If you are losing your hair, there are several treatment options that are available to choose from. Alopecia can be treated by prescription creams and foams, hair transplant surgery, and low-level laser light therapy; while various prescription creams, transplant surgery, and low-level laser light therapy are used currently, hair cloning has not yet been approved for use.
Low-level laser light treatment is also sometimes called red light treatment. The idea behind this procedure is that the light, at certain wavelengths of between 500 nm to 1,100 nm, can stimulate hair growth through triggering cellular activity.
LLLT is a technique that has been approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration for use on patients who are suffering from hair loss due to male pattern baldness. The technique can be useful for anyone suffering from thinning hair or bald spots, and the method is not invasive.
The effect of low-level laser light therapy on hair
To understand how LLLT works, you have to have an understanding of the cycles through which hair passes as it grows. There are four stages of hair growth namely: anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen. During the anagen stage, the hair is actively growing from the follicle within the skin. Catagen is the next stage and it is a transition stage during which growth slows down and the hair follicle shrinks. Telogen is the stage that follows catagen and during this stage the hair is not growing but also not falling out either; it is viewed by many as a stage of rest for the hair. Exogen is the final stage of the hair cycle and it describes a time when hair is shed.
LLLT is thought to trigger individual hairs to return to the anagen stage of growth. It is also thought that this light therapy further helps to increase how quickly follicles actually begin to grow. Scientists now know that low-level laser light affects the mitochondria. These are the organelles of cells that form the energy molecule ATP, by breaking down carbohydrate molecules. Energy is what all the cells of our body need for growth and further development, so it makes sense that stimulating mitochondria would have a positive effect on cellular growth since it impacts the metabolic process of the cell.
The light also impacts chemicals that increase the diameter of blood vessel because it affects the muscles found lining the blood vessels. Hair follicles contain cells which need to receive oxygen and nutrients via a blood supply, and thus this also helps to increase growth of cells. LLLT positively benefits the stem cells in hair follicles. Stem cells are progenitor cells which can change to form a particular type of tissue.
Hair cloning and stem cells
The stem cells of hair follicles are located in a region called the epithelial bulge. These cells are known as hair follicular stem cells (HFSCs) and this region where they occur is also near the location of attachment for the arrector pili muscle. This muscle is what allows hairs to stand up or lie close to the skin, and helps in thermoregulation.
The idea behind hair cloning is that follicle cells can be extracted from parts of the cell where hair has not been lost. These are stem cells and thus can be effectively multiplied or cloned in various ways so that many are available for use to regrow hair. Then once enough cells have been produced these can then be injected into the scalp in areas where hair is missing. The stem cells would then give rise to the tissues needed for the hair to grow.
Hair cloning is not yet an approved treatment for hair loss; however, research results from laboratory studies are promising, and in the future, this and other methods to treat alopecia are likely to become readily available; you can read more about hair cloning 2020 here.
Another use of hair cloning besides treating people who have lost their hair due to androgenetic alopecia is in the treatment of people who have hair loss as a result of a burn injury. In the meantime, people can use low-level laser light treatment along or along with other treatments for hair loss, including the use of medicated creams and foams such as finasteride and minoxidil.
For a permanent solution, patients may want to opt for a FUE hair transplant, which is a good solution for most cases of alopecia. This procedure involves extracting of hair follicular units from one part of the head and grafting the follicles back into the scalp in the region where hair has been lost.
Uses of stem cells in medicine
Stem cells have already been used for many years in medicine; for instance, people who have leukemia are often treated by a bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow contains hematopoietic stem cells, which means they are able to form every type of blood cell you need. Since leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells, it makes sense that a transplant can result in a cure or at least remission of the disease.
There has also been the use of stem cells to treat back pain. In fact, there is evidence that stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow can be used in such treatments. The bone marrow is concentrated after extraction and then injected into the lumbar discs of the back. This has helped patients who suffer from back pain due to degenerative disc disease. Stem cell research is ongoing for use of cells in both medicine and for cosmetic purposes such as treating alopecia.
There are several reasons why people lose their hair. For men the most common reason for balding is androgenetic alopecia, an often inherited condition. Other causes of hair loss include PCOS, hormonal fluctuations, alopecia areata, and traction alopecia. Even thyroid problems and medication side effects can cause hair loss, which is why it is smart to consult with a medical doctor and a hair loss expert to see what can be done about your particular hair loss problem.