Stem cells transplant: myth or reality? Best facts!

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People have become fascinated with research and innovation for beauty, especially in new hair transplant techniques, such as using stem cells to grow hair. Is stem cells transplant possible?

stem cells transplant

Hair transplant has been around for decades. The core principle remains unchanged: harvesting hair follicles on the back of the head where the hair does not fall and implanting them on the bald spots. The hair follicles then grow hair on the bald spots. The first grown hair falls about three weeks after the surgery, then grows back a few months later. Those techniques do not graft hair but hair follicles.

Hair follicles transplant

The grafted hair follicles do not produce hair as the surgeon moved them in their original location. Of course, the doctor does not harvest all the hair follicles in the back of the head because it would leave another bald spot. He harvests the grafts mindfully, not letting any bald or low-density areas in the hair. The hair in the back of the head is a bit less dense but nothing noticeable.

Hair transplant techniques evolution

The core principle of hair transplant remains unchanged, but the techniques improved. The first popular hair transplant technique was FUT.

This method was widespread in the 1990s and the early 2000s. It has a significant flaw: the harvesting method. Cutting a strip of flesh at the back of the head left prominent scars. This method also involved a painful post-surgery period as there were sutures, and the skin had to close back. Many patients were reluctant to undergo this procedure.

The harvesting techniques improved, and FUE hair transplant solved this scar issue. The surgeon harvests the grafts one by one with a micro punch, making the post-surgery period much easier and faster. A few years later, the DHI hair transplant method improved the results, giving more volume and avoiding skin necrosis.

Despite all those innovations, an issue remains: it is not possible to do a hair transplant without enough hair in the donor area. Neither FUT, FUE, nor DHI can create grafts to fill significant bald areas. People suffering from alopecia totalis or alopecia Universalis cannot undergo those procedures because they do not have hair to graft. The future would be stem cells transplant.

Hair cloning and stem cells transplant

Many experimental studies worldwide tried to get two hair follicles from one. Hair cloning would be a revolution in hair restorations procedures.

In 1995, Korean doctors J.C. Kim and J.C. Choi proved that a hair follicle’s horizontally sectioned hair follicle could produce two hair strands. Sadly, the experience was inconclusive for hair cloning research because their growing capacity was inferior to normal hair.

In 2008, a Dutch doctor, C. Gho, presented a technique involving harvesting a tiny part of the hair root at the back of the hair to get a new hair without removing the original one. It would make the donor area infinite.

This technique is known as « HSCT® » or « Hair Stem Cell Transplantation ®.» The scientific community critiqued doctor Gho’s procedure, arguing it lacked scientific rigor (unprecise photographic results, too few cases presented in the study, unclear answers to questions). The scientific community is waiting for irrefutable proof the hair grows back at the back of the head. It would have been easy to see with independent witnesses, but no one has done it yet. Many doctors believe this technique is just an FUE hair transplant, as many other doctors do every day around the world.

In 2010, American doctors J. Cooley and G. Hitzig reported they managed to get several hair strands growing from a single hair root depilated after using ACell© healing product. The scientific community got excited by their discovery. They said the harvested hair root grew back at its original location. Several medical teams tried to do this procedure, but no one succeeded. Cooley and Hitzig then confessed that this technique did not work every time, and they had to investigate.

To date, there is no efficient way to clone hair or to do a stem cells transplant.