Allogeneic Hair Transplant Success

One of the most common questions that people suffering from hair loss ask is why one cannot perform a hair transplant from one person to another? i.e., an allogeneic hair transplant.

If this were possible, it would essentially be a hair loss cure. There would be no shortage of people with stellar hairlines that would be willing to donate a fraction or their hair to balding men and women for a decent price. My father would give me some of his for free.

Unfortunately, the biggest issue with person-to-person hair transplants is rejection of foreign material. The only way to overcome this problem would be via the recipient taking immunosuppressants for life, which is potentially very dangerous.

Allogeneic Hair Transplant Success: No Immunosuppressants

A few days ago, it was announced that researchers from Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) had successfully conducted an allogeneic hair transplant without the use of immunosuppressants. The research team was led by Professor Kwon Oh-sang.

Professor Kwon Oh-sang
Allogeneic hair transplant researcher Dr. Kwon Oh-sang.

While this particular success involved 24 mice-to-mice hair transplants rather than person-to-person hair transplants, it is still absolutely groundbreaking.

Moreover, the mice immune systems were “humanized” via hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Nevertheless, this story was not covered by any newspapers or online publications in the western world. No idea why as some of them (especially the superficial Daily Mail) have excellent coverage of groundbreaking hair related stories.

Normal hair transplants as we know them are autologous. Meaning that a person has his own grafts moved from his donor site to his recipient site. Allogeneic hair transplants are an entirely different animal.

Remove the Dendritic Cells

In this latest South Korean research, the scientists overcame immune system rejection of donor hair by eliminating dendritic cells. The team used ultraviolet B radiation to remove all the donor dendritic cells that were present in the donor hair follicles.

Interestingly, the scientists point out that hair follicles are less likely to be rejected by the immune system than other organs such as the heart, kidney and so on. In this regard, hair follicles are a bit like the cornea in terms of immune privilege.

According to the team, hair follicles are independent organs present in the skin and have an “immune privilege” that is relatively free from immune rejection. As the brain and cornea also have this privilege, the team could reproduce the same state of hair follicles that existed in people’s bodies by removing the donor dendritic cells involved in direct antigen presentation.

According the Dr. Oh-sang, such an allogeneic hair transplant procedure will be challenging to apply in practice when it comes to humans. However, this discovery does create new potential applications that were not possible before.

I wonder if he plans to start experimenting with part-autologous and part-allogeneic hair transplant procedures in humans in the near future? Most likely, donors will be selected via Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) matching.

Also of Interest:

First ever skull and scalp transplant.

— Face, organ, and limb transplants: and immunosuppressive drugs.

64 thoughts on “Allogeneic Hair Transplant Success”

  1. I previously thought that if Shiseido, Aclaris and Tsuji and the other players of note draw a blank in the next 2 years then that will be it, all existing science will have been exhausted and there will be nothing new to try for at least 15 years.
    This changes that, although I hope it doesn’t come to this.

    1. We can’t have everyone draw a blank the law of averages should kick in. We are due for a very effective treatment after thousands of various attempts. Still have my hopes up on Aclaris although anything that works would be nice. I am for just anything that works and make it in 2019 enough of hope time for real results.

      1. I would like to agree with you as I also have a vested interest. But you must accept this as a possibility. It might be 2050 before we have something, or even longer.

        1. So you compare the complexity of hair loss to curing cancer? As it as not a disease per say, I agree with you it could take 2050 before finding a “magic pill”, BUT merely curing hair loss can be done with stem cell hair transplant which shouldn’t take much longer as we have the necessary technology.

        2. See! It’s that exact *MINDSET* for why nothing is happening though! Quit being a Donnie Downer. There is just way too much if that in the hairloss community.

          A cure is possible. And I will always blame pessimistic quitters and the greedy pharmaceutical companies for stepping in and dispupting that. They make MONEY from garbage like minoxidil and propecia. If you find a cure, that steady cash flow would evaporate! You think they want that? Hell no. But I think if everyone bands together, it can be reversed. It takes fighters though. Not pessimistic quitters who want to wait around until 2050 for something. Will you even be ALIVE at that point? Think about what you just said, dude.

          People in general need to study the problem. Average folks who are actually suffering the problem and determined and passionate about the issue who aren’t necessarily learned or trained in medicine or science need to educate themselves to discover other possibilities. And nothing gimmicky or a bandaid approach. It shouldn’t be left up to just a few academic elites. Students at Universities as well. The answer is there….we just have to discover it.

          1. Hey Admin can you make an update about stem cell hair transplants? Are there any updates?

            Do you personally think a cure will come 2020? It’s only one year away. If so, which projects do you think look most promising?

            1. Hi Erik, I have not heard anything about stem cell hair transplants recently, and a lot of what I heard in the past seemed suspicious.

              If Takashi Tsuji/RIKEN suddenly say that their treatment will not come out by the end of 2020, I will become a little pessimistic.

              But there are a few other treatments besides Tsuji that might come out in the next 2-3 years whose combinational usage may be close to being a cure. Lets just wait till the end of this year before concluding anything. I bet Follica, Shiseido/Replicel, Samumed, Histogen and Follicum will all make some significant announcements before year-end 2019.

              Am also curious if Trinov was all hype or turns out to be at least as good as Minoxidil.

  2. The fact that it wasn’t posted in any news source is weird. This is an effective cure. You would all ht surgeons and companies like Bosley would be jumping for joy as this will keep them in business and attract new customers exponentially. Of course, this is the male pattern baldness field and everything has to 100000000x harder for everything.

  3. Hmm.. Maybe people who are blessed with hair will sell 10 percent of it for big money, and then there will be a big donor pool for those willing to pay. Or, when hair follicle cloning is perfected, it won’t require patient-specific follicles to be produced, which will save a lot of time and money. Anyway, I’m looking forward to a time when they can just grow hair bearing scalps in labs and then transplant the follicles. It just seems like that’s so close to happening! Looking at you, PolarityTE

  4. lol Chad is an I…. Mindsets don’t bring cures, look at cancer, everyone wants one.Also, how would educating yourself on hair loss do anything? I would rather universities be working on this problem than people on this forum but thats me. Anyways, when in 2019 will Follica, Shiseido/Replicel, Samumed, Histogen and Follicum be making announcements. Are there dates for completion or trials? What specific news are people looking forward too most?

      1. What bothers me is the lack of transperancy of progress, results and drawbacks of these ongoing “projects”. This is what leaves us lost with only our hope left. They should update us every week or month through social medias with short announcements.

  5. I KNOW that there is a cure for male pattern hairloss it is no longer an IF. Proof, AA hair loss sufferers went from bald to full set of hair and outgrew a number of old arguments that said once you went bald you could never regrow hair that it was like watering a dead tomatoe plant a waste of time. That has proven to be a fallacy. Also the previous article showed several male pattern hair loss suffers who regrew a tremendous amount of hair. Thus its no longer an IF we can regrow hair but WHEN and HOW.

    That’s one reason why I have my hopes up on JAK since I know it has regrown hair for AA and why not us. I lost hope late last year but at least the previous article at least shows of one good treatment. In fact, I consider it the first real treatment ever for male pattern hairloss.

    I do think better treatments are about to happen either the cloning or JAK and in 2019. Finally, a few good companies have good research and we are simply waiting for those reak research results and not the info commercial cures.

    Its going to happen in 2019, and I see the previous article as the first REAL hair cure for us but I a few more should pop up in 2019.

    1. nasa_rs .. Right on! Sure hope you’re right about 2019. Even if it takes time to get to market, an announcement with proof made by any company will be enough to keep me going with hope. Riken has already said big things about 2019, so we’ll be ready to celebrate if they provide proof!

    2. Just out of curiosity, why do you think JAK Inhibitors will come out in 2019 or be a good treatment?

      I’m just happy multiple companies are working on treatments that are diverse in the way hair comes back. I’m not really a fanboy of any of the products or procedures like some are.

      Compare this to a decade ago when there weren’t many companies, we had Intercytex, Aderans, Histogen, etc… But Histogen got hit by a lawsuit back then or we would’ve had that treatment now.

      1. I like the fact that JAK is just a lotion and does not intail surgery. It just regrows your normal hair in normal areas. It is either going to work or it is not BUT we will know very soon as Aclaris is expected to release data around June with photos, assuming it does work.

        I’ll take any treatment as this point even the one from the previous article. Not sure why people are not more positive about that one. Sure its a pharmaceutical cocktail but at least it PROVES that male pattern hairloss sufferers can REGROW their own hair even after almost completely bald on that one particular case. Tick. Tick. Tick… Aclaris let us know.

          1. What are they going to name that one..Danny Devito. I am joking man. Have a good one. Hopefully the trearment entails even minox growth or propecia without the sides or as much maintenance ….I think that is a win for now. I fundamentally don’t think jaks will work. I hope I am wrong, if no major sides. The thing is….It’s used for inflammation. Even ulcerative colitis pharm companies have looked at jaks.

            Unless the jaks are new and different. Anyway….yeah a better treatment would be nice.

    3. Hey @nasa_rs, a quick question.
      I can’t find anymore how the mice in the first JAK topical study were genetically modified in order to be bald, were the mice DHT sensitive?

  6. 2050? Lol, Might as well have said 2100 or never, as by 2050 hairloss will be the least of my health concerns. Probably diabetes, cancer or dementia creeping in. Then again, by 2050 there might even be a cure for all that too.

    Just wanted to congratulate de Amdim for the amazing job he has done through the years by having this website running and giving us access to insightful new information, discoveries, interviews and other developments in the hairloss and other fields.

    Though I have never posted before i’ve Been visiting since 2014 or before looking for updates in hopes of something great.
    I even feel I know some of the usual posters here. So I guess I want to congratulate you guys too since with your comments and participation have kept this forum running all this time too!
    Anyway, let’s see which of the many possibilities can reaserchers land this and the upcoming year!

  7. Also, isn’t this the exact same thing as a hair transplant? The only difference is its someone else hair? Don’t the exact same concerns come into play with someone else hair?I do agree with nasa, the “cure” is out we just need to find it. I hope its within 5-10 years because in 5-10 years I’m going to have a bald spot similar to Manu Ginobilis lol. If a treatment comes out in 2019 (I doubt it) I probably won’t buy it until 2020 or 2021 to wait and see some results.

  8. This kind of thing is way way distant future stuff, but its cool to see. Too bad other countries seem to the be ones innovating in this kind of research and not the US.
    I still think we need to be pursuing preventative things like better AAs that are safer. AAs just have such great results and so much research its hard to look the other way even though they cant regrow hair.

  9. A fascinating new angle. That said, I do wonder how this would work practically. Needless to say, a donor would loose their follicles permanently (just as the hair is currently lost from the door site with existing hair transplants). My hair is now so thin that I do not qualify for a hair transplant (not enough donor sites). It seems unlikely that anyone would give up all their hair: except for a huge sum of money. So I would need matching hair from a number of donors. The cost alone would surely be prohibitive: even if I one could identify enough hair matches. So am a bit skeptical about this. I am pinning more hopes on cloning and as others have mentioned above, I hope that JAK inhibitors show promise for AGA as they have more AA. But the conditions are not the same, so we cannot be sure at this stage. That said, there are many other exciting developments around the WNT pathway (for example) which should give us hope. I have been losing my hair very slowly since I was 24; now at the age of 57 it seems to be accelerating so that the front and top are disappearing. I thought by now there would be a guaranteed cure (finesterdie and minoxidil have not worked for me). I have not given up all hope. This is a distressing condition and it is coming to dominate my thoughts. Like many here I would give a lot to get my hair back. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too much longer. Keep positive everyone. Thankfully we live in a marvelous age of scientific advances. Men (and women) have been praying for a cure to their hair loss woes since humans first evolved, and that (sadly) led them nowhere. We should be the first to see the dawn, and soon…

    1. Finding donors is not a problem. There is a black market for organ donors in India because of all the poor people and it is big business. China as well; they use executed prisoners for organ harvesting.
      The problem is finding a donor with matching hair. When I was having my hair system fitted, they said there are even 50 shades of black! My hair is not black, it’s just a comment they made. It makes their job difficult.

    2. Alan, sorry to hear that you have had to deal with this for so long! They say that hair loss is only noticeable once you have lost about 50 percent of your early teenage hair. So most people will not need more than 50 percent of their hair back to give an illusion of reasonably decent hair.

      Scott, I would definitely be ok with the hair in one part of my head being a little darker than in another part if I got it from two donors:-) I might even be ok with Jay Leno type grey/white thick hair as I get older. But I will not be ok with bald!

  10. Hi Alan, yeah man I feel for you. I have been suffering with this since I was 19, now 38. Not as long as you but getting there. You would think there would be something out by now but nothing. I still think there is a lot behind the scenes blockin better treatments. You are very lucky though to hold on to your hair for so long. Even if it’s thin, you still have more than some 23 year Olds who lost all their while on treatments. Fingers crossed follica, histogen come out before the year is out and maybe even sisheido. I would be happy to even see any of these treatments show massive regrowth pics just to give us hope that they got a real workin treatment. Hang in there buddy I have a good feeling for 2019.

    1. Thanks Mjones. I wish I could just shave what is left off. I find myself envying men who look good bald. Unfortunately, I have a very high forehead and my skull seems to go up in a lump. As my hair recedes I look more and more odd. It is not hair loss per se that bothers me (not at 57), but the shape of my skull. I get tired of reading comments from some people saying just shave it all off. Not an option for me. In some lights it does not look too bad, but in others it looks horrendous (especially lit from the back). Nor sure what I am going to do. I have thought of hair systems but I will soon have little left to blend with (and am very put off by all the maintenance). I increasingly think of living my life with headgear: like a Sikh; though I would not look good in a turban (!). I had a hat made which I have worn out in restaurants, though I do get stares (mostly from women for some reason…). I guess I may need to weigh that up against being self conscious about my head. This is really affecting my quality of life, so I do need to find a solution. Would be great if JAKs or something could come to the rescue, but I know that is not likely any time soon.

  11. Ive been counting down for it seems like forever, A part of me wishes I never found this forum because the wait is killing me. I have been on here for only around 3 years so I really do feel for some of the older guys on here. I hope in 2019 we get answers from these treatments, either yes or no…. no more beating around the bush with delays and other b.s … release some damn un-doctored pictures. Like I am praying for one company to simply release legit before and afters. That can’t be too hard to ask can it?

    1. Be glad you did not discover all the main hair loss forums out there 15 or more years ago like myself!

      BTW — This is officially known as a blog, rather than a forum. There have been a few people who seem to confuse the two terms for some reason.

    1. Well we did get a new product on the market in 2018 (just) i.e. Trinov. I am giving it a go, but at £100 a month (with shipping) I doubt I will go on for more than 6 months unless something amazing happens, which I doubt. Strange to think how strands of dead keratin can have such an impact on your life. But there is no getting away from the fact that hair frames the face and makes a big impact on your appearance. Not a good day today. I think the front of my hair is finally giving up the ghost. I am thinking again of hair systems. Just wish I had more hair at the sides to blend with.

  12. @tomjones- In all honesty I stopped hoping 5 years ago. I’m just post positive comments because nobody likes a Debbie downer. If you want my gut opinion…nothing will come out better than what we have now for quite some time. Been through way too many companies that were very promising to only close their doors. I believe they had working treatments. It’s just somebody shut them down. Big pharma doesn’t want a cure. My positive side says follica and SM will be our next new treatments. My negative side says will just get more brontzu lotions, advanced prp treatments that offer little growth and maybe better fue techniques for the next 5 to 10 years. This is just pattern I have noticed yhe past 18 years….

    1. What have you been doing and using to hold on to your hair for the past 18 years? I’m just curious if you don’t mind me asking.

    2. I just don’t buy the implication of “big pharma doesn’t want a cure” angle. No doubt there are many companies that do very nicely out of the status quo, but there are now so many established and start ups across the World working on potential cures that things have never looked so good. This is not 1950 when a few large (mostly) US companies could control a market. Just look at Japan: companies there (many in collaboration with the Government) are investing huge sums in regenetive medicine: including to find a permanent solution to hair loss.

  13. Hasn’t anyone found out about the micro-needling + minoxidil thread on hairlosstalk? It seems that we are really up to something, a lot of very good responders.

    1. I never block links to any of the hair loss forums out there, but the automatic spam detector often dumps those comments in the spam folder which I rarely check nowadays.

      To be safe, just post one link per comment.

      1. Could you make an interview with some of the more promising projects and see if we get any answers regarding progress, etc? You have many followers and I’m pretty sure they would be interested in that.

  14. Scott I honestly do believe they had working treatments. Aderans achieved maintenance but saw that the population wanted regrowth so they closed up shop. Intercytex grew hair but they got bought out. Now hairclone mentioned using their technology now …10 years later. If Intercytex didnt work why would hairclone build on their technology?

    Yes admin I am a debbie downer but more of a realist:) Money drives this world and drives all decisions.

    Btw political leaders in congress have invested in SM. And guess what…SM is the only treatment in phase 3 even though it only grows 10% more hair. So please don’t tell me politics and big pharma aren’t behind scenes.

    1. Well obviously big pharma and politics play a part. Big pharma will be the ones that get the money once they figure it out, and politics seems to find its way into everything. But the biggest obstacle is science. We just can’t do it yet.

      In the same way that Steve Jobs dying of cancer proved that the rich did not have a secret cure for it, people like the Amazon villain and Steve Balmer of Microsoft and Donald Trump prove that they also don’t have a secret cure for baldness.

    2. Propecia patent has expired. Today, finasteride cost 18 euros (20 dollars) per mo.
      A new treatment with stem cells will cost, as they ve said, 50k to 170k dollars. Well, an entire life of finasteride is less than that.
      And you can buy finasteride from 100 Labs differents. I think they want all the money. If there r ppl who cannot pay for the treatment, they still winnikg with finas, minox etc

  15. Going back to the theme of the article!! On reflection, this could work well with hair cloning for those who are slick bald and have no healthy follicles left. You take a few square centimetres from the back of the head of a donor who has lushes locks. You then clone the follicles. You treat them as was done in South Korea to get around the rejection issue. You then implant them in the donor scalp. Adds to the cost of the cloning process (which may start in Japan as early as next year) by reason of having to pay a donor. But surely this is feasible….And the various bits of science are certainly within sight.

    1. Thanks Daniel. Really interesting. It seems that the World’s scientists keep progressing even as its politicians go backwards. Of course, the prospects for scientific progress (including in the field of hair loss) depend on a World which is open, and permits the exchange of ideas. The worry is that Trump and his ilk will put us back from where we might otherwise be. Brexit will certainly not help. It is no surprise that the vast majority of scientists involved with research in the UK are against it. Thanks again.

  16. It has dawned on me that allogenic hair transplants are probably our best bet at achieving a cure short of successful hair cloning. There would be virtually endless supply of donor hair from organ donors (male or female) and it would be relatively easy to test hair follicles for presence of key MPB-related genes that would allow to determine whether follicles are suitable for donation (allowing for a time frame of anywhere from 5-25 years). I imagine this would be exceedingly costly, nevertheless even one clinic specializing in this would be enough to set a precedent for future standard treatment.

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