Stem cells are being applied in various forms of treatment for many different ailments, and evidence suggests that stem cells could help regrow hair. There are several conditions that could cause hair loss, including:
- Male pattern baldness
- Female pattern baldness
- Alopecia, specifically androgenic alopecia
- Hormonal changes
- Severe stress
- Radiation therapy
While some conditions, such as radiation, may not be curable through the use of stem cells, studies suggest that others, such as pattern baldness and alopecia, may be improved with certain stem cell therapies.
Explaining Stem Cells and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
Stem cells promote cell growth in the body by dividing, and in doing so creating new cells which could potentially regrow hair. When this division occurs, the result is either:
- New stem cells, or
- New specialized cells, which may come in the form of heart muscle cells, cartilage cells, or another of the many cells that make the body function
Certain stem cells promote tissue growth in the part of the body where they are implanted. This often occurs as the stem cells promote the creation of new blood vessels that, accordingly, result in new tissue forming.
Injecting platelet-rich plasma from one’s body into areas affected by ailments is one specific form of stem cell therapy. This therapy has been used to target many different medical conditions, from osteoarthritis of the knee to erectile dysfunction and much in between.
Those who are losing or have lost their hair may like to know that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is also a relatively new solution for re-growing hair.
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Platelet-Rich Plasma as A Hair Loss Solution
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is also being used to target hair growth. The idea is that, as new cells start to grow in the area where you have experienced hair loss, the growth will stimulate recovery that results in hair growth. One specific form of stem cell therapy to promote hair growth is injecting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the area affected by hair loss.
Several studies have verified the effectiveness of injecting platelet-rich plasma taken from one’s own blood in order to promote hair growth. This study in Stem Cells Journals, for example, concluded that the injection of platelet-rich plasma in areas affected by hair loss had a positive effect on hair regrowth. It also concluded that there were no major side effects to the treatment.
Another study had similar results. The patients in this study were affected by pattern hair loss, which can affect both men and women. After three months of treatment with PRP therapy, the patients displayed improvements in:
- The average number of hairs in the affected area
- The average thickness of observable hair
These are two critical metrics for those looking to regrow their hair. Those who have tried and been unsatisfied with other hair loss treatments, or for whatever reason do not want to have surgery, may look to PRP stem cell therapy as an alternative treatment option.
Many Other Hair Growth Treatments Have Negative Side Effects
As previously mentioned, patients in studies involving PRP therapy for hair loss experienced no serious side effects. Many hair loss treatments cannot make the same claims, so even as they may be effective in re-growing hair, many people decide that the possible side effects of such treatments are not worth the benefits.
For example, some of the side effects of minoxidil, a topical treatment for hair loss may include:
- An itching skin rash
- Burning of the scalp
- Unintended facial hair growth
- Acne at the spot where you use the minoxidil
- Increased hair loss
- A swollen face
- Chest pain
- Weight gain
The list truly does go on, and nobody could blame you for deciding that these side effects were not worth the potential for new hair growth. Another route that some pursue to address their hair loss is a hair transplant. These procedures can cost thousands of dollars, and come with their own potential side effects including:
- Bruising around the eyes
- Unnatural-looking hair
- Sudden loss of implanted hair
For some, these side effects are worth the potential upside of such treatments. Others may prefer to try treatments with fewer documented side effects, such as PRP therapy, to stimulate hair growth.
PRP Therapy for Longer-Lasting Hair Growth
Those that administer platelet-rich plasma therapy to stimulate hair growth tout its capability to provide longer-lasting results than alternative hair growth treatments such as minoxidil. In the same breath, they cite the findings of the aforementioned studies that PRP therapy has little to no known side effects.
For many who wonder if stem cells can regrow hair, this makes the thought of PRP therapy very appealing.
If you are losing your hair, have already lost it, or have reason to believe that you will lose it in the future, do not wait to address the issue.
*The information within this article is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please speak to a medical professional to diagnose and address specific conditions.