Stem cell hair transplants made headlines in 2019 as a way to grow new transplantable hair follicles from scratch, instead of taking them from donor sites elsewhere on the head.
In normal hair transplants, follicles are moved from areas of thicker growth, usually on the back and sides of the head, to where the hair has thinned.
This creates a natural looking head of hair, with the benefit that the follicles come from the individual’s own head, and therefore will continue to age in a way that matches the rest of the hair.
In addition to this method, there are many other ways to improve the aesthetic appearance of hair, including non-surgical alternatives like shampoos, vitamins, protein shakes and tablets.
So, will stem cell hair transplantation take over from these options as the preferred method for future hair transplants?
Stem cell hair transplants in the pipeline
Before stem cell hair transplants can take place, they need to go through clinical trials to get the regulatory approval they need.
In 2020 some of these trials are due to start in countries like Japan, where individuals with thinning hair can’t just shave it short because of the cultural significance of hairstyles there.
If these trials are successful, it is likely that stem cell hair transplants will gradually roll out worldwide, although they may require further clinical trials within the UK before they are available here.
Other modern technologies are also helping to bring stem cell hair transplants into reality. For example, in order to grow into a hair follicle, stem cells need to be placed in an environment that is very similar to the human scalp.
This is being done using 3D printing to create a surface with follicle-shaped indentations in which stem cells can be grown.
Current alternatives to stem cell hair transplants
The hair transplant industry is already well established with many highly successful and safe procedures that can be carried out immediately.
At UK Hair Transplant Clinics, we offer surgical procedures like Follicular Unit Extraction to reconstruct a natural thicker hairline.
We also have non-surgical procedures such as those mentioned above, and minimally invasive methods like scalp micro pigmentation which effectively tattoos the appearance of short hair directly on to the scalp.
If you would like to know more about any of these current hair transplant options, please don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat on our website, by email to email@example.com or by telephone on 0800 043 0993.