The doctors at Farjo Hair Institute are Clinical Partners and co-founders of HairClone, who have been working on developing hair cell multiplication treatments for hair loss.
This is of interest because we have a limited supply of donor hair to utilise for hair transplants, and the more hair loss throughout our lives, the less donor hair is available to compensate for it. At some point we may find the maths don’t add up! We anticipate that in the future, treatments using multiplied or ‘cloned’ hair follicle cells will become an important part of managing hair loss. For this purpose, HairClone formed the World’s 1st Hair Follicle Banking Service in 2018.
What’s Involved in Follicle Banking?
The Farjo Hair Institute is a UK HairClone procurement centre for hair follicle banking. We have listed this under ‘treatments’, but important to appreciate that hair follicle banking is preparation for future treatments rather than a treatment in itself.
Our surgeons will extract over one hundred hair follicles (approx. 40-50 grafts) from the back of the patient’s head under local anaesthetic. These follicles could be taken as part of a hair transplant procedure or taken in a simple surgical procedure that will take less than an hour. In this latter case, everything can be well hidden, and patients should be able to continue with their normal activities immediately afterwards.
The follicles will be placed in a specialised tissue storage solution and start the process in clinic using our specialised human tissue cryopreservation equipment in the Farjo lab. Once the hair follicles reach the required temperature, they are then transported to the HairClone licenced tissue bank where they can be stored for up to 20-25 years at -180C degrees.
Why Bank My Hair Follicles Now?
- Just like other cells in our body, hair-making cells deteriorate in quality with age. Banking hair follicles now by cryopreservation “stops the clock” on their aging. This ensures when hair cell treatments become available, you have the freshest, highest quality cells. For example, if the patient is 25 years old when he/she preserves their follicles, when a cloning treatment is available, the hair follicles will act as a 25-year-old hair instead of a 50-year-old. This is important because the research to date has determined that as the hair ages with the rest the body it does not divide or grow as well and thus does not respond to the steps in the cloning process as robustly. Cryopreserving hair NOW avoids this issue – like an “insurance plan” for your hair.
- When HairClone introduces its cell treatments in the future, patients who have banked their follicles will be the first in the queue.
- Money generated from hair banking is totally reinvested in HairClone’s development of treatments to rejuvenate and thicken up miniaturising hairs and eventually generate new hairs.
- The banked follicles remain the property of you the patient. If a suitable therapy becomes available at any time by anyone, your cryopreserved follicles would be made available for use.
- Although the banking itself is not a treatment for hair loss as such, it provides the raw material (hairs) for future treatments.
- Suitable for men and women concerned about their hair loss.
HairClone Banks WHOLE Follicles
This means that every cell within the hair follicle is cryopreserved,
and has the potential to be accessed for use for a variety of diseases
that can be treated with these cells.
Potential Uses for Banked Follicles
DERMAL PAPILLA CELLS
DP cells control hair growth and can be lost over time. HairClone is developing a personalised cell therapy using DP cells for androgenic alopecia
Pigment producing cells in hair and skin. Several companies are working on treatments for greying hair and/or vitiligo using these cells
Produce the hair shaft under control of the dermal papilla. Have potential for aiding in wound healing
DERMAL SHEATH CELLS
Found at the bottom of hair follicles and can help stimulate hair growth. Being investigated for repairing tendons
BULGE EPITHELIAL STEM CELLS
Numerous groups are developing technologies using these highly regenerative stem cells to treat many condition including nerve damage and loss of vision
HairClone’s Cell Therapy
For androgenic alopecia (pattern hair loss), HairClone have successfully:
• Isolated dermal papilla (DP) cells from banked follicles ✔
• Multiplied DP cells over 1000 times ✔
• Now aiming to build on preclinical data to show clinically that injected DP cells: º replace lost DP cells in miniaturising follicles
º rebuild and thicken hair
º reprogram follicles to be DHT insensitive
How much does it cost to bank (freeze) my hair follicles?
The cost may vary a little depending on the location of the HairClone partner clinic.
We charge £2200 if you have your follicles banked whilst you are having a hair transplant procedure with us.
We charge £2700 if the hair follicle banking is performed as a standalone procedure due to fixed set up costs.
The above fees are a one-off apart from annual maintenence fees of approx. £150 payable to the HairClone Banking Service. The fees are also inclusive of both HairClone’s banking fee as well as the clinic’s surgical and administritive fee.
Banked with Dr Lopresti, MA, USA
“The procedure with Dr Lopresti was quick and simple and you cannot tell any hairs are missing”
Banked with Dr Wasserbauer, CA, USA
“Having seen the impact hair loss had on her husband, a mother banked the follicles of her 18 year old son in hope she could prevent the same”
Banked with Dr Farjo, Manchester, UK
“Patient due to undergo chemotherapy and expected to lose hair. She banked follicles to preserve cells in the hopes that a treatment may be able to utilise them in the future”
What would happen next?
When the hair loss treatment becomes available in the future, and the patient requests it via a HairClone Clinical Partner, a small number of the banked follicles will be carefully thawed, and the relevant cells will be separated and then multiplied (cloned) and transported back to the clinician for implantation by injection.
HairClone and other biotech companies around the world are initially working on developing this hair loss treatment, which will be for patients noticing their hairs have thinned (miniaturised) rather than clear baldness.
The aim is to rebuild and rejuvenate newly miniaturised hair follicles and re-creating thicker hair shafts. This treatment can be repeated as necessary to rejuvenate additional miniaturising hairs over time. The intended aim is that this results in a consistent appearance with a balanced head of hair, so hair loss is never noticeable.
Currently, hair loss sufferers need to use regular medications, laser therapy or PRP in the hope of achieving the same.
This treatment is a little bit more into the future, and will be for patients with extensive hair loss where the hair follicles have miniaturised too much to be rejuvenated.
The aim here is to generate brand new hairs. This treatment will take considerably longer to develop than the rejuvenation treatment, and there is no timeline predicted for when this will be available.
Please ask our experts at Farjo Hair Institute for more information