Stem Cells and Hair Follicle Growth

stem cells and hair growthWhen you come across news items about science it often seems like much of it has to do with stem cell research. Whether it’s a study looking for new options to fight conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, or research looking for ways to treat spinal injuries or heart attacks, stem cells have been central to recent scientific breakthroughs. Lately, they have become a hot topic in the study of hair follicle growth and hair loss. There have been recent studies that have helped us understand how stem cells affect hair loss and the possibility that they may one day help treat those who have thinning hair or are losing their hair. RHRLI would like you to understand these recent developments so you can understand the best ways to have a natural healthy looking head of hair with our latest FUE procedures.

What Are Stem Cells?

According to the National Institutes of Health, stem cells are cells with the ability to divide for indefinite periods in a controlled biological culture. They can create specialized cells. Because they have this ability to regenerate, researchers often find stem cells to be ideal for study and as a tool for treating diseases.

Stem Cells and Hair Loss

One recent study, published in the February 2016 issue of the journal Science, looked into the role stem cells play in the growth cycle of hair follicles.  While scientists have long known that aging plays a part in causing long term hair loss, the researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University tried to find out why.

According to, they discovered that while stem cells should theoretically continue to divide and make new follicle stem cells, eventually, they start to age. Wear and tear on the DNA of hair follicle stem cells causes chemical changes in the DNA. The wearing down of hair follicles can be caused by things like sun damage and exposure to chemicals, according to the researchers. They hope that understanding this will be the first step towards slowing or reversing hair loss.

Can Stem Cells Grow Hair?

A 2015 experiment might be the first step towards possibly using stem cells as a treatment for thinning hair. In a study done at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando, researchers were able to use stem cells to grow hair on mice. According to the Huffington Post, the researchers were able to use human pluripotent stem cells, that have the ability to turn into almost any other cell in the body into dermal papilla cells, which are elevated bumpy skin cells.

While they grew on mice, the researchers aren’t sure if the dermal papilla cells can be transferred to humans. The scientists were hoping to find partners to take this next step. Dr. Nicole Rogers, a New Orleans dermatologist told the Huffington Post that the research does have the potential to change existing treatments, but also warns that there have been many “fits and starts.” She notes that it will be challenging to replicate these results in large-scale human trials.

RHRLI Is Your Choice for a Permanent Hair Loss Solution

Stem cell research holds the promise of bringing about future scientific breakthroughs, including possibly in the area of hair loss. But there is still more research that needs to be done. If you’re searching for a permanent solution to hair loss or thinning hair right now, RHRLI can help. We are the only hair treatment center on Long Island that uses the ARTAS® robotic hair restoration system. Unlike other hair transplant techniques such as strip surgery, which can be painful and leave longer recovery times, or hair transplant procedures that require doctors to use a hand-held device, the ARTAS® system uses state of the art robotic technology. It is a minimally invasive system that uses a robotic arm to identify healthy hairs and transfer them to areas where there is less hair growth. To get started, contact us today.

Please note that the author of this piece is not a doctor and the information in this material is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.

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