IRVINE (CBSLA.com) — It’s a problem millions of men and women deal with: hair loss.
There are many treatments on the market.
But now a doctor in Irvine promises to grow new hair with your own cells.
CBS2’s Andrea Fujii spoke to Ken Williams of Orange County Hair Restoration.
It’s a story that is Only On 2.
June Davila has always had a thick head of hair until about two years ago when brushing her hair meant losing it.
“One day I came out of the shower and started combing my hair and thought, gosh, that’s a lot,” Davila says.
The hair loss scared her.
“Every dayn I’d stare at my head and say, gosh, can anybody else tell?” she says.
She’s not alone.
According to the National Institute of Health, hair loss is a problem for about 50 million men and 30 million women around the country.
Williams, founder of Orange County Hair Restoration in Irvine, says he’s seen many of them.
“It really impacts who you are as a person, how you see yourself, the confidence level that you have or you do not have,” says Williams.
He says there are traditionally two ways to restore hair. Surgically, like with hair transplants, and medically with products like Rogaine.
Williams is now heading one of the first trials in the country to study whether using a patient’s stem cells can help grow their hair.
“The doctor takes out the patient’s own fat and then puts it in this machine that separates fat cells from stem cells,” the doctor explains.
The stem cells are then injected into the balding areas. The belief is that hair follicles are dormant in the balding areas and stem cells, in essence, will wake them up.
“That is what we’re trying to do here, stimulate these hairs to become active and get them growing again,” he says.
Matt Alexander is participating in the study and started the therapy in April.
“By about week six, it started to sprout up like beard stubble on my scalp,” Alexander says.
He adds, “it’s been feeling thicker daily.”
Willliams says the study is only getting started and is certified by the National Institute of Health. But they need more patients.
“A lot of patients want a natural response. Cost may not be a concern for them, they just want a procedure that works,” he says.
Patients must pay to be in the study and it costs $5,000-$10,000 for two sessions a year.
Alexander says, so far, he’s happy with his results.
“I think I went around and had everybody in my office come and touch my head, ” he said. “It was a little weird, but it’s exciting.”
Davila said she’s considering joining the study and is eager for results.
“At a bare minimum, it would be great if it stopped falling out. But really I’d like to get some of it back,” she said.
Right now, the only known risk with the stem-cell therapy is that some patients see an initial hair loss. But Williams says it’s just temporary.
To find out more about the study, call (949) 333-2999 or click here.