Potomac Plastic Surgery is always exploring new solutions to help Washington DC plastic surgery patients look their best. We’ve been using stem cells with fat transfer for facial rejuvenation, now we’re looking into the use of stem cells in hair loss treatment. Both our male and female patients have reported issues with thinning hair and are looking for natural improvement.
What are PRF Injections?
PRF stands for Platelet Rich Fibrin. A small amount of blood is taken for your arm. The blood is immediately processed in the office to separate its component platelets, stem cells, and fibrin from the red blood cells. This PRF is then injected into the desired area. This is relatively new technique physicians use for a variety of treatments.
Difference between PRF and PRP
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) are similar, but differences exist that suggest that PRF is superior for hair restoration. PRF is PRP with the inherent fibrin and stem cells included, which are normally present in blood. PRP discards the fibrin and stem cells along with the red blood cells, leaving the platelets.
Creating PRF from blood is very similar to PRP. Blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate its components. PRF is generated at decreased spin speed and time, so that the stem cells are included with the platelets. In addition, the lower centrifuge speed causes less trauma to the living cells in blood.
Initially, doctors considered the platelets alone for regenerative hair growth and cosmetic applications. Evidence from scientific research suggests that addition of stem cells and fibrin to PRP is more effective for hair growth than PRP alone.
Hair regrowth with PRF
First, the hair follicles in the natural resting phase of the hair growth cycle are transitioned to the growth phase. Imagine existing hair follicles being revived from slumber from the growth factors, stem cells, and platelets in PRF. Second, hair follicles become thicker. Thin hair will gradually strengthen with time.
PRF works on areas with hair follicles that are not dead, but rather dormant. PRF can activate dormant hair follicles, leading to growing hair and thicker hair.
Hair regrowth usually takes about 3 months to notice an effect.
Hair Growth Procedure with PRF
Blood is drawn from the arm into tubes, usually about the same amount as needed for typical lab testing. The tubes of blood are placed in a centrifuge for a few minutes. The PRF is then ready for injection.
Your scalp is washed and topical or local anesthesia may be applied to reduce any brief discomfort. Next, PRF is injected directly into the scalp in multiple areas of thinning hair. Patients can often return work soon after treatment.
Each PRF procedure takes only about one hour, and hair growth typically develops gradually over a period of months after starting the process. We currently recommend three PRF injections about one month apart initially. Patients with thinning hair can then return approximately quarterly or yearly for maintenance and prevention.
Ideal candidate for PRF Hair Restoration
Healthy individuals experiencing hair loss are potential candidates for PRF hair restoration. In addition, patients should have realistic expectations of results and that PRF hair restoration is a process. Treatments may need to be repeated for desired results.
PRF hair restoration works best when the patient notices early hair loss. PRF is not effective for complete balding. For patients with significant hair loss, then a combined approach is often recommended, which may include drugs (ex. Minoxidil, Finasteride), PRF, and hair transplant.
PRF works well for both men and women, especially those in the early stages of hair loss.
Interested in hair loss treatments or procedures for thinning hair? Contact the office to see if you’re a candidate for PRF hair restoration.