The association has received several queries about stem cells in the management of hair loss, and also about several advertisements which have appeared in the press about the use of stem cells for that purpose. This position statement is issued in public interest and states the opinion of experts in the field.
Position Statement on Stem cells – Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons India
The Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons (AHRS) does not support the claims of stem cells, hair multiplication, hair cloning, hair doubling and Dermal Papilla – DP Cell Culture, in the clinical management of hair loss or baldness. The association advises the public not to be misled and beware of misleading advertisements, and false claims made in the media.
From the existing evidence and current stage of stem cells research, hair cloning, and hair multiplication cannot be accepted to work as successful treatments for hair loss. Any physician wishing to practice such treatment should do so as a clinical trial or experimental treatment, after clearance from governmental authorities like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
ICMR strongly disproves of advertisements claiming successful hair growth with stem cells, hair multiplication, hair cloning, hair doubling and Dermal Papilla – DP Cell Culture and cautions public not to believe such misleading claims.
The technique is incorrectly addressed as hair cloning, it is more of laboratory-engineered cell growth or cell-based therapy.
Some clinics/centers are fraudulently using preliminary data obtained from studies in mice to indicate the success in humans. Such results have never been reproduced in humans till date. The belief created, that these methods will similarly work in humans, is not true. The behavior of cells cultured in the laboratory by artificial stimulation of growth is not predictable. The danger of uncontrolled growth and tumor/cancer formation cannot be ruled out. The same applies to claims of utilizing plant stem cells in the management of hair loss.
Till date, there is no published report which has demonstrated the formation of new follicles in the human bald skin.
At most, the clinical trials in humans have shown that injection of stem cells into the scalp led to some thickening of existing vellus hairs. But these results are similar to what is achieved with routine medical treatments. Even if some stimulation of growth is achieved, the effect lasts only for half to one hair cycle and multiple treatments will be needed to maintain the benefits. Therefore, at this point in time, the expense of cell-based therapies does not justify the doubtful experimental benefits.
About The Doctor
Dr. Aniketh Venkataram was trained in Hair Transplantation by Dr. Venkataram himself. He is an expert in FUE and has contributed chapters to Dr. Venkataram’s books as well as presented numerous talks on the subject.