In today’s society, hair restoration is somewhat of a popular topic, with men of all ages, races, and backgrounds are looking for some way to slow down their natural, yet bothersome, receding hairlines. and as we write this article, currently, there are only a few non-surgical injectable options for the treatment of hair loss. One option is platelet rich plasma (PRP) which entails drawing up a patient’s blood and isolating the platelet rich plasma component which is then re-injected into the patient’s scalp. PRP is enriched for growth factors which can stimulate hair follicle growth. In many patients, PRP injection can help promote hair growth. It works best in patients who have thinning (or miniaturized hairs). Another option that has shown some promise is microneedling, which involves using a skin roller with small needles to cause minor injuries in the skin. The growth factors released to heal these injuries have shown positive but variable results in the treatment of hair loss. Enter Exosomes, minute extracellular vesicles that carry messenger RNA, micro RNA and proteins, including growth factors.
One of the most promising, and interesting methods that has been recently researched, has got to be exosomes PRP. The use of exosomes for the treatment of hair loss is entirely new, and has been able to shown quite a bit of promise – at least when it comes to earlier stage results with the newer patients. One of the only major issues with this situation however, is the fact that exosomes have not been investigated in formalized clinical trials yet, which are the gold standard for rigorous testing of new medical treatments – essentially the only way something can be green lit as an official method of treatment in the United States. As with other similar forms, exosomes PRP are derived from the within the body itself, in a natural means. This allows us to extract mesenchymal stem cells that are present in a bone marrow of a human donor. Companies such as Direct Biologics have developed technologies to harvest a large number of exosomes from mesenchymal stem cells from human donors. Although exosomes are considered an acellular material, the tissue donors are tracked and screened for HIV and Hepatitis B and C – this ensures that only healthy blood cells and overall tissue is being donated to the future.
One issue with exosomes PRP as a treatment for hair restoration however, is the fact that it has not yet been fully elucidated, and many hypothesize that exosomes target existing stem cells within the scalp. Scalp stem cells are mostly located within an area known as the “bulge area”, in which the hair follicles and their activation can result in the growth of existing miniature hairs as well as the growth of new hairs too. Some of the earliest adopters of the use of exosomes PRP solution has been those doctors who perform hair restoration surgery. Once they transplant hair from one area to the other, they will then inject the exosomes solution In most cases, patients have experienced some amazing results, meaning faster hair growth, as well as an overall quicker onset time. In addition to being faster a more efficient, patient have been able to experience far more robust hair growth overall, than they would ever expect to see with traditional PRP alone. In addition, there have been anecdotal results of hair growth in completely bald scalps, a feat previously not achieved with other injectable hair loss treatments. There are still many aspects regarding the practical use of exosomes that need to be worked out, including how many injections are necessary.
Also, despite the rigorous study that has gone on around exosomes, there has yet to be any official clinical trials to be performed. In addition, its short- and long-term efficacy hasn’t been able to be fully tested – as side effects can still be possible that we know little to nothing about – this knowledge is something that will only come through the process of officially licensed, paid, clinical trials. And while more testing would certainly only benefit the cause, with the exorbitant amount of research that has already been done, researchers have been able to already identify a number of amazing stem cell growth factors that are present and help restore hair through the exosomes PRP process. These useful growth factors include:
· MIP-1: A recruiter of mononuclear cells
· VEGF: A stimulator to encourage blood vessel formation
· SCF: An encourager of stem cell and melanocyte growth
· FGF: A growth factor that signals cells to encourage biological development
· TGFß3: A gene variant that, among other things, converts inflammatory T Cells into anti-inflammatory T-Cells
With such stem cell growth factors, and helpful gene variants, the use of exosomes PRP solution not only can offer amazing results for hair restoration and hair thickening, but it can also help individuals who might be athletes or avid runners who have lost cartilage tissue in their knees, or might be in need of faster healing from their fractures and broken bones. For more information on all manner of PRP hair restoration, be sure to contact Dr. Richard Swift today.