Sometimes the poor health of the donor area of the patient’s scalp makes it impossible for them to undergo a hair transplant surgery. The prospect is disheartening and causes hopelessness in the patient. Many people especially with androgenetic alopecia start experiencing hair loss at a young age. However, they have to wait for some time before they can get the surgery. Finding out that it isn’t possible can make one feel extremely sad and even depressed. Naturally, it makes one wonder, if organ transplant has become possible in the medical world, why not hair follicle transplant?
If possible, an allogenic hair transplant could become the next big thing. Unfortunately, it is not a possibility at the moment. However, there is some promising research. Traditional hair transplant surgery can permanently deal with hair loss. But some patients simply don’t have enough hair in the donor area to undergo the procedure.
Hair loss in the donor area can occur as a result of genetics, hormones, chemotherapy. Therefore, many people wish that person-to-person hair follicle donation was a possibility. It certainly wouldn’t seem that complicated procedure. But many problems can arise if another person donates hair follicles.
Why Is Person-to-Person Hair Follicle Donation Not Possible?
You should know that hair follicle donation from another person is not impossible. There is one instance in which one can get hair follicles from another person. For that, you have to be an identical twin. Otherwise, it is simply not possible at the moment.
The reason why it cannot happen is that the roots of your hair have a unique genetic makeup. It is different from another person. If the surgeon embeds the hair follicle from another person, your body will know that it is foreign DNA. Once your body knows that the hair follicles have someone else’s genetic code, it will reject it. Rejection means that the immune system identifies the new tissue as a “foreigner.” It classifies it as an “invader” and attacks it.
Thus, it launches an attack against them. It will, most likely, result in the death of the donated hair follicles. This will result in the failure of the surgery. Not just that, but the implantation of hair follicles can leave behind thousands of tiny scars. You’ll end up wasting your time and money, which is why this type of hair restoration surgery does not take place.
The surgeon will take hair follicles from either your donor region on the scalp or hair on other areas of your body. However, hair on different areas of your body grows differently from the hair on your scalp. This is why you don’t hear much about this surgical option either.
How Hair Follicle Donation from an Identical Twin Can Result in Successful Hair Transplant?
It is possible for hair follicle donation to get accepted from the scalp of your identical twin. Monozygotic twins are identical. They develop from one zygote, which splits to form two embryos. Therefore, such twins are genetically nearly identical. The similar genetic makeup of the cells in the hair root will not make the body think that it’s an invader.
Because of the shared genetic codes, the body won’t perceive the newly transplanted hair follicles as a threat. Therefore, it would accept those as a part of the self. Only there is one problem. If you’re suffering from androgenetic alopecia, then your twin will be experiencing the same. Therefore, he/she may not be able to donate in such an instance.
However, this is not possible in the case of dizygotic twins, as they do not share the same genes. The eggs, in this case, get fertilized by separate sperms, which makes them different.
What Are the Problems with Person-To-Person Hair Follicle Donation?
There is one major problem with person-to-person hair follicle donation, though. To sustain the results, that patient has to take immunosuppressants for the rest of his/her life. Of course, the side effects of taking immunosuppressants for the rest of the life are too much to bear. When you’re taking these drugs, the ability of your body to fight infections will take a serious hit. With your immune system weakened, you are prone to developing more infections. It may even become more difficult to treat them. Therefore, hair follicle donation is not recommended by doctors.
Can Hair from Other Parts of the Body Be Used for Hair Transplant?
The surgeon will recommend this over person-to-person hair follicle donation. If the hair cannot be taken from the scalp of the patient, the surgeon might recommend this option. However, the problem with this technique is that the hair quality in different areas of the body is different. The hair texture and quality on the head can differ from, say, the hair on your limbs, eyelashes, eyebrows, and even your beard. The growth potential of hair also varies.
If this hair is transplanted on your scalp, it might look quite unnatural and even unattractive. You might end up feeling dissatisfied with the results of your hair transplant. Usually, beard hair gets taken for this purpose as it is similar to the hair on the scalp.
Can Allogenic Hair Transplant Ever Take Place Successfully Without the Use of Immunosuppressants?
There has been some promising research done by Professor Kwon Oh-sang and his team from Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) in Korea. Patients with hair loss seek a permanent solution in hair transplant surgery. Currently, autologous hair transplant is prevalent. This is the one in which the follicles get taken from the back and/or sides of the patient’s scalp. These get transferred to the balding regions.
In contrast, an allogenic hair transplant takes hair follicles from other people. But the problem with it lies in the rejection of the hair follicles. If the patient wants to avoid that, they have to take anti-rejection drugs. This can have seriously damaging health consequences. To deal with this conundrum, the researchers tried to figure a way out. So that allogenic hair transplant could take place successfully.
For that, the team of researchers focused on dendritic cells in the human body. They play an important role in anti-tumour responses by the body. These antigen-presenting cells get the T-cells to attack the tumours. T-cells are also primarily responsible for organ transplant rejection. Therefore, the researchers tried to find a way in which this T-cell response was not activated on the transplantation of hair follicles. For the purposes of the research, 24 humanized mice were used (mice with human genes, tissues, or cells, etc.). They got irradiated with ultraviolet B. This removed the dendritic cells that were present in the donor hair follicles area.
Afterwards, the researchers performed an allogenic hair transplant. This was successful as it resulted in the growth of new hair. Moreover, the transplanted hair follicles also survived for more than 6 months.
Will Allogenic Hair Transplant Ever Become a Possibility in the Future?
The research is still ongoing. The research mentioned took place on humanized mice. However, there’s still a long way to go. More research needs to take place into allogenic hair transplant. There’s a need to know about its long-term success rate and side effects. This information is important for the surgery to take place on humans.
Summing It All Up
Presently, person-to-person hair follicle donation is not yielding successful results. The rejection of the hair follicles by the patient’s body certainly makes it impossible for the surgery to be successful. However, research on innovative techniques for allogenic hair transplant can make it a reality in the future. This is even if you do not have a strong donor area or identical twin to save you from hair loss, you might be able to have an allogeneic transplant.
At present, identical twins can benefit from it. However, if hair loss is due to androgenetic alopecia, then both twins will suffer from it, which would not make the surgery possible. A patient can sustain the results of an allogenic hair transplant if they choose to take immunosuppressants for the rest of their lives. However, the side effects of these medicines do not make them a suitable option. The doctors won’t recommend it.
If a hair transplant is not possible for you, we will make sure to discuss some other treatment options with you. Many people also wear wigs, extensions, or have scalp tattoos, to hide the balding areas on their scalp. However, you shouldn’t lose hope. You should have a free consultation session with us to find out if you have enough donor area to have a hair transplant. It is the permanent solution to hair loss.
You can make your booking with us right away. Our hair transplant surgeons will assess the extent of your hair loss and check the health of your donor area. In view of those, we will provide you with an affordable, bespoke treatment plan for your hair restoration surgery in Turkey. We will make sure that you have the smoothest experience with Longevita. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to us.