A plastic surgery clinic in the US has announced its intention to test single injections of modified body fat as a possible one-off treatment for hair loss.
According to the registration published at clinicaltrials.gov, Maxwell Aesthetics of Nashville, Tennessee, is currently recruiting eight people to see if their idea that fat injections can affect genetic hair loss (such as Male Pattern Baldness) holds any weight.
Their thinking is certainly not without precedent: US based Kerastem Technologies is currently in the throes of a phase II clinical trial investigating a possible liposuction-based treatment for male and female pattern hair loss, having seen what they say is an “emerging relationship” between the body’s fat tissue, adipose, and hair.
Stem cells and growth factors
The Tennessee trial involves injections of Adipose-derived Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) – which is a collection of stem cells and growth factors that have been taken from body fat. An article at innovationstemcellcenter.com explains that “Growth factors are very powerful messengers that our bodies use to signal cells. Growth factors can turn on and off inflammation, cause cells to grow or die, call in specialised cells for many functions and are themselves being used more and more in clinical settings.”
In simple terms, the idea is to inject these growth-boosters into the scalp where hair has fallen out, with the hope that they will encourage new growth. Similar technology is currently being tested as a treatment in multiple fields.
For their trial, the team at Maxwell Aesthetics say that only a small area of the scalp – approximately 2cm x 2cm – will be injected once with the solution, and a comparison of the number of hairs and their thickness before and after treatment will be measured.
The test subjects will be a mix of men and women aged between 18 and 60+ years old and must meet specific criteria, such as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) score under 35 and being in generally good health with visible hair loss no less than the size to be injected, that is free of scarring and has not been affected by traumatic injury.
Particpants are also subject to a fairly lengthy list of exclusion criteria. These include smoking or using any tobacco products, having a history of bleeding disorders or taking anti-inflammatory or anti-coagulation medication such as Warfarin, having a propensity for keloids, and allergies to lidocaine, epinephrine, valium or sodium phosphate. Furthermore, use of topical or oral hair loss medications, LLLT, meso-therapy and having had PRP or a hair transplant in the six months preceding the study, also rules out potential volunteers.
Minoxidil applied to scalp
New hair loss treatments can take many years to make it through the rigorous testing process to ensure they are both safe and effective for use, before they become generally available. With this in mind, and because genetic alopecia is a progressive condition, anyone wishing to try to maintain their hair and regrow any they have lost, should take proactive action at the first signs of hair loss.
The current “go to” treatment for both men and women with pattern hair loss is the FDA-approved and MHRA-licensed drug Minoxidil, which is also applied directly to the scalp (though topically, it is not injected). Interestingly, Minoxidil on its own is a stable and inactive drug and only becomes active when absorbed by the skin, the body itself converting it into a product called Minoxidil Sulphate. It is believed that this activates potassium channels in cells and leads to hair growth.
Belgravia clients using high strength minoxidil formulations from the range offered at our clinics frequently see promising regrowth results, particularly to areas that are notoriously stubborn to treat, such as a receding hairline. There are numerous examples of clients – both male and female – who use this medication as part of their personalised treatment programme, featured in our Success Stories gallery.
Genetic balding can strike at any time in anyone with an active inherited predisposition for it – even when they are still in their late teens. Hair will typically continue to thin and fall out a steady rate over the coming years, but a bespoke hair loss treatment course, often featuring booster products, can both stop the hair loss and encourage new growth.
Once they have been diagnosed, Belgravia clients often say that one aspect of their treatment that really surprises them is how much they come to value the support, advice and monitoring that they get from the knowledgeable team at our Central London clinics – whether in person or via phone or email. It can help in ways that they wouldn’t ever have imagined, and many like the fact that they have a dedicated treatment advisor to talk to and liaise with at all times.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.