Hair loss is one of the leading problems associated with aging in both men and women. The increasing demand in the field of cosmetic surgical procedure has led to the evolution of various minimally invasive techniques to treat hair loss. Androgenic alopecia is a pattern hair loss which is most commonly seen affecting Caucasian men and women. This can lead to devastating consequences on one’s self esteem and it may also lower the quality of life. Studies have shown that hair loss can affect one’s self-perception causing depression and mood changes.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved minoxidil and finasteride for the hair loss. It has proved its efficacy in preventing the further hair loss. However, its use in hair growth still needs to be proven. The results are temporary and associated with various side effects. Stem cell-based therapies are the upcoming treatment modalities in many regenerative therapies. It focuses on reactivating the hair follicles and enhances the hair growth. Hair loss and changes are influenced by androgens which act on dermal papillae. The androgens act on the follicular cells and alters the normal regulatory mechanism of dermal papillae. This inhibits the differentiation and proliferation of Hair Follicular (HF) cells.
Stem cells are body’s raw cells which can differentiate into specialised cells. They are mostly present in the bone marrow where they divide form new cells. After the phase of maturation, they enter the bloodstream. The main source is the adult human tissue and embryos. However, scientists are working to develop a genetically reprogrammed technology to receive stem cells. These cells have the potential to restore, replace, repair and regenerate the cells which can be used for many medical conditions and diseases. It has proved to be useful in the treatment of cardio-vascular diseases and healing of incisions and wounds. It is also used in the treatment of neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. Multipotent stem cells have the ability to regenerate hair follicles with sebaceous glands in the skin. In terms of hair follicular regeneration, stem cells are capable of
- Reverses androgenic mechanism that causes hair loss (especially in androgenic alopecia)
- Regeneration of complete hair follicles
- Neogenesis of hair follicles.
Adipose tissue, Bone marrow, hair follicles from unaffected areas and umbilical cord blood are the rich sources for harvesting of stem cells. The dermal papillae are an important part of the hair follicles which contain mesenchymal cells which help in inducing hair growth and preventing hair loss. The dermal papillae are surrounded by the dermal sheath cup (DSC) cells which are responsible for regeneration of hair follicular cells thereby enhancing the hair growth. On transplantation, DSCs integrate with mesenchymal cells. This integration further interact with the epithelial stem cell which creates new hair follicles.
Evolution of hair transplantation surgeries and hair restoration surgery have led to the development of minimally invasive procedure with the use of autologous stem cells of the hair follicle. Collection, isolation and administration of the harvested autologous stem cells are the important parameters in the success of stem cell therapy. Since years, the use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been the gold standard in the hair restoration treatment as it is a minimally invasive procedure and has proved its importance in hair growth. However, further studies in the minimally invasive technologies for the management of hair loss has led to the introduction of a combination therapy with the use of acellular matrix with PRP.
Acellular matrix is an FDA approved product that is used for healing of wounds. It is a new protein technology that adds its benefit in the progress of regenerative medicine. Acellular matrix along with PRP helps in a comfortable and faster healing process as compared to monotherapy with PRP alone. It forms minimal scars and improvises the quality of the newly grown hair. This protein is derived from the pig bladders. However, to prevent allergic reaction following the use of acellular matrix, the manufacturing process includes stripping of all cells and muscle tissue. However, it is contraindicated in patients with known sensitivity to porcine materials. The chemical structure of acellular matrix is similar to the human tissue.
Mechanism Of Action:
Increase levels of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can cause shrinking of hair follicle, thinning of hair and disrupts the hair follicle growth cycle. Acellular matrix reverses the DHT’s thinning effect. The combination of acellular matrix with PRP preserves and thickens thinning hair. Stem cells that are present in every tissue act like key cells which can differentiate into more than 200 different cell types. Acellular matrix works at the cellular level engages adult stem cells and increases the blood supply and remodels the damaged tissue. Acellular matrix converts the adult stem cells to active stem cell which facilitates direct healing leaving new native tissue where scar tissue would normally form. This initiates tissue regeneration. Acellular matrix when injected into the scalp helps in regeneration of dormant hair follicles thereby increasing the hair quantity and quality. In the 19th Annual International Society of Hair Transplant surgeons conference, it was proved that Acellular matrix attracts the adult stem cell, converts them into active progenitor cells and enhances the growth and quality of hair. It wakes up the dormant adult stem cells and induces regenerative mechanism making the hair follicles thicker and healthier.
Understanding Hair Restoration Treatment
Hair loss is a common problem affecting millions of people worldwide that can be caused by several factors such as genetics, stress, poor nutrition, and hormonal imbalances. While hair loss can be distressing, several effective hair restoration treatments are available today.
Hair restoration treatment is a set of medical procedures that aim to restore hair growth in individuals suffering from hair loss. Multiple treatment options are available, from hair restoration surgery to non-surgical treatments, to help regrow hair in areas where it has thinned or fallen out. It can treat various conditions, such as male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness, alopecia, and hair thinning. While considering hair restoration treatment, choosing the right hair restoration clinic is essential.
Candidates For Combination Therapy:
- Early stages of hair loss
- Patient with exhausted donor supply and poor quality of donor hair
- Donor scar treatment
- Advanced hair loss
- Alopecia Areata
Steps In Combination Therapy:
- Use of an antiseptic containing shampoo for hair wash
- Pre operative photos to be taken
- Use of topical and local anaesthesia
- Withdrawing blood sample for preparing PRP
- Acellular matrix mixed with PRP is injected into the scalp of the affected area
- Patient is instructed to follow post operative orders.
A short inflammatory phase may persist along with swelling and discomfort for 24 hours, followed by a refractory phase. Symptoms subside after 24 hours.
The combination therapy of cellular matrix with PRP are effective in both the male and female pattern hair loss. A combination therapy is better than use of PRP alone as it provides long- lasting solution for hair loss. PRP Treatment alone must be repeated at least once in two months. Since the combination therapy will need less visits to the clinic, yearly expense for the two treatments will be more or less the same.
Novel discoveries like stem cell therapies provide encouraging steps towards developing more effective and successful hair loss treatments. Stem cells play and important role in the healing process of wounds. Similarly, it plays an important role in the regeneration of the hair follicles. Use of PRP along with acellular matrix have better treatment outcomes than PRP alone. However, studies are needed to prove the efficacy of combination therapy. If you are looking for hair restoration surgery near me, Dr. Mohan Thomas aesthetics, as a hair restoration clinic, provides the best hair restoration surgery. They have multiple hair restoration treatment procedures available at affordable prices. As one of the leading celebrity cosmetic surgeons, they have proven themselves to offer the finest cosmetic surgeries.