Hair Loss Treatment - PRF Injections
If you’re noticing more and more hair in the brush or the shower drain every morning, you’re not alone
50 million men in the U.S. suffer from male pattern baldness. It’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair every day, as they are replaced with other hair follicles coming into the growth cycle and growing new hair shafts. But if you’re losing more than 100 hairs every day, you’re on the road to thinning and possibly eventual baldness.
At PowerMD, we have two treatments for hair restoration: platelet-rich fibrin and PowerMD Hair Formula. Both of these work to keep more hair follicles in the active growth phase rather than moving into resting and then full dormancy.
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is made by taking a blood sample and separating out the blood platelets and other parts of the blood. Once these are separated, platelet-rich fibrin contains healing platelets, various growth factors, and leucocytes in a complex fibrin matrix.
Platelet-rich fibrin is confused with platelet-rich plasma, which has been used in aesthetics and injury healing in professional athletes. PRF is a more recent addition but is proving to have higher concentrations of platelets, approximately 10 times the platelet concentration found in a normal blood sample (this contrasts with only 2-5 times the platelets in platelet-rich plasma).
At PowerMD, we start by taking a normal blood sample; it’s the same amount as needed for typical lab work. We then place the blood in our platelet-rich fibrin centrifuge, which operates at the lower speeds necessary to keep white blood cells and stem cells together with the blood platelets and plasma. The PRF is then ready for injection.
The goal of these treatments with Dr. Power is to keep hair follicles from staying in the resting phase or from moving into full dormancy. When that happens, the area of the scalp begins to thin. Once Dr. Power injects your platelet-rich fibrin across areas of thinning hair the concentrated platelets instantly add growth factors to the area. The PRF also increases blood flow, another important element for healthy hair follicles. PRF works in two ways to stem hair loss and regrow new hair: it keeps follicles from entering dormancy, and it awakens newly dormant follicles, so they return to the active phase of the hair growth cycle.
Compare this to strip harvesting or follicular unit extraction, both of which are expensive and relatively painful surgical procedures. PRF is also far more effective than using topical products such as Minoxidil on their own.
After PRF injections, patients notice an end to thinning. Then they begin to see new hair growth, and they notice their hair is thicker (thinner hair shafts are part of male pattern baldness). These results continue to build for about 6 months after your PRF treatment.
As mentioned above, we first take a blood sample. The blood is then placed in our PRF centrifuge, which runs at a slower speed than those used for PRP. This keeps white blood cells and stems cells in with the platelets and plasma, the difference that makes PRF so great. The PRF is then ready for injection.
Next, we wash your scalp and apply topical anesthesia to reduce any discomfort. We also take photos of the treatment areas for before and after comparisons.
Dr. Power then injects the PRF into your scalp in the areas of thinning hair. These are shallow injections made about every one-half inch. We wipe your hair down and the procedure is complete. You can return immediately to your normal activities or work.
Within a month or so, patients typically notice decreased thinning and hair loss. This is the first phase as the growth factors, platelets, and white blood cells work together to increase blood flow to the area. This first phase is stopping more follicles from entering long-term resting or even dormancy.
Over the next few months, you’ll notice hair growth, as more and more follicles return to active hair growth. This will increase your hair count, as follicles that were not active return to growing hair. You’ll also notice a difference in the thickness of your hair shafts.
There isn’t really any recovery. You may take over-the-counter pain medication if you feel any soreness, but you can shower and wash your hair immediately. Don’t use ice packs on your scalp, as the cold can inhibit the PRF activity. Your scalp may be a little pink or red across the treatment areas for several hours after your session. Dr. Power usually recommends holding off one to two days with typical hair maintenance, such as blow-drying, coloring, curling, etc.
Another great aspect of these PRF treatments at PowerMD is their lack of side effects. Because the PRF is created from your blood — simply removing the red blood cells but keeping the platelets, white blood cells, growth factors, and plasma — there isn’t any risk of your body having a reaction to it. There is a minuscule risk of infection, as with any injection, but this is exceedingly rare. These are safe, natural, effective treatments.
In addition to our PRF injections, we advise patients to also apply our PowerMD Hair Formula to help keep more and more hair follicles from entering dormancy. Our PowerMD Hair Formula is ours alone. This is what it is made from:
- Minoxidil 5%
- Trentinoin 0.025%
- Progesterone 0.25%
- Finasteride 0.1%
By mixing certain ingredients in other prescription hair growth treatments, Dr. Power has created an effective addition to our PRF treatments. Here’s why each part of the formula plays a role in hair health:
- Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine.
- Tretinoin helps the product penetrate the scalp, necessitating only a single daily application. This contrasts with over-the-counter Rogaine, which must be applied twice every day.
- Progesterone helps to lower DHT, an androgen known as dihydrotestosterone, that accelerates hair loss.
- Finasteride is the active ingredient in Propecia, which helps prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Finasteride also prevents the side effects that are seen with oral Propecia.