While predominantly known as a symptom of age, hair loss can occur in both men and women for a plethora of reasons. It can occur as a complication of another medical condition, hormone imbalance, and genetics. Further, it can manifest in a variety of ways, such as thinning on the top of the head, the formation of bald spots, or loosening of the hair that comes out in clumps. A genetic condition worth noting is androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as pattern baldness. This can occur in both men and women but is particularly known in men for the thinning of the top of the head, and the receding M-shape hairline. In women, the difference is less notable, with just a general thinning all around the head.
A certain type of cells known as adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells is being offered as a treatment for hair loss. Now, that’s a long name, so let’s break down what that means. Most people have heard of stem cells. Stem cells are progenitor cells that differentiate into a specific cell type, such as a neuron or bone tissue or red blood cells. Mesenchymal stem cells, as opposed to the hematopoietic variety, differentiate into a variety of tissue types: bone, neurons, cartilage, muscle, etc. Thus, mesenchymal stem cells are being researched for a variety of issues that could benefit from their regenerative versatility. While stem cells are usually harvested from bone marrow, these stores are commonly hematopoietic, which makes them fairly useless, since hematopoietic cells differentiate only into blood cells. Recently, fat tissue was also found to contain stem cells, specifically rich in mesenchymal stem cells. Hence, we get the subject of a new treatment: adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells. The stem cells are thus taken from a patient’s own excess fat using liposuction to help them somewhere else.
These stem cells can be injected into the scalp, where they can then differentiate into follicular cells, and thus literally becoming new hair. When used in conjunction with PRP (platelet-rich plasma), these new cells can then be stimulated to grow and proliferate further. For information on how PRP specifically acts as a treatment for hair growth, check our website. The conjunction of these two treatments, known as NanoFat Hair Restoration, becomes more effective than either individually. While the stem cells use their variety of growth factors to control and grow and develop new hair cells, PRP enhances this growth through its own plethora of growth factors. In essence, the stem cells are a fresh seedbed, while PRP is a fertilizer.
Since alopecia can occur to both men and women, both are possible candidates for NanoFat treatment. Since stem cells do interact with existing cells around it, ideal candidates should not be completely bald, since if a patient is bald he/she may see sub-optimal results. Since this treatment stimulates the body to grow hair, results take anywhere from 3-6 months to show, and it’s recommended to use supplements to make sure results last. While there will be some redness in the donor area as well as the scalp, this should go away within a day or two.
If you have any questions about this treatment or want to schedule an appointment, call our office at (609) 587-9944 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Kelly Y, Blanco A, Tosti A. Androgenetic Alopecia: An Update of Treatment Options. Drugs. 2016; 76: 1349–1364.