Stem Cells for Hair Thinning

Stem Cells for Hair Thinning

Modern medicine is full of its share of miracles, from finding cures for diseases like hepatitis C to preventing mass infections through vaccines. One area of future potential that researchers are only beginning to tap are stem cells — cells that have the ability to become various other types of cells in the body to repair damaged tissue, functioning both as a mechanic and the spare part. They’re being explored for numerous applications, from rejuvenating worn knees to treating blood-based diseases, cancers, and immune disorders. But there’s another application that researchers are exploring: hair loss. Early-stage research shows some promise for using stem cells to grow hair, even when genetic problems make it nearly impossible.

  • Early-stage research shows some promise for using stem cells to grow hair.
  • It hasn’t been shown to be effective in humans.
  • Currently, there are no filings for an Investigational New Drug Application with the FDA needed to approve the next stage of clinical research.

What treatments are available today?

One of the oldest over-the-counter treatments for hair loss whose active ingredient, minoxidil, is now being marketed by other companies like Hims and Keeps. It’s a topical solution or foam that’s applied directly to the scalp to coax hair follicles to once again sprout new growth. But, as the Kyra Clinic out, it takes about six months of use to see any results. It — like the prescription pill Propecia — often begins with even more hair loss before shorter and finer hairs are afforded the opportunity to grow out. Another option for people experiencing partial hair loss is hair replacement surgery. While expensive and often painful, it takes hair follicles from the back of a person’s scalp and surgically attaches them to parts where balding occurs.

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