Antediluvian’s time, a good and healthy hair structure has always been an important issue for humans. Some ancient civilizations even attach sacredness to the hair.
While such stringent cultures may not be readily found in today’s world, the importance of the hair has only metamorphosed for the present man.
Today, good hair severely impacts people’s self-esteem, with baldness being one of the most dreaded realities an average young person wants to face.
Even the old hate to be reminded of their aging reality. Hence, the desire to defeat this nature’s call is pervasive across all gender and age groups.
Can lost hair be regrown again?
The search for a permanent solution to this problem has pushed scientists to work their fingers to the bones.
The result is the numerous hair treatment techniques we have today.
Today, with the help of science, dead and weak hair follicles can be induced to become productive again. And so can the cells in them.
This works by supplying or creating the appropriate conditions in the follicle that these stem cells need, and one of such promising methods is through the Stem Cell Hair Transplant.
So, what is a Stem Cell Hair Transplant? How does it work? Is it promising? These are some of the questions this post hopes to answer. We hope to give you a short summary of all you may need to know about this fast-growing treatment.
A Quick Overview
Understanding the hair growth mechanism is critical to understanding what a stem cell hair transplant is, how it works, and is performed.
Hair strand is simply a composition of cells that form a type of protein called Keratin.
These cells are housed in the skin inside a structure known as the hair follicle.
It is this housing structure that provides them with the condition they need to reproduce and grow.
The hair is made of two parts, viz: root and shaft.
The follicle supplies these hair roots with blood, protein, oil, and other necessary ingredients. This makes them reproduce and grow.
But once they reach the scalp, the cells will eventually die, forming the shaft, which is the visible part we see.
This explains why we don’t feel pains when we cut our hairs because they are dead cells.
“So, how does hair loss occur?”
Hair loss occurs when these stem cells are not provided with the above-stated environment. This causes malnourishment hence unproductivity.
But not just that, the follicles themselves are affected.
When cells in the follicle do not reproduce, it causes the follicle to shrink and eventually fold up. This creates a permanent baldness condition.
Other causes of hair loss can be weakness or loss of follicles vigor (mostly in old age conditions), disease, diet, genes, etc.
Having discussed these precursors, we can move to discuss the Stem Cell Hair Transplant technique in detail.
Stem Cell Hair Transplant
Stem Cell Hair transplants are an offshoot of the newly introduced Stem Cell therapy while combining the punch biopsy procedure.
Simply put, it involves culturing any viable stem cells and injecting them into the victim’s hair follicle to induce or trigger hair growth.
This makes it different from the conventional hair transplant procedures where every bit and piece of the hair needed to cover the target area is grafted into the follicle.
While this procedure is considered relatively new and still under observation by FDA, its growing popularity is astounding.
Why the growing popularity?
It is undoubtedly true that Stem Cell hair Transplant is receiving growing attention.
While many reasons can be attributed for the above, notable, and most convincing ones are that it is considered painless and surgery-free, hence leaving no or unnoticeable scar.
This procedure begins with removing a small part of the skin by a procedure known as “punch biopsy.”
A local anesthetic is given to the patient before a circular blade is used to puncture the skin. Any viable region of the body can be used to obtain this skin sample.
The excised skin is subsequently spun in a centrifuge to isolate the follicle and, eventually, the stem cells.
The centrifuge separates the cells from the rest of the unwanted material.
These isolated cells are then cultured in the lab, where they are given the proper conditions to multiply and replicate.
The last step is to sterilize the afflicted area before injecting the cultured sample into the scalp.
After that, the stem cells will interact with the hair follicle(s) and grow.
This procedure can be summarized into four; viz:
- Punch Biopsy
- Stem Cell isolation
- Stem Cell culture
- Stem Cell Injection
Some Frequently Asked Questions About Stem Cell Hair Transplants Are
Risk and side effects
Very little is known about the side effects of any stem cell transplants though results so have exonerated Stem Cell Hair Transplants as a relatively safe procedure.
However, due to the biopsy procedure, tendencies of bleeding, infections, etc., are there.
Also, the local anesthetic effects can make patients unfit to drive themselves home after the treatment.
Patients should also expect some scarring around the place where the sample tissue was taken, though these scars can be very insignificant.
The cost for a stem cell hair transplant varies from clinic to clinic and is also influenced by the degree of damage.
However, our research has shown a price range of between $3,000 to $10,000.
As mentioned already, stem cell hair transplants have a short recovery period.
Although stem cell hair transplant treatment does not require recuperation, the patient may suffer some pain following the procedure, which should subside within a week.
Unlike the other hair transplant treatments, patients experience a full recovery between a 3–7-day period.
During this period, patients must avoid heavy-duty jobs, especially ones that directly affect the transplanted site.
While this technique is promising, we are yet to fully ascertain its effect. After some years, it is hoped that the FDA and other related agencies should be fully armed with the needed information to ascertain the complete safety of this procedure.