The Role of Stem Cells & Hair Cloning in Hair Transplant
Hair cloning is a theoretical hair restoration technique that has been in the works for decades, but still remains as an experimental study that has not yet reached to scientifically solid conclusions. The basic principle of hair cloning, is to potentially provide an ‘unlimited’ source of viable donor hair to use for transplants. In the hair cloning technique, the physician extracts healthy hair follicle cells from the patient and cultivate multiple clones of the cells in a special laboratory culture.
The newly created cells are then implanted back into the patient’s scalp, where new hair will grow normally.
The Main Challenges of Hair Cloning
According to current laboratory findings, the main challenge is the growth of hair follicles. Following the implantation of the newly created cells into the balding areas of the scalp, the new hair follicles induced will grow at all angles and in different directions. The reason for this is that the process of hair follicle formation and direction of growth starts during embryonic development whereas each hair follicle is independent and goes through growth cycles at different times.
As it is unpredictable how these new hair follicles will grow in terms of direction, one might think that with the growth of new hair follicles generated via hair cloning, just as in the traditional hair transplantation procedure, incision sites can be created and reimplanted to the intented direction of growth and angles, thus providing a natural look.
In these premises, hair cloning does not quite distinguish from a traditional hair transplantation procedure.
The complications associated with this method is the risk of causing damage to the hair follicle stem cells and the possibility of tumor formation caused by cultured cells. FDA has declared that they will not approve hair cloning as a medical hair restoration practice unless risks have been minimized. In addition to this, following its approval, since the method does not leave visible scarring in the skin, it will stand out as an appealing alternative for many people. The time frame we predict for hair cloning to be available is potentially beyond 50 years.
The Perfect Candidate for Hair Cloning
Some hair transplant surgeons indicate that hair cloning will initially offer a solution for patients that have undergone more than one hair transplant procedure, but have failed to obtain satisfactory results.
As clinical trials on the field of hair cloning remains in its early stages, the specifications of the ideal candidate can not be accurately identified, nevertheless the person should be healthy and despite the many treatment alternatives tested, has not been able to prevent his/her hair loss problem.
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