PRF: The New “Gold-Standard” for Hair Restoration

In Birmingham, AL

By Blake Raggio MD

handsome man playing with hair in the mirror | Raggio Facial Plastic Surgery

Published on April 2021

PRF: The New “Gold-Standard” for Hair Restoration

You may recall from my January BOOM! article- Hair Restoration: What are my Options? –that we discussed the wonderful benefits of Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for restoring a more youthful look to the hair. This month, I’d like to revisit the topic of non-surgical hair restoration and introduce you to Platelet-rich Fibrin (PRF), the second generation of PRP which many consider the new “gold-standard” for non- surgical hair restoration.

How are PRP and PRF Similar?
Both PRP and PRF rely on a blood draw and subsequent centrifugation (spinning) to separate the stem cells and other growth factors from the rest of the blood components. The portion of the blood containing the stem cells and growth factors, or plasma, is collected and injected into areas of thinning hair to decrease hair loss, enhance the consistency of current hair, and promote new hair growth for both Men and Women suffering from thinning hair or hair loss.

What makes PRF Better than PRP?
Although there are basic similarities between PRP and PRF, several important differences exist that make PRF the preferred option for non-surgical hair restoration:

1) PRF requires less amount of blood to be drawn.
2) PRF does not require the addition of anticoagulants to “activate” the platelets, whereas PRP does.
3) PRF harvesting utilizes a less traumatic centrifuge protocol compared to PRP, thus producing a higher concentration of platelets, white blood cells, and growth factors that result in more effective hair restoration.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for PRF?
First, it is worth noting that hair loss affects up to 85% of males and 40% of females and incidence increases with age for both sexes. That said, PRF is a great option for both Men and Women looking to counteract the early stages of hair loss. PRF may also benefit those suffering from traction alopecia (thinning secondary to extreme pulling on the hair) and serves as a great alternative for
people who are reluctant to regularly take hair restorative medications (e.g., Rogaine, Propecia).

What can I Expect on the Day of my Procedure?
First, a small amount of blood is drawn. The
blood is then “spun down” using a custom centrifuge with a specific PRF protocol. The scalp is cleansed and marked for areas to be treated. The PRF is then injected in the areas of thinning hair, typically targeting the hairline, temporal recesses, and/ or crown of the head using very small needles (similar size to Botox needles). The discomfort is minimal, often described as “ant-bites” or “pinpricks.” The total procedure time-blood draw, centrifuge, and injection, takes no more than 15-20 minutes and is conveniently done in the office setting.

Is there any Downtime after a PRF Injection?
No. Your only precautions are to keep the scalp clean for the next several hours. You may experience some slight pinkness or tenderness near the injected area, but this is often temporary and resolves within minutes to hours after the procedure. Some patients take Tylenol if they experience a slight headache, though this often unnecessary. You may return to work immediately and may resume your normal showering or bathing routines immediately as well. For added safety, it is recommended you refrain from blow drying, coloring, or curling your hair for 3 days after the procedure.

When can I Expect Hair Growth?
You should note a marked decrease in hair thinning and shedding after 3-4 months, but it will take up to 9-12 months to see new hair growth. For optimal hair restoration results, it is recommended to undergo 4 injections separated over 4 months, with “maintenance” injections scheduled every 6-12 months thereafter to maintain results.

How can I Learn More?
If you are interested in learning more about PRF and hair restoration, I suggest consulting with a physician experienced in both surgical and non-surgical hair restoration methods so that you receive a thorough and non-biased evaluation.

Lastly, choose a surgeon whom you trust.
There are few things more important than
your relationship with your doctor.
In Good Health,

Blake Raggio, M.D
Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

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    I am a week post-op from my cosmetic rhinoplasty with Dr. Blake Raggio, a Facial Plastic Surgeon here in Birmingham, Alabama. I just had my cast removed today and I could not be happier with my results already!

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    Dr. Raggio is the absolute best! He listens and is very precise with his injections. I am extremely happy with the results I have gotten with him. He does not push any services on you, either. I have uploaded two pictures to show the difference. I get Botox and lip filler.

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