People struggling with hair loss have another new non-surgical option available to them … Stem Cell Therapy.
Stem cell therapy is a core practice in the field of regenerative medicine. In nature, stem cells are those resembling a “blank slate” which can be manipulated to take on the genetic characteristics of, or regenerate, the target tissue. It was thought that stem cells could only be harvested from fetal tissue, but researchers found a way to extract usable stem cells from our own bodies!
How does stem cell therapy work for hair re-growth?
In a process similar to a mini-liposuction, a hair restoration doctor removes adipose fat cells that reside under the skin. The extraction site is usually the abdomen, buttocks or thigh area.
The fat is then placed in a centrifuge for isolation of the desired stem cell material. Next, the doctor injects the stem cells, mixed with saline solution, into the patient’s scalp.
The introduction of concentrated stem cells works to trigger dormant or “weak” cells already present in the skin. This effectively creates a chain reaction from one hair follicle to the next, effectively “waking up” the dormant ones. Follicles that were once weak are rejuvenated, making hair healthier and more visible.
How Long Do Treatments Take?
The entire appointment is completed in around three hours, from the time the doctor extracts the stem cells until the patient is ready to go home. Due to the sedation, arranging a ride is essential. Most return to normal activities by the next day, if not sooner. Minimal soreness may persist for a week after stem cell therapy.
As for subsequent treatment sessions and injections, that is a factor of the patient’s extent of hair loss, and the effectiveness of the initial treatments.
Support for Concurrent Hair Loss Therapies
Many hair restoration specialists use a combination of other non-surgical treatment methods at the same time as stem cell therapy. These may include:
- Prescription medications
- Low-level light therapy
- ACell therapy
- Platelet rich plasma therapy
People considering any form of non-surgical hair restoration should discuss these therapies with their doctor, even if he or she doesn’t incorporate them into treatment.
It is also possible to use stem cell therapy to repair burn wounds and scars, or to grow fuller facial hair.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Stem Cell Therapy for Hair Restoration
The Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved stem cell therapy for hair restoration. However, hundreds of studies have been, or are being, conducted on the safety and efficacy of this protocol. Since the technology is so new, no data yet exists on its usefulness as a permanent solution for hair loss – but current results among practitioners have been positive.
Reputable providers of stem cell therapy are able to answer any questions, as well as show before and after photos of other patients to demonstrate how effective it is, in their professional experience.
In summary, technologies in the hair restoration field continue to improve, and stem cell therapy is one more arrow in the quiver of practitioners for effective hair re-growth.