Hair loss affects many women and men, often becoming more noticeable as we age. It can produce large-area balding, or varying degrees of thinning only on certain parts of the scalp. Platelet-rich fibrin matrix, or PRFM, is the newest addition to our arsenal of treatments in the war against thinning hair. If you’re suffering from age-induced alopecia, PRFM therapy could offer new hope for you.
How platelet therapy helps restore hair
Although we don’t usually think of it this way, minimally-invasive procedures create tiny wounds in the skin. This automatically activates the body’s natural healing process, which is a factor in producing the skin improvement results we want. Platelet-rich fibrin matrix augments wound healing to help rejuvenate skin cells. But it can also stimulate rejuvenation of hair follicles.
Hair does not grow continuously. Hair follicles follow a cycle of active growth, then rest. Injecting inactive follicles with PRFM stimulates them to become active again. Platelet-based therapies are called autologous, meaning the product is derived from your own body. This is ideal because nothing could be more natural.
How PRFM differs from PRP
You’ve probably heard of PRP, or platelet-rich plasma therapy. PRFM is similar, but it takes platelet preparation one step further. You might think of it as the turbo-charged version of PRP. To prepare PRP, a small sample of your blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from other blood components. The resulting concentration is the platelet-rich plasma. These platelets are full of growth factors that form clots to help heal injuries.
To transform that PRP into PRFM, it is combined with calcium chloride. This helps convert fibrinogen in the platelets into fibrin, forming the fibrin matrix. When injected, this more stable concentrate provides hair follicles with longer exposure to the essential growth factors.
The advantage is that PRFM works faster and its effects last longer. Studies show PRFM lasts up to a week, whereas PRP lasts just one day in the body.
How PRFM is used to treat hair loss
PRFM cannot reverse complete baldness. However, it can help men and women with thinning to very thin hair by rejuvenating dying follicles. The result is hair that is thicker and denser. If you’re starting to go gray, there’s a bonus benefit – the rejuvenated follicles will produce darker hair.
Dr. Raval says he can use PRFM to treat the entire scalp or to target smaller thinning patches. Office visits are short – generally about an hour overall for PRFM preparation and injection. A numbing agent is used at the injection site(s), so the procedure is not painful. There is no downtime afterward, and because PRFM is produced from your own blood, there are virtually no side-effects.
PRFM treatments for hair loss cost $800 if the entire scalp is treated. However, it’s important to note that PRFM is not a one-time procedure. We recommend one treatment per month for 3 months, then follow-up treatments every 3 to 6 months afterward. This is because the effects of PRFM eventually wear off, and also because hair follicles follow different growth cycles.
Could PRFM be the answer to hair regrowth for you? The best way to find out is to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Raval. You could be on your way to thicker, denser healthy hair.