What is Autologous Follicular Stem Cell supported hair transplantation?

It is the injection of adult stem cells into the scalp which are obtained from hair follicle’s bulb of the patient during the FUE technique during hair transplantation. That adult follicular stem cell transplant can be  done in the same session of the hair transplant. In other words, the procedure is a kind of autologous stem cell transplant.

The aim here is to use autologous micro-grafts to provide better survival of the newly transplanted hair follicles, to make the preexisting miniaturized hair stronger, healthier, and to accelerate wound healing.

It is very advantageous to perform hair transplantation with autologous follicular stem cell support, because this treatment optimizes the result of hair transplantation with the help of autologous stem cells. Hair follicles implanted in recipient area during hair transplantation heal faster and healthier with the effect of autologous stem cells so  that increase the yield of hair transplant operations and graft survival rate up to 100%. In addition, since the existing miniaturized hair in the area of ​​hair transplantation begins to grow and thicken again with the stimulation of autologous stem cells, the density to be obtained as a result of hair transplantation will be higher.

What is a stem cell? What is the difference from autologous micro graft?

Stem cells are special cells in our own body that have the capacity to transform into different cells. The stem cell can make a copy of itself; it can repair the damage by transforming into a cell in the tissue it is in; It can form a different cell or it can go to the places in the body where repair is needed and initiate the repair. Stem cells in adults are not specialized and are found on blood vessel walls, in the adipose tissue matrix, and between cells in tissues and organs. The most important role of adult stem cells is to maintain the life of the tissue they are in and to repair the tissue when injured.

Adult stem cells are found in different body tissues of humans (such as fat, blood, muscle, hair follicle, bone marrow). In embryonic life, stem cells form all human body tissues.

In adult humans, stem cells work mostly as the body’s repair mechanism and provide tissue regeneration and repair. Because of that those adult stem cells are used in regenerative medicine: Autologous stem cells have begun to be helped in the repair of organ and tissue functions, after deterioration, loss of function and weakening due to injury, aging, tissue death or chronic diseases. These adult autologous stem cells, which are used in treatment, can be defined as “super cells” with healing and therapeutic power by reaching damaged areas.

Autologous micro-grafts, on the other hand, are autologous hair follicular cells taken together with a small  punch grafts of the skin but in fewer numbers and used in the treatment called as “G cell regenera”. The number of autologous stem cells obtained with this method will also be low, since much less hair follicles are studied here.

Who can get Autologous Follicular Stem Cell Hair treatment?

Autologous stem cell hair transplant has no side effects because the person’s own body cells are used and do not create antigenicity.

Stem cell therapy can be applied alone or during transplantation of hair  follicles to support the result of hair transplantation. There is a great advantage in using autologous stem cell therapy during hair transplantation, that is called as autologous stem cell hair transplantation.

In addition, follicular autologous stem cell therapy can be applied to male or female patients of all ages who have the problem of thinning hair due to genetic hair loss. Autologous stem cell therapy can be preferred not only by people with baldness, but also by those who have miniaturized hair and want to have thicker hair again. In fact, autologous stem cell therapy can be applied also to support damaged hair that is exposed to frequent cosmetic applications, coiffure dyes or hairdressing procedures. Because such hairdressing services affect the hair follicles chemically and physically, causing brittleness, dullness and weakness of the hair.

How many sessions of Autologous Follicular Stem Cell Hair Treatment is done?

Although autologous stem cell hair treatment is applied as a single session, it can be repeated every year, like autologous micro-graft applications, when necessary, to stop the thinning of the hair and to support the process of preventing hair loss.

Where and how is Autologous Follicular Stem Cell obtained?

Autologous stem cells are obtained from people’s own tissues and tissue samples such as fat, bone marrow, umbilical cord, blood tissue and hair follicles are mostly used for this. It is possible to use autologous stem cells from the scalp to repair, regenerate and stop the miniaturization of the hair due to androgenetic alopecia. For this purpose, the person’s own cells, namely “autologous” stem cells, are used: 150-200 grafts or hair follicular units harvested under local anesthesia from the scalp “safe donor areas” that is genetically resistant to genetic hair loss, are sufficient to obtain autologous follicular stem cells. In other words, the stem cell suspension is prepared entirely from the patient’s own hair follicular tissue. At the bottom of the hair follicles, there are autologous stem cells that both form the hair filaments and helps to repair skin injuries by regenerating the epithelium. Hair follicles are processed by special enzymatic chemicals, so autologous stem cells are separated and ready for use in about 2 hours. Stem cells can also be obtained from adipose tissue in hair transplantation, but this is a longer, more painfull, and complicated procedure.

Autologous stem cell assisted hair transplantation can also be performed with stem cells obtained from adipose tissue. In this treatment, the adipose tissue taken from areas such as abdomen, inner thighs of the legs, buttocks etc., is processed in the same or a different session as the hair transplant. However, since these procedures are painful, the patient should be operated  under general or deep sedation anesthesia while lipoaspiration.

Another method of autologous stem cell hair transplantation is the reproduction of autologous stem cells obtained from bone marrow, fat or hair follicles and  processing in GMP laboratories for obtaining nearly 100% pure stem cells within 3-4 weeks. These autologous stem cells are injected into the scalp in 3 sessions with an interval of 2-3 weeks. The most important disadvantages of autologous stem cell hair transplantation from adipose tissue are that it is expensive and a long waiting time for treatment.

How is Autologous Follicular Stem Cell Therapy applied? During the hair transplantation operation, autologous stem cells obtained from the hair follicles by a chemical and physical separation process of approximately 2 hours, are injected into the scalp together with PRP. The expansion of the letters PRP is “platelet rich plasma”. PRP contaisns thrombocyte released growth factors (epithelial and keratinocyte growth factors). İt stimulates weak and miniaturized hair follicles that exist between native hair to become thick, strong terminal hair shaft and provide their revitalization. Thus, the autologous stem cell hair transplantation process is also supported.

How does AutologousFollicular Stem Cell affect hair?

In case of genetic baldness or androgenetic alopecia, hair follicles pass from the growth (anagen) phase to the resting (telogen) phase; so  hair cannot elongate, does not grow and begins to miniaturize. In other words, with the effect of testosterone, hair goes into the miniaturization period instead of the growth phase, and over time, the hair completely thinned and baldness occurs.

Injection of autologous stem cells in to the scalp stimulates the hair follicles allowing it to return to the anagen phase. So, autologous stem cell transplantation supports the functions of hair follicles and accelerates hair growth. As a result, autologous follicular stem cells enable the person to have strong, bright, thick, full and healthy hair.

Is Autologous Follicular Stem Cell Therapy an alternative to hair transplantation?

No, it is only an adjunctive treatment. It is possible to slow down and reduce hair loss with autologous follicular stem cell therapy, while waiting for hair transplantation, especially in male patients who experience hair loss at a young age and whose hair thinning is severely disturbing. In addition, autologous stem cell transplantation to be applied during hair transplantation provides both rapid healing and strong growth of the transplanted hair.

What is the price of Autologous Follicular Stem Cell Hair Transplantation?

Autologous stem cell injection, which will be performed during hair transplantation or as a support for thinning hair strands, is more costly than PRP sessions, but it is advantageous that it will be done as a single session. If the person’s own hair follicles will be used for autologous stem cell hair transplantation, the fee becomes more affordable. If the autologous fat tissues of the person will be used in autologous stem cell hair transplantation, the patient will be burdened with the additional cost of the operation to obtain fat.