We're living in a time of innovation, and technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, the cure to hair loss continues to elude modern medicine. However, many firmly believe that stem cell therapy will be the key to unlock the hair loss cure. So will stem cells actually cure hair loss? Keep reading.
Groundbreaking Discovery? Not So Much
On June 27th ground breaking research was presented at the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Los Angeles, California. However, some researchers aren't so quick to call this discovery groundbreaking. Dr. David Jin, CEO and President of Avalon Globocare, Inc a biotech developmental company had this to say about the breakthrough: " while this may be a breakthrough in terms of their own initial research, they have a long way to go. There is a long journey between researching on animal models to being able to apply the research to humans."
Let's not get carried away and start throwing away our Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) bottles just yet. Another factor to consider is the fact that the promising "breakthrough" has not been subjected to peer review or replicated by others. Two factors that are necessary for objective scientific research. While the announcement sounded exciting and ground breaking, it is clear we're not there yet.
Hair Transplant Surgery Still King
In terms of hair re-growth, surgical hair restoration is still number one. The only proven method to regrow hair on a bald scalp is through hair transplantation. Fortunately, hair transplant surgery has improved leaps and bounds from the early days where a hair transplant could be spotted a mile away on a foggy day. Today, hair transplants are so refined that they largely go unnoticed by the public, because when done right they are undetectable.
Currently, there are only two FDA-approved medications which are finasteride and minoxidil. Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in to DHT through the blood stream. DHT is the main culprit for androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). Minoxidil is a topical vasodilator which is thought to prolong the hair follicles growth phase, thus significantly delaying the balding process. Both of these medications work synergistically together, most patients combine the both treatments for optimal results. However, medication therapy is used for preventing, slowing and stopping the progression of hair loss. Rarely does medication therapy regrow hair alone.
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