One Time Body Fat-Based Injection May Treat Genetic Hair Loss
added 30th March 2016
Maxwell Aesthetics of Nashville, a Tennessee-based plastic surgery clinic, has filed a clinical trial notice advising of its proposed study into a novel solution to genetic hair loss.
The American company intends to use a single, one-off injection comprising elements of adipose (body fat) that have been taken from each of the volunteers it plans to recruit, then modified, to treat their male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss.
The men and women deemed suitable to take part have to meet a number of medical and lifestyle criteria as well as being aged 18 or over. They must not smoke, take any anti-inflammatory medications, or use any hair loss treatments including PRP or LLLT. Furthermore their BMI must be no greater than 35 and, whilst visibly thinning hair is a key requirement, they must be otherwise healthy with a scar-free scalp. A number of other criteria detail various allergies, illnesses and operations, including hair transplants, that would render potential volunteers ineligible.
The injection contains a solution known as Adipose-Derived Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF). This is made up of stem cells and growth factors, the substances which our bodies use to transmit cellular signals, which are extracted from the adipose of each volunteer. Researchers hope to ascertain whether this unique mix could instigate or embolden hair growth in the injected areas of thinning.
It will be an extremely small scale trial in many senses, with just eight volunteers taking part in total and each of those having an area of their scalp measuring approximately 2cm x 2cm treated and monitored during the study. At the end of the trial ‘before and after’ comparisons will be made between each subject’s hair density and hair count to assess any potential benefits the solution may have had.
Although there are two clinically-proven hair loss treatments already widely available – Propecia (finasteride 1mg) for men only, and Minoxidil which is suitable for men and women – these need to be used on an on-going basis. This is because genetic hair loss is a permanent condition and its cause – hair follicles being attacked by dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – needs to be kept in check in order for the gradual thinning it brings to be constantly quashed. However, given how many people are affected by this condition worldwide, a one-off treatment, or even a way to prevent hair loss happening in the first place, are still the holy grail as far as alopecia researchers are concerned.