PRP vs PRF?

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Hair loss, in men and women, can have a myriad of causes. From stress to genetics, medical conditions to adverse pharmaceutical reactions, hair loss affects over 80 percent of men and nearly 50 percent of women during their lifetime. 

It can be distressing for anyone when they start losing their hair. But thankfully, there are now a number of reputable treatments that can help to slow down the process. If you are looking for treatments for hair loss, you will have come across pills, ointments and shampoos – all offering varying degrees of effectiveness. 

You will probably have heard of PRP – platelet-rich plasma. It has a high success rate, is easy to incorporate into your lifestyle, and is relatively cheap long-term. But have you heard of PRF?

PRF stands for platelet-rich fibrin. It is similar to PRP in that both involve the patient’s own blood being injected into their scalp, but there are slight differences. 

How is PRF different to PRP?

A PRP and PRF session is almost identical for the patient. Blood is taken from the patient’s arm by a medical professional. This is then spun in a centrifuge until the different types of cells are separated. In PRP, the blood is separated into three different substances – platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma, and red blood cells. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the patient’s scalp. This stimulates the hair follicles in the scalp to start growing new hair. 

During a PRF treatment, blood is also drawn from the arm, and this is also spun in a centrifuge, albeit more slowly than for PRP. The blood is also then separated into the above categories. However, PRF also contains white blood cells and stem cells, which some people believe are even more effective at stimulating new hair growth. PRF has a higher concentration of platelets than PRP. Moreover, PRF contains the blood’s own fibrinogen, which keeps the growth factors and stem cells at the site of injection. This stops them diffusing, which can happen with PRP. 

Slow and fast release

Because of the difference in production, there are also differences in how the active ingredients are released into the body. In a PRP treatment, the platelets and growth factors are released more quickly. Conversely, PRF releases platelets and growth factors more slowly after injection. It is important to choose the right one for your needs, so speaking to a specialist can really help your decision. 

So, which is better: PRP or PRF?

The jury is still out on whether PRP or PRF is the better option. There have yet to be any reputable studies conducted that compare the two treatments. While PRF is considered the more advanced treatment, which is more suitable depends on the person and their requirements. 

PRP is currently the more commonly available treatment in the UK, and therefore it is easier to find clinics that offer it. This also means that it could be more cost-effective than PRF, as healthy competition keeps the price down. However, some people say that PRF is more successful due to the inclusion of stem cells. 

How do I choose between PRP and PRF?

As with any slightly invasive treatment, it is wise to do your own research before committing. Seek out forums online. Other people’s experience is invaluable for informing your own decisions. Many clinics have review sections, and independent testimonials on google can help you in deciding whether to go for PRP or PRF treatments. 

Whichever treatment you choose for your hair loss, be prepared to commit to two to three sessions before you start seeing a difference. Most people with age-related hair loss, whether male or female, will see a thickening of the hair on the scalp around this time. Once you are happy with your result, it is advised that you have one session per year as a maintenance dose. 

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