PRP, Concentration and Volume: Analogy of Coffee vs Expresso

Analogy of Coffee vs Expresso

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I came across an interesting question today whereby a patient wanted to know specifically how much volume (in millilitres) of PRP various clinics used. As I’ll point out here, the question fails to take into account some of the finer details of the PRP procedure. To the hair follicle, volume does not matter as much as CONCENTRATION. What probably matters the most is the number of mL of HIGHLY CONCENTRATED PRP the clinic uses.

To explain the concepts of PRP volume and PRP concentration to patients and physicians, I generally use the analogy of Harry and Sam. 
Meet Sam. Sam works a busy job. Sam is feeling tired and thinks that some caffeine might help him feel more energized and so visits his local coffee shop. Sam is presented with two options for his beverage- a strong 60 mL (2 oz) espresso or a 350 mL (12 oz) large volume coffee/Americano. While making his decision Sam is advised that whichever beverage he chooses he is only allowed one sip and only one sip. This one sip rule is a strange rule but that’s how the coffee shop operates. Sam decides on the espresso. He estimates that one sip of espresso might have 30 mg of caffeine compared to one sip of the large volume coffee/Americano might have only 5 mg of caffeine. Sam considers the espresso as a better choice to wake him up!

Now meet Harry. Harry is a hair follicle. Harry is feeling tired and thinks that some PRP might help the follicle feel more energized and so Harry visits a local PRP clinic. Harry is presented with two options for PRP- 8 mL of PRP at 5 times above baseline volume or 15 mL of PRP at 2-3 times above baseline blood levels. 
While making his decision the PRP doctor advises hair follicle Harry that whichever PRP concentration he chooses his little hair follicle is only allowed to bathe in one tiny injection from the injecting needle.

Harry ultimately chooses the higher concentration of PRP estimates that one little injection of PRP at 5 times above baseline has a much higher concentration of growth factors than PRP at 2-3 times above baseline.

Hair follicle Harry considers the high concentration PRP as a better choice to wake up his hair follicle.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887



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