London Man First In UK to Have Stem Cell Hair Loss Treatment
added 28th November 2014
Rodrigo Alves, a 30 year old Brazilian who lives in London, has become the first person in the UK to have stem cell hair loss treatment.
Known for his extensive plastic surgery, this hair loss treatment was the latest step in Alves efforts to transform himself into a real-life version of Barbie’s man friend, Ken, who he describes as “the perfect man“. The flight attendant flew to Miami to undergo this innovative, four-hour procedure to tackle his thinning hair, which is believed to have cost around $8,000.
This new form of stem cell treatment for hair loss involved Alves first having liposuction on his back to harvest fat cells. This fat was then mixed together with 500ml of his blood for a number of hours by a special machine designed to extract stem cells from the fluid. The resulting liquid was then injected into Alves’ scalp, in a similar way to a PRP procedure.
Rodrigo started to notice an improvement in his receding hairline fairly quickly after the treatment, saying “I started seeing results after two months, I have lots of baby hair coming through, it’s amazing… My hair was really thin and my temple was starting to recede but now it’s coming back in leaps and bounds… The main results are on my temple, I don’t have a receding line anymore, I’m really happy with it all.”
The potential for stem cells as a hair loss treatment was discovered almost by accident as researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine explored stem cell therapy in relation to treating skin tumours. They managed to isolate a protein inhibitor, Dkk1, which was found to have a direct impact on hair growth by sending hair follicles into a dormant state. Their findings showed how new hair growth was blocked as critical proteins were not being delivered to the hair cells due to the presence of this protein inhibitor. However, once the Dkk1 was removed, normal hair production resumed, although – as this protein inhibitior is crucial for every day health and prevents hair growth in places such as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet – research and clinical trials have been on-going.