Platelet Rich Fibrin

Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF)

What is PRF?

Platelet Rich Fibrin (also knows as PRF for short) treatment consists of using a small amount of your own blood to stimulate follicular activity in the scalp. PRF contains a high concentration of bioactive constituents including potent growth factors and stem cells. Repeated, regular treatments over time both activate and encourage hair growth while simultaneously improving hair fullness and density.

PRF is used to treat most types of hair-loss including androgenic alopecia (male or female genetic hair-loss and pattern baldness), telogen effluvium (all over hair-thinning), and alopecia areata (patchy hair loss) to name a few.

How is it different to PRP?

While PRP and PRF are very similar in treatment and outcome, there are a few notable differences. In PRP treatment, the tubes used to collect the patients blood include a small amount of anti-coagulant, which prevents the blood from clotting. In PRF, no anti-coagulant is used, making it a 100% natural treatment. This however means that the blood clots faster after being collected, and the treatment has to be administered in a shorter amount of time.

PRP and PRF treatments also differ in the way the blood components are separated. While both are centrifuged to separate the blood components by weight, PRF is the result of a lower g-force. In simpler terms, this means that the majority of growth factors remain within the plasma.

PRF contains more white blood cells, red blood cells and fibrin, while PRP consists more purely and predominately of platelets

How is PRF performed?

Around 5 mL of the patients blood is collected and spun in a centrifuge for a short period of time. When completed, the PRF is extracted from the vials and reinjected back into the scalp via micro-bolus injections into the dermis. Any excess PRF that is left over will be micro-needled into the scalp with a precise, electronic medical device. This ensures that all of the PRF is utilised and distributed fairly evenly across the surface area of the scalp. The whole process from start to finish takes no longer than 20 minutes.

Does it hurt?

The experience of blood collection is the same as getting blood taken from a pathologist/at the doctor for a standard test, except a much smaller amount is needed than usual.

The experience of blood collection is the same as getting blood taken from a pathologist/at the doctor for a standard test, except a much smaller amount is needed than usual.

The PRF injections do generally cause some discomfort, and patients report the sensation to feel like sharp little pinches. This process usually lasts no more than 5 minutes, is performed carefully but quickly, and breaks are administered if need be. The microneedling treatment that follows is often reported as enjoyable to mildly uncomfortable at the very most.
While the injections can be a source of discomfort, numbing cream/local anaesthetic is usually not advised. Talk with your clinician about what options are available to aid in pain relief.

Is it dangerous?

PRF harness the body’s own inflammation response to administer and distribute growth factors to the hair follicles accordingly. Because it is an autologous treatment (using the body’s own components), it is virtually impossible to have an allergic reaction. PRF cannot make things worse, as it only aids in directing and guiding blood flow to a specified area.

Are there any side-effects?

Like any medical treatment, there is the potential for side effects. Fairly common side-effects post PRF treatment include itching, tingling, flaking, burning, stinging, swelling to the treated area, and temporary hair shed. It should be advised that if the patient has issues with a standard blood test re fainting/dizziness/nausea, this may be triggered during blood collection.

What is the down-time?

Most clients return to work after treatment, and some even come on their lunch break! The treatment may leave the patient with some blood spots, redness, and/or greasiness of the hair, however in most cases these symptoms clear up within the hour or so. If patients have an event to attend, it is recommended to leave a space of 24 hours to allow for redness and/or pain to relatively subside. Other than this, PRF is virtually undetectable.

Hair can be washed and styled/manipulated 4 hours post-treatment.

How long until I can expect to see results?

Similarly to PRP, every individual is different and this depends on the quality of the blood, lifestyle factors, medical conditions, diet, stress levels and so on. In general, hair shed can be reduced within the first few sessions, and sometimes even by the first one. After four or so sessions, most patients can expect to see fine baby-hair growth in-between existing hairs, or at sites where there had not previously been hair for some time.
Six treatments spaced out fortnightly produce mild to moderate results over the course of three months. It is recommended to complete twelve treatments every fortnight for six months for best results.

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