Experimental and Unconventional Hair Loss Methods
The field of hair transplantation is constantly growing with new techniques and treatments being researched and implemented on a regular basis. While some of the new techniques are firmly rooted in science and have been thoroughly researched and tested, there are other techniques that can best be described as “not so rooted” in traditional science and methods. This is not meant as a slight against these experimental and unconventional methods. It just means they are not mainstream enough to have gained widespread acceptance (yet). This page is devoted to new and innovative ideas that might (or might not) become standard hair transplantation methods in the future.
PRP for Hair Loss Treatment
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been discussed for many years as a potential treatment for hair loss. Scientists have tried to use growth factors as a means to restore hair and prevent any further hair loss.
PRP that comes from the patient’s own blood has growth factors and platelets in it. The PRP is removed from non-cellular parts of the blood. The growth factors in PRP have been connected to the treatment of some medical conditions thanks to their promotion of organ and tissue healing. Growth factors in PRP have been shown to also be involved in hair growth.
The PRP is harvested by gathering the blood from a patient and then separating the plasma by using a centrifuge device. The separation process splits the cellular elements in the blood from the plasma part of the blood. While studies have been performed on a small amount of patients, the results have been inconsistent at best.
Hair cloning, which is also known as hair multiplication, is when more than one hair follicle is produced from a single hair follicle. This process is performed exclusively for the purpose of hair restoration for patients. The two options for performing the production of the hair follicle are inside the body (AKA “in vivo”) or in a lab.
“In Vivo hair multiplication” and “In Vitro hair multiplication” are the two main methods of hair multiplication. Here is a closer look at these methods:
- In Vivo hair multiplication involves the hair follicle, or the follicular units, being cut somewhere along its length. The cutting allows the transected parts to grow into new hairs. Several studies have been conducted on this method and all of them have had limited success.
- In Vitro hair multiplication is the process of stem cells being extracted. After the extraction, new hair follicles are created outside of the body by identifying and isolating the stem cells responsible for the creation of new hair follicles. We did a study, along with the scientists of Cedar Sinai Hospital, published in Cell Proliferation Journal as “Towards Expansion of Human Hair Follicle Stem Cells in Vitro“. The study is one of the steps that could potentially pave the way towards hair multiplication in Vitro.
It should be noted there is not a widely accepted method of hair cloning currently in use by medical professionals. While additional research and development has been performed in recent years by both universities and research companies, further research will have to be performed in order to find a preferred method of hair multiplication.
Gene Therapy for Hair Loss Treatment
For many years now, various therapies that help with wound repair have suggested a connection between wound healing and hair growth. This connection continues to be explored in greater detail.
Gene therapy has often been promoted as a way to enhance and accelerate wound repair. By utilizing a variety of sources such as bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and skin and hair follicles, stem cells have been shown to have the ability to speed up the healing process of various wounds. Besides helping with wound healing, similar gene therapy techniques are now viewed as a promising method of turning the baldness gene on and off in a person. While the initial results are promising, more research is needed before this method can be widely used on human patients.