Your blood contains three components: red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma. Plasma has an important role to play in your body, as it is a rich source of growth factors. Growth factors are critical in helping your body stimulate growth and regeneration. After scientists discovered that plasma could be helpful in regenerating cells in your body, PRF therapy was developed. PRF stands for platelet-rich fibrin. It has been used for decades to stimulate healing in injured ligaments, joints, skin, tendons, and muscles. Now its use is being extended to hair growth, and we are proud to offer this service at Elite Health Hawaii!
The PRF procedure works like this: a small amount of blood is extracted from your body and placed into a centrifuge, which spins and separates your blood cells from your plasma. The PRF product is spun at a slower speed so that the layers of the blood do not totally separate. This allows some of the white blood cells and stem cells to remain within the platelet layer that is collected for treatment. Once this is completed, we are able to reinsert this fibrin back into the area of your body that requires cell regeneration. For hair growth, this means injecting platelet-rich fibrin into the areas of your scalp that have been suffering from hair loss.
One of the main benefits of PRF is, since we are using your own blood, there is no risk of allergic reaction, disease or contamination. Rare side effects of PRF injections are the same as for most other injections and can include temporary pain or bruising at the injection area, or injury to blood vessels or nerves. There is no downtime, but it’s best to avoid hair maintenance procedures such as blow-drying or processing for a few days while the plasma begins the regeneration process. Treatments should be performed once a month for three or four months, then every six to twelve months afterward. You’ll begin to see results within one to two months. We often combine the PRF hair growth procedure with prescribed topical medications as well as other modalities to get the most hair growth possible.
PRF for Hair Loss works best for patients who are in the early stages of hair loss (stages where you begin to see thinning) rather than the advanced, but it’s best to see us for a consultation to find out if you are an ideal candidate for this therapy.
Anybody with thinning hair is a good candidate, women as well as men. As long as there is a small amount of hair in the area, it will likely regrow with PRF and our other modalities. Dr. Sanderson will design a custom program for your hair regrowth upon consultation.
The number of treatments required will vary depending on your level of hair thinning or loss. Most people require at least 2 treatments and some will need 4 or 5 to begin with. The treatments will be spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Maintenance will require 1-2 sessions per year depending on what other modalities you use as well as your overall health. Dr. Sanderson will be able to give you a better idea of how many treatments you’ll require and what other modalities will be appropriate for you during your consultation.
The procedure takes 60-90 minutes including the nerve block, blood draw, PRF processing, and injections.
This depends heavily on who performs the procedure, some providers will only apply gel or “cooling air”. Dr. Sanderson utilizes 3 layers of anesthetic including a nerve block to make your scalp numb prior to the injections. Most patients with Dr. Sanderson have very little to no discomfort.
There really is no downtime or recovery time. You may shower that evening. We do ask that you avoid direct sunlight or high heat for at least 48 hours. It is also required that you avoid putting any chemicals or lotions or medications on your scalp, other than what is provided by Dr. Sanderson, for at least 48 hours.
The procedure does not cure baldness. Unfortunately, you will always have the genetic predisposition toward alopecia but with regular treatments, Dr. Sanderson can help you maintain thicker, more dense hair for years.
The PRF itself does not have any side effects. If we choose to use minoxidil, this can cause some drying and itching of the scalp. Finasteride, also called Propecia, is popular for slowing hair loss but given systemically can cause sexual side effects in men. We choose to use topical finasteride to avoid these side effects and to achieve a higher concentration of the medicine in the scalp than would be achieved with oral medication. When you take the medication orally, it will go everywhere in your body and only a small amount will go to your scalp. When you apply it topically, you will get a much higher concentration at the are of application and much lower concentrations elsewhere. The finasteride and minoxidil can be combined into a single foam for your convenience.