The search for a permanent solution to the dreaded bald hair, otherwise known as the nightmare of the young person, has never been louder. After a lot of working the fingers to the bones, scientists have developed an innovative and efficient way to fight this enemy; through a Stem Cell Hair Transplant.
So, what is a Stem Cell Hair Transplant? Some rocket science? Is it worth the hype? Does it promise to be the long-awaited messiah? A quick overview will help answer these questions!
Stem Cell Hair Transplant is simply a hair loss treatment that uses the newly introduced Stem Cell transplant science, a technique still under observation by the FDA and other related agencies.
Unlike typical hair transplant procedures, which involve grafting every last hair follicle to cover the target area, this procedure just requires a small piece of skin to be extracted from a donor site, transmitted to a lab, cultured, and then implanted back into the scalp.
The main idea is to induce the growth of the hair cells through a triggering effect of the cultured stem cells.
This process, though relatively new, is gradually receiving prominence amongst the other techniques used in hair treatment.
People looking for a highly convenient and effective option to solve their hair loss problem will see a Stem Cell Hair Transplant as a viable option. This is because of its many pros; it promises a painless, effective, quick recovery, and efficient technique.
Why the popularity?
While many hair treatment techniques have emerged in the last few decades, it is undoubtedly factual that Stem Cell Hair Transplant is receiving growing attention.
While many reasons can be given for the above, an obvious one will be that the Stem Cell Hair Transplant is one amongst the few hairs loss treatment that provides both the physicians and the patients an alternative to solve the hair loss problem without the use of surgery.
“I bet we all agree that the word surgery scares the hell out of almost everyone!”
Now, back to the question of what a Stem Cell Hair Transplant is:
To answer this, it will be vital we understand the biology behind hair growth itself.
Hair growth and Hair Loss
Hair, a type of protein called Keratin, is a composition of cells, otherwise known as stem cells, housed in a structure inside the skin. This housing structure is called the hair follicle.
These cells, at their early stage, rapidly divide and multiply.
As they amass and fill the follicle, they protrude through the scalp, with the topmost gradually dying off. This explains why we don’t feel pains when our hairs are cut because the hair strands we see are dead cells already.
Follicles, on the other hand, as said earlier, are the containers where these cells are housed.
When supplied with certain ingredients, such as protein, blood (oxygen and nutrient carrier), oil, etc., and in the right proportions, these cells become empowered to reproduce and grow.
“So, how does hair loss occur?”
The most common cause is when the above-said environment is not adequately provided for the stem cells.
When this occurs, the follicles will shrink and eventually fold up. This creates a permanent baldness condition.
Other reasons are weakness or loss of follicles vigor (as in old age), genetic makeup, etc.
Can lost hair be regrown again?
A simple answer is yes.
But how does this work?
Science has made it possible for dead or unproductive follicles to become productive again.
This works by supplying or creating the appropriate conditions in the follicle that these stem cells need to reproduce and grow properly.
This can be achieved through several means, to which a Stem Cell Hair Transplant is standing out.
This process starts with extracting a small portion of the skin through a process known as “punch biopsy.”
The patient is first administered a local anesthetic, and then a circular blade is used to puncture the skin. This skin sample can be obtained from any viable part of the body.
The extracted skin is then spun in a centrifuge device to further isolate the follicle and eventually the stem cells. The centrifuge creates a suspension of the cells from other unwanted parts.
The centrifuge is a device used to separate particles in a liquid according to different densities, sizes, viscosity, etc.
These isolated cells are then cultured in the laboratory. They are provided with the right environment to multiply or reproduce further.
The last step involves disinfecting the affected area, and the cultured sample is then injected into the scalp.
The stem cells will then interact with the hair follicle(s), continuing to grow.
A quick summary of these procedures are:
- Extract a small portion of the skin.
- Isolating stem cells from the skin sample using a centrifuge device.
- Duplicating stem cells in the laboratory through a viable culture procedure.
- Injecting donor and bare area with cultured stem cells to stimulate hair growth.
While prices vary between clinics, our research has shown that prices range from $3,000 to $10,000.
Is there risk involved?
Stem Cell Hair Transplant is considered relatively safe, but, like any other medical procedures, risk of bleeding, infection, damaged artery, etc., are possible, mainly due to the punch biopsy procedure.
Stem Cells Hair Transplant is considered a permanent solution to the hair loss problem or, at least, to be one the best options available so far.
But of the many advantages, the public should be aware that while many clinics offer this service, it is still considered an investigational treatment and hasn’t been approved by the FDA.
This means that beneficiaries are at their own risk.