surgeon’s experience, and the technique to be performed. The national average ranges from $4,000 to $15,000.

Since it is classified as a cosmetic procedure, most health insurance plans don’t cover the costs of hair transplantation.

Patient Qualifications

Hair transplant surgery is a good treatment that can dramatically improve the appearance of a balding scalp. Both men and women who experience androgenic alopecia can opt for this treatment. However, transplant surgery might not work for:

  • Women who experience widespread hair loss in their scalp
  • Patients with no “donor hair sites”
  • Patients whose hair fall are caused by chemotherapy or other similar medications

How Hair Transplant Works

Hair transplant surgery is a method that extracts hair from parts of your scalp with thicker hair and transfers it to the balding spots. There are two techniques to choose from: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE)

So what is the difference between these two procedures? In FUT, a strip of scalp skin is removed to extract the hair follicles. These follicular units will then be transferred to the treatment area. For FUE, individual hair follicles are directly plucked from the scalp and moved to the balding spot.

Hair restoration takes at least four hours to be completed. The stitches from the procedure can only be removed after 10 days.


Hair transplants are more effective than other restoration procedures for the hair. Hair fall might still occur two to three weeks after the treatment, but this is completely normal. New hair follicles can be observed 8 to 12 months after the surgery.

Risks and Side Effects

Patients don’t have to worry about major complications with this procedure. However, there are a few minor side effects the patient might experience including:

  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Infection
  • Numbness at the treated area
  • Itching
  • Unnatural-looking hair in some parts

Choosing the Right Treatment

PRPIt is a non-invasive treatment that allows hair follicles to grow naturally.Wrongly injected plasma can cause headaches or infection in the area that lasts for a few days.
Hair TransplantIt provides noticeable results in the treated area that can last a lifetime.Newly transplanted hair can experience “shock loss” that lasts for two to three weeks.

Hair transplant produces remarkable results, but natural hair growth will only take place 8 to 12 months after the surgery. PRP can give you natural hair restoration within a few sessions, but maintenance treatments are needed to maintain the results.

Explore Hair Loss Treatment Options at Ethos Spa

Want to regrow your confidence? Know more about the different hair fall treatment options we offer at Ethos Spa.

Our team of aesthetic experts is committed to providing you the safest and most effective procedures to reverse hair loss. Contact us now to schedule your first consultation.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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