Cosmetic surgeries and treatments are constantly improving, but in recent years, in particular, scientists across the world have been competing in a race to develop a revolutionary treatment using stem cells for hair re-growth. Similar to the traditional hair transplant only in name, this entirely new procedure is expected to be available by 2020. We’ve taken an in-depth look at what it entails to see how it might shake up the cosmetic surgery industry in the near future.
What Does A Stem Cell Hair Transplant Involve?
Unlike the standard hair transplant, which involves removing and replacing a large number of individual hairs from one area of the head to another, a stem cell hair transplant will instead remove small samples of skin from the human scalp where hair follicles are then harvested.
This is called a punch biopsy, which is performed using an instrument with a circular blade that is rotated on to the skin to remove a cylindrical sample of tissue. The hair follicles on this tissue are replicated in a lab before both samples of hair are implanted back onto the scalp, though this time, into the problem areas of hair loss. This then allows hair to grow from where the follicles were taken as well as where they are transplanted to.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cell research has come to prominence in recent years, not least in potential cures for a variety of illnesses, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The reason that these cells could theoretically be used to treat the above conditions, as well as hair loss, is due to the fact they still have the ability to develop into different types of cells within the human body. They’re unspecialised, which theoretically means that they could be used to replace any tissue or organ within your body.
What’s The Success Rate?
Although the treatment is yet to be made readily available to the public and is still very much an experimental procedure, the success rate on some of the initial tests looks to be incredibly promising.
A study completed by Italian scientists found that, after patients had received the revolutionary treatment, they showed a 29% increase in hair density after just 6 months from the initial procedure – a remarkable statistic when you consider that on average, traditional hair transplants take between 12 to 18 months to show improvement in texture and thickness.
Any clinics that currently offer stem cell hair therapies are therefore not approved by the FDA, so cannot make any guarantees in regards to results or success rates.
What Will It Cost?
The exact cost of stem cell hair transplants hasn’t been determined as of yet, due to the fact that the procedure is still in its research and conceptual stages.
However, we can make an educated guess as to what the price of the revolutionary procedure might be from some of the experimental therapies currently being offered by various clinics across the world.
The range of the exploratory and investigative stem cell hair transplants currently sits between the £2000 and £8000 mark. However, like traditional procedures, it’s likely that the price will vary according to the hair type and the extent of hair loss which is required to be treated.
When Could Stem Cell Hair Transplants Be Available?
There are hopes that stem cell hair transplants could be made available to the public as soon as 2020. Especially with the encouraging recent developments published in a study produced by the Stem Cell Laboratory at the University of Southern California in LA.
Dr Chuong, lead investigator on the research project revealed that “Many ageing individuals do not grow hair well, because adult cells lose their regenerative ability. But with our new findings, we are able to make adult mouse cells produce hair again.”
By uncovering the major molecule arrangements necessary for the regrowth of hair and fostering it in shaved mice, this research could lead to conditions considered as untreatable being cured by stem cell hair transplants.
As you can see, the future for alternative solutions to hair loss is incredibly bright. However, if you require treatment now for the most natural-looking results available, here at Longevita, we have a variety of procedures that could help you achieve hair regrowth.