Hair loss in both men and women can be a cause of great pain and embarrassment. Many people struggling with hair loss, for whatever reason, are searching for the next best remedy or cure.
Breakthrough research that suggested that stem cells may be an effective treatment for hair loss has been welcomed with open arms.
Stem cells and hair loss
A study at the University of Pennsylvania found that the stem cells could restore hair growth, thanks to a gene called Wnt.
A hair follicle produces a single hair. It was once believed that a lost follicle (such as in the balding process) could not be restored without manual implant (a hair transplant). Some people opt against a hair transplant as they feel the procedure is overly invasive.
However, researchers have used the Wnt gene to stimulate the cells and help new follicle growth. It can help hair grow back thicker and improve condition.
Kerastem stem cell therapy
Kerastem is a leader in stem cell therapy and was granted approval to do clinical trials with its technology, specifically aimed at androgenetic alopecia in men and women (hereditary hair loss). It is already available in parts of the world such as Spain and Japan, and carries a European health safety mark but is not approved for use in the USA.
Kerastem’s technology takes tissue, via liposuction, from a person’s hip area and extracts the stem cells from the tissue. These stem cells are made into ‘enriched fat’ and injected into the scalp. It is mainly used for female hair thinning and early male pattern baldness intervention.
Phase two of the testing and clinical trials is now taking place and Kerastem has called it the STYLE trial.
Approximately 70 patients are enrolled to take place in eight centres across the US.
The main aim is to prove it is safe and secondly to show its effectiveness as a hair growth treatment, which they, and the alopecia community hope is the next big treatment for hair loss.