Background Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has long been used for the restoration of hair in conjunction with microneedling or on its own. Fat grafting to the scalp has also been utilized in the past to improve the quality of hair and the possibility of successful hair transplant. The novel therapy reported in this case series combines the natural progression of these two techniques and utilizes synergistic effects to improve the quality of hair, either in preparation for micrografting or without hair transplant.
Objectives To demonstrate the principles behind the novel approach to restoration of hair and the rationale for its use. Methods A review of the evidence for PRP and fat transfer for non-scarring alopecia serves as the foundation for the combination treatment reported herein. Through presentation of three cases in this series, we provide examples of the utility of this approach for non-scarring alopecia. This report includes a female who suffered non-scarring alopecia following COVID-19 hospitalization and intensive care stay where she lost a large percentage of her hair, in addition to two male patients suffering from androgenic alopecia.
Results Platelet-rich plasma-hybridized adipose transplant hair was shown in these three cases to improve both the quality and density of hair. It improved the density of hair in all patients and was characterized first by a short period of transient hair loss followed by new hair growth which develops starting at 4 weeks and was readily apparent at 12-week follow-up. Results were maintained at 6-month and 1-year follow-up.
Conclusions PHAT hair offers a combination of beneficial effects—namely the unique healing properties and growth signaling provided by PRP, along with adipocyte angiogenic and growth signaling, which both work to improve scalp quality. The combination of these effects is better than previously characterized PRP injections alone in the hands of these individual practices. This may be due to synergistic interactions at a cellular level, but additional clinical studies are needed to better understand this novel treatment and the observed effects.