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Reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Have questions about PRF hair restoration? We’ve got answers.
If you feel like you’re dealing with dramatic hair loss, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Two in three men will experience some hair loss by the age of 35, while approximately 85 percent will have “significantly thinning hair” by the age of 50, according to the American Hair Loss Association.
You might be familiar with hair transplants as a potential remedy. But you may not be as familiar with platelet-rich fibrin (PRF), a medical treatment for hair restoration.
What is PRF hair restoration? Is it a cost-effective and, more importantly, safe way to encourage natural hair growth?
This guide will explore everything there is to know about this type of hair restoration therapy, including how it works, whether it’s safe, its effectiveness and PRF hair restoration cost.
Platelet-rich fibrin hair treatment — or platelet-rich fibrin hair restoration — is a hair restoration surgery that involves injecting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.
Platelet-rich plasma is a combination of plasma (the liquid portion of blood) and platelets, a type of blood cell that helps with healing throughout the body. Simply put, platelet-rich plasma is the blood that contains more platelets than normal.
Platelets can trigger cell reproduction and stimulate tissue regeneration in the treated area. PRP injections can be effective in treating both male and female pattern hair loss and baldness — also known as androgenic alopecia. They can also help stimulate hair regrowth after hair transplants.
Platelet-rich fibrin is considered an advanced version of platelet-rich plasma that uses fibrin, a protein generated by the body during blood clot formation.
Both platelet-rich fibrin and PRP are collected in the same way. A blood sample is collected and then placed in a machine that rapidly spins the sample — a process known as centrifugation — separating the blood components.
However, there are differences between platelet-rich plasma and platelet-rich fibrin that make PRF hair restoration the preferred method.
Platelet-rich plasma is processed at a higher centrifuge speed and through a double centrifugation process, while PRF goes through a slower speed of centrifugation.
This slower speed of centrifugation for PRF allows white blood cells and stem cells to remain within the platelet layer instead of being separated into three distinct layers. This gives PRF an increased concentration of growth factors, whether used for wound healing or hair regrowth.
After the fibrin is separated and collected from the blood sample, it’s administered to the scalp via direct injections. The entire process typically takes less than 10 minutes. PRF treatments are usually given every six to eight weeks, with three treatments minimum.
After hair replacement surgery, it’s recommended to not wash your hair for eight hours post-procedure and to avoid sun exposure for at least a week.
New hair growth may begin within three to six months of treatment.
Similar to other hair transplant treatments, PRF hair restoration treatment can have potential side effects.
You may experience mild pain, swelling, soreness and minor bruising at the injection sites or on your scalp from the needle.
In a review of three patients who underwent PRF hair restoration treatments, mild bruising and inflammation of the scalp only lasted for a few days, and no pain medication was necessary.
Since PRF is extracted from your blood with no additives — as opposed to platelet-rich plasma to extract fibrin — this treatment is extremely safe, with no risk of allergic reaction and very little risk of infection or complication.
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“Cost effective and affordable. My hair keeps growing thicker, fuller, and at a fast rate.”
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“In just as little over two and half months, I can really see the difference in thickness and in color.”
“4-months strong and my confidence boosted back up to 100% using Hims, future me really does thank me.”
“I’m a 34-year-old father of two and have been using Hims for over a year now. My hair is back to what it was in my mid-twenties.”
PRF hair restoration costs can vary, but due to the advanced effects of platelet-rich fibrin, patients can expect it to be more expensive than platelet-rich plasma.
Platelet-rich plasma treatments can cost between $500 and $2,500. The cost of PRF hair restoration has a ballpark estimate of $600 to $900 per treatment, depending on the results you want.
Costs can vary depending on location, facility and the expertise of the doctor performing the treatment. We should also note that few insurance plans cover the cost of PRF treatment.
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While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved the use of PRP in bone graft treatments, some healthcare providers may use the treatment to address other health issues — including hair loss.
Platelet-rich fibrin hair restoration is a non-surgical treatment that’s beneficial for a common type of hair loss known as androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. A blood sample from the patient is used to gather platelets and a protein called fibrin. These are injected into the scalp to promote hair growth.
PRF is fairly successful, and people may like the idea of using their cells to stimulate natural hair growth. However, more research is needed on the success rates, and treatments can be costly.
Hair restoration treatments are one way to treat male pattern hair loss — but they’re not the only option.
The two most common medical treatments for hair loss are minoxidil (Rogaine®) and finasteride (Propecia®). You can also explore more hair loss treatments online and discuss whether PRF hair restoration is right for you with a healthcare provider.