Stem cell therapy for hair is an advanced and quick hair restoration technique. Too many times, our scalp does not provide the ideal environment for new hair follicles to grow. In this case, follicles are cultured in a laboratory and later injected into the scalp. Compared to PRP, stem cell hair treatment does not stimulate the dormant stem cells in the scalp but they are more suitable when hair follicles are permanently damaged as they trigger new stem cells. And this stem cell treatment is considered still investigational, since there is no scientific evidence as yet.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy For Hair Loss?
As you know, our body is made up of billions of cells. Though, any cell that has the ability to produce other cells (or replicate itself) can be termed as a “stem cell”. Therefore, in the stem cell treatment for hair loss, certain cells are used to produce other cells. The stem cell therapy for hair loss was first introduced in 2008 and over the last decade, it has made tremendous progress.
Also known as stem cell hair transplant, it is suited for people suffering from moderate to heavy hair loss. In the stem cell hair growth treatment, doctors first extract some hair follicles from the scalp. These follicles are later cultured in a laboratory to produce more cells. By taking a few hundred follicles, thousands of new hair follicles can be produced. Later, these stem cells are carefully injected into the scalp.
What Types Of Hair Loss Are Treated Using Stem Cells?
People suffering from all the major kinds of alopecia and hair loss can undergo a stem cell hair treatment. It is best suited for individuals who have moderate to severe hair loss. There is no major side effect of stem cell therapy for hair, due to its non-invasive approach. Both, men and women of different ages can undergo stem cell therapy for hair. It can help you regain your lost hairline and bald patches, caused by numerous reasons.
Patients who are suffering from alopecia areata, hair loss due to hormonal changes, and male or female pattern baldness can undergo stem cell treatment for hair loss too. Though, individuals suffering from a drastic condition like alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis are not considered as ideal candidates for stem cell hair treatment. This is because they don’t have enough hair follicles that can be used to culture new cells.
Stem Cell Therapy Vs PRP Injections
Since both stem cell therapy and PRP treatment results in hair growth by following a non-invasive approach, they are often misunderstood. Some differences between stem cell therapy and PRP include –
1- Stem cell hair transplant is focused on new hair growth strategy by injecting cultured hair follicles to the scalp. On the other hand, PRP treatment is about healing the scalp and nourishing the existing dormant follicles for hair re-growth. If your scalp is a garden, then consider PRP as a fertilizer while stem cells would be the seeds
2- PRP stimulates the dormant hair follicles by infusing protein rich growth factors, while stem cell therapy bring in altogether new stem cells from existing and cultured scalp cells
3- In PRP (Platelet-rich Plasma) treatment, a patient’s blood is taken, which is carefully examined. After following a centrifugal process, it is converted into protein-rich plasma, which is injected into the scalp by using micro needles. The plasma consists of growth factors and cytokines that nourish our scalp. It heals our existing hair follicles and results in thicker and consistent hair growth. Unlike PRP, stem cell hair growth is achieved by using artificially cultured hair follicles.
4- In some cases, the stem cell and PRP treatment are combined to form a more holistic approach. The PRP stem cell therapy for hair loss nourishes the scalp and stem cell therapy fills it with new hair follicles
5- Stem cell therapy is still at its investigative approach while there are studies suggesting PRP can enable natural regrowth and restoration of lost hairline in majority of alopecia’s
Stem Cell Hair Treatment
To perform one cycle of stem cells and hair growth treatment, at least two sessions are needed. Firstly, doctors would carefully examine your scalp and identify the healthy follicles. A few hundred hair follicles are extracted from the scalp and processed in a laboratory. In almost 2-3 weeks, thousands of new hair follicles are cultured artificially. During the second session, these follicles are inserted to the bald patches of the scalp using micro needles.
Therefore, the stem cell therapy for hair loss not only reverses your hair fall, but also prevents it from happening in the future. This is because the new hair follicles are thicker and healthier than before and will take more time to shed. Although, the stem cell hair treatment doesn’t leave any prominent scarring, you might experience temporary scabbing due to the use of micro needles.
Stem Cell Hair Treatment Results
The stem cell hair treatment results in a natural-looking and even hair growth. The new hair follicles are carefully grafted on the bald patches to compensate a hair loss pattern (male or female). In order to attain a flawless hair growth, one needs to undergo multiple sessions.
Mostly, 6-10 sessions are scheduled in the gap of 3-4 weeks. The total number of sessions and the technique would depend on an individual’s hair loss and the expected results. The stem cell therapy for hair loss cost can also largely vary based on numerous factors. It can start from as less as INR 50 thousand.
Side Effects Of Stem Cell Therapy For Hair
While stem cell therapy is a non-invasive technique, it is relatively a new approach. Therefore, one should be aware of the following side effects of stem cell therapy for hair –
• Any stem cell treatment can cause some unwanted virus infection. Since the technique introduces a foreign body, people with a weak immune system might not respond well to it
• Although it is not expected, it might result in an uncontrollable growth of hair in the long run
• While stem cells are cultured to perform one task, they might evolve and lead to the multi-tasking of cells
• Since a lot of research still needs to be done regarding stem cell therapy for hair, one might suffer from unwanted side effects that are still not commonly known.
After getting to know about stem cell treatment for hair loss in detail, you would certainly be able to understand its basics. If you are confused about stem cell hair transplant or any other hair growth treatment (like PRP), then you should consult an experienced dermatologist. After getting your scalp examined by an expert, you can easily identify the best hair regrowth treatment for your condition.