Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Hair loss is a common problem that affects many individuals worldwide. It can be caused by various factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, medications, and underlying medical conditions. In androgenetic alopecia, which is the most common form of hair loss, hair follicles shrink over time due to the effects of hormones, particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and eventually stop producing hair.
What causes hair loss?
Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a common condition that can be caused by various factors related to the physiology of hair growth. One of the primary causes of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, a genetic condition that affects both men and women. This condition involves the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which binds to androgen receptors in hair follicles, causing them to shrink and eventually stop producing hair. Other factors that can contribute to hair loss include poor nutrition, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune disorders, medications, infections, and physical or emotional stress. In some cases, hair loss can also be caused by damage to hair follicles from hair styling practices or certain medical treatments.
What causes hair growth?
Hair growth is a complex process that involves various cells and signaling molecules. The hair follicle, which is a complex mini-organ, is responsible for hair growth. The hair growth cycle consists of three stages: anagen stage (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). During the anagen phase, anagen hair follicles stem cells divide and differentiate into various cell types, including epithelial cells and dermal papilla cells. These cells work together to produce and maintain the hair shaft. The dermal papilla cells secrete various signaling molecules, such as growth factors and hormones, which stimulate the hair matrix cells to proliferate and produce hair fibers. The hair matrix cells also produce a protein called keratin, which makes up the hair shaft. As the hair shaft grows, it pushes up through the scalp and eventually emerges from the skin. Once the hair reaches the end of the anagen phase, it enters the catagen phase, during which the hair stops growing and the hair follicle shrinks. Finally, the hair enters the telogen phase, during which it rests for a few months before falling out and the hair growth cycle starts again.
How does hair loss happen?
The hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) present in the hair follicle play a vital role in hair growth and regeneration. These stem cells are an integral part of the epithelial stem cell niche. They are responsible for the continuous renewal and regeneration of hair follicles during the hair growth cycle, which consists of three stages: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). Hair loss occurs when there is a disruption in the hair growth cycle, particularly during the anagen phase when HFSCs divide and differentiate into various cell types necessary for hair growth.
The anagen phase is the growth phase where hair follicles actively grow and is fueled by the division and differentiation of HFSCs into various cell types, including epithelial cells and dermal papilla cells. These cells are crucial for hair growth, as they form the structure of the hair follicle and provide the necessary signals for hair growth.
During the catagen phase, which is a transitional phase, the hair follicles shrink, and the HFSCs begin to undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death. This leads to the cessation of hair growth and the formation of a club hair. In the telogen phase, which is a resting phase, the club hair remains in the follicle while a new hair begins to form.
Hair loss can occur when there is an imbalance in the hair growth cycle, leading to a decrease in the number or function of HFSCs. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, and environmental factors. For example, androgenetic alopecia, which is the most common form of hair loss, is caused by the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) binding to androgen receptors in hair follicles, leading to miniaturization of the hair follicle and a decrease in the number of HFSCs.
How is hair loss diagnosed?
Most people know when they are losing hair, it shows up in clumps in their hairbrushes, or in their hands as they run their hands through the hair. It clogs up the shower. Once they see a medical practitioner, it's already been months or years since the onset. Medical diagnosis of alopecia (hair loss, decreasing hair count) involves a thorough evaluation of a person's medical history, including family history of hair loss and any underlying medical conditions. Physical examination of the scalp and hair is also conducted to assess the pattern and extent of hair loss, as well as the quality of hair. In some cases, a scalp biopsy may be performed to analyze the human hair follicles (quantification of hair follicle) and identify any underlying conditions. Blood tests may also be ordered to check for any hormonal imbalances (especially in androgenic alopecia) or nutritional deficiencies that may contribute to hair loss. Overall, accurate diagnosis of hair loss is essential for determining appropriate treatment options and ensuring optimal outcomes.
What are some standard treatments for hair loss?
Standard therapy for hair loss involves medication, such as minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is a topical solution that is applied to the scalp, and it helps to stimulate hair growth. Finasteride is an oral medication that blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a hormone that can cause hair loss. Another treatment option is hair transplantation, which involves removing small sections of hair-bearing scalp from the back of the head and transplanting them to areas where hair has been lost. Hair transplantation can provide natural-looking results and can be a long-term solution for hair loss. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may also be used to reduce inflammation and promote hair growth. The choice of treatment depends on the type and severity of hair loss, as well as the individual's preferences and medical history.
What are some regenerative approaches to hairloss?
Regenerative approaches to hair loss involve stimulating or restoring the natural healing and growth processes of the body. These approaches include the use keratin, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cell therapy.
Human hair keratin is a crucial component of hair structure and the presence of keratin is necessary for healthy hair growth. Injection of keratin into the scalp can help replenish the natural keratin content of the hair and promote hair growth. The interaction of keratin with hair follicles can improve hair strength and elasticity, reducing hair breakage and hair loss. As hair-derived keratin is similar to human hair keratin, these injections are typically well-tolerated, and adverse events are minimal.
Low-level laser therapy involves the use of a specialized device that emits low levels of light to stimulate hair growth. The light energy is absorbed by cells in the hair follicles, promoting cellular activity and increasing blood flow to the scalp. LLLT has been shown to increase hair density and thickness in patients with androgenetic alopecia.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a regenerative medicine technique that involves intradermal injection of platelet-rich plasma, concentrated platelets from the patient's own blood, into the scalp to stimulate hair growth. PRP contains various growth factors and cytokines that can promote hair growth and enhance the proliferation of hair follicle cells. PRP therapy has been shown to increase hair density and thickness in patients with androgenetic alopecia.
Stem cell treatment involves the injection of stem cells into the scalp to promote hair growth. Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and most recently pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have shown promise in promoting hair growth by increasing the number of hair follicles and enhancing the quality of existing hair.
How can stem cells help with hair loss?
Stem cell hair treatment involves the injection of stem cells or exosomes into the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Stem cell hair transplant involves the transplantation of hair follicles along with stem cells into the scalp to promote hair growth. These treatments have shown promising results in hair loss treatment and are currently being studied in clinical trials.
Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are two types of multipotent stem cells that have been widely studied for their potential in hair regeneration. ADSCs, which are isolated from adipose tissue (fat cells), can secrete various growth factors such as hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), which can promote hair growth and enhance the proliferation of hair follicle cells.
MSCs, which can be isolated from various sources such as bone marrow and adipose tissue, secrete growth factors such as endothelial growth factor (EGF) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) that can stimulate hair follicle cells and promote hair growth.
Multipotent stem cells secrete their active ingredients via exosomes and companies have harnessed this cell signaling technology to play a role in hair loss treatment. Exosomes are small vesicles that contain various growth factors, angiogenic factors, telomere elongating factors and other transcription factors that can stimulate hair growth and overall the health of epidermal cells. They are isolated from multipotent stem cells and are now widely used as a potential treatment for hair loss as Exosome Therapy.
How do pluripotent stem cells help with hair loss?
Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are the youngest and most potent stem cells used in clinical medicine. Since they are pre-differentiated, they can signal repair in all 220+ tissue types including hair follicle cells, epithelial cells, dermal and epidermal cells. They can also differentiate into various cell types, including human dermal papilla cells (HDPCs). Novel biotechnologies are considering PSCs as starting material for future hair loss regenerative lines producing hair follicle stem cells, hair follicle cells, human dermal papilla cells, and other epidermal cells.
Pluripotent stem cell derived exosomes, Plurisomes™, are the key cell signaling technology developed by Stemaid Laboratories that is being applied as stem cell hair transplant, as stem cell hair treatment. The content of these nano-sized pluripotent vesicles has been characterized by a previous study using third party testing and it shows the presence of many key hair restoration transcription factors.
A recent scientific and clinical studies review analyzed AD-MSCs and the MSC-derived paracrine factors involved in hair growth (Shimizu et.al., 2022). What we found confirming is that the transcription factors identified as most potent in hair repair and growth activity are also found in the biomolecular content of Stemaid Laboratories third party characterization study of Plurisomes, indicating that intradermal injection protocols using pluripotent exosomal repair, regenerative and reprogramming paracrine effectors is indicated for regenerative stem cell hair treatment.
|Paracrine factor||Activity on hair growth|
|VEGF||Improves perifollicular angiogenesis, resulting in increased size of HFs and shafts.|
|HGF||Activators enhance the proliferation of follicular epithelial cells|
|EGF||Improves the activity and growth of follicle outer-root sheath cells by activating Wnt/β-catenin flagging|
|PDGF and receptor||Induces and maintains anagen phase of hair cycle.|
|IL-6||Is involved in wound-induced hair neogenesis through STAT3 activation|
|IGF-I||Improves the migration, survival, and proliferation of HF cells|
|IGFBP1–6||Manage the effect of IGF-1 and its connection with ECM proteins at the HF level|
|TGF-β||Stimulates the signaling pathways that manage the hair cycle|
|KGF (FGF-10)||Stimulates proliferation and differentiation of early progenitor cells within HFs. Induces anagen phase in resting HFs.|
|FGF-1, FGF-2||Induces anagen phase in resting HFs.|
|bFGF||Improves the advancement of HFs|
|BMP||Maintains the DPC phenotype|
|BMPR1a||Maintains the proper identity of DPCs|
|M-CSF and receptor||Is involved in wound-induced hair growth|
|Wnt3a||Is involved in HF advancement through β-catenin flagging|
This table summarizes the activities of different mesenchymal paracrine factors involved in hair restoration. Source: Regenerative medicine strategies for hair growth and regeneration: A narrative review of literature
These specific hair restoration transcription factors are also found in the Plurisomes™, pluripotent exosomes, as evidenced by Stemaid Laboratories third party characterization study. For more information please visit https://plurisomes.com/composition
What kind of hair restoration stem cell therapy program does Stemaid offer?
Injecting the active ingredients of pluripotent stem cells, Plurisomes™ along the hair line and all over the scalp can bring positive results in the case of skin conditions, hair loss and greying. Plurisomes™ contain DNA reparative, regenerative, collagen and elastin supportive, and anti-graying transcription factors and proteins that help to reprogram the epigenetics of the scalp dermis, epidermis, and hair follicles. As the study above emphasizes, the paracrine effectors in the pluripotent exosomes also directly impact hair neogenesis. At Stemaid Institute, we offer a SCALP treatment with intradermal injections of Plurisomes™.
2. Advances in Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy in Androgenic Alopecia and Hair Loss: Wnt Pathway, Growth-Factor, and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Signaling Impact Analysis on Cell Growth and Hair Follicle Development