Category Archives: Coen Gho

A New Dawn In Baldness Treatments?

Today’s “The Telegraph” newspaper from the UK has an interesting article titled:

Are we witnessing a new dawn for baldness treatments?

Unfortunately, the article is behind a Paywall, but I have highlighted the main points further below.

Baldness Treatments.
Current Baldness Treatment Recommendations.

Interesting New Baldness Treatments

As is the case with all such clickbait titled articles, a lot of the information is not new to us or is exaggerated. Nevertheless, I do believe that the past 5-10 year period has been the most groundbreaking in hair loss research history.  And this article has some interested new information.

Dr. Coen Gho

Amazingly, the first ten paragraphs of the article are devoted to Dr. Coen Gho and his Hair Science Institute! For anyone who has been reading about hair loss treatments for more than 15 years, Dr. Gho is a legend as well as highly controversial. Please read my past post on Dr. Coen Gho and his hair multiplication technique.

Dr. Gho’s method attempts to avoid donor area hair thinning by only using part of the follicle during a hair transplantation procedure. It supposedly works by stimulating the stem cells within that small piece of tissue to generate new hairs. At the moment, this supposedly yields two hairs from a single follicle fragment. However, Dr. Gho is now developing a separate technique that could potentially generate 10 hairs:

“Gho has just gained approval to test the technique in female patients in research studies. If all goes well, he hopes that it may be possible to offer it as a treatment in the next four to five years.

Right now a typical treatment involves taking grafts from 1,400 hair follicles, which means 3,000 new hairs,” says Gho. “Can you imagine what we can achieve if we could use those same grafts to generate 10,000 hairs?”

Please note that there is significant debate and controversy about Dr. Gho’s technique and its efficacy.

According to Dr. Gho, current hair transplant demand at his clinic is 3-4 times higher than before the Covid pandemic. This makes sense per various hair transplant statistics. All my hair transplant advertisers also backed out this year since their clinics are too busy through Spring 2022. They do not want to keep rejecting new patients! Zoom, Teams, FaceTime, Instagram and more have really pushed people into getting cosmetic surgery at a record rate.

Cassiopea and Riken

In this article, Cassiopea CEO Dr. Diana Harbort is quoted as saying that there is a major need for a novel hair loss treatments. She gets weekly e-mails from people trying to enroll in trials for the company’s hair loss product Breezula.

Riken and Dr. Tsuji are discussed in great detail, especially his attempts at crowdfunding (they only need $3.2 million). According to Dr. Tsuji:

“As soon as we can get the funding, a clinical study could be started within a few months, and a pay-to-participate clinical program could begin within two years in Japan.”

Dr. Ke Cheng and Exosomes for Baldness

Of most immediate interest to me is a section on exosomes as being one of the new array of baldness treatments. It is preceded by a discussion of PRP for hair loss.

I have covered exosomes in detail in three past posts. There was also a presentation on this treatment at last month’s ISHRS conference (where it was discussed favorably, albeit with warnings about new FDA regulations).

In this latest Telegraph article, the author interviewed Dr. Ke Cheng  from the Cheng Lab at North Carolina State University. Mr. Cheng is a professor of regenerative medicine and his research interests include exosomes and micro-RNAs. His team published a paper on exosomes and hair growth in 2020:

Cheng Lab Exosomes
Exosomes hair loss treatment paper from Cheng Lab.

Dr. Cheng’s Lab is using exosomes from healthy hair follicle cells (which also contain microRNA) and injecting them into balding regions of the scalp. These “fresh” exosomes send messages to the hibernating cells to promote hair regrowth.

“So far Cheng has tested this approach in mice and found that it can achieve a six to seven-fold increase in hair growth compared with traditional hair loss drugs such as minoxidil. He is now conducting experiments to see whether the same results can be achieved in human hair cells in the lab.”

Dr. Cheng plans to start clinical trials in “the next five years” and is actively speaking to venture capital firms. Kind of a strange time frame, since so many hair transplant surgeons already offer this treatment.

Even with strict new FDA regulations, it seems like some doctors are still treating patients with exosomes. Note that these extracellular vesicles are derived from another person, so are not classified as autologous in nature.

Christophe Guillemat and Stem Cell Transfer (SCT) Hair Transplants

Over the past two years, perhaps the single most popular subject that I have been asked to provide my opinion on and have not is with regards to Dr. Christophe Guillemat (of the CFS Barcelona clinic in Spain) and his Stem Cell Transfer (SCT) hair transplantation technique.

Till now, I have avoided discussing this man because there was similar excitement about Dr. Coen Gho and his donor hair regeneration technique some 5-10 years ago, and to this day I am not sure if Dr. Gho is really getting any significant level of hair regeneration consistently (assuming the partial hairs that he transplants to the frontal and crown regions of patient scalps all grow in the first place).

The biggest problem with such claims of donor hair regeneration is that patients can not really precisely tell what portion of their donor hair (if any at all) regenerated, so we are reliant on a surgeon’s word. Donor region pictures of the back of the scalp also never tell you for sure what portion of hair has regenerated.

Even with zero hair regeneration in regular hair transplants, donor regions typically never look like they are balding in spite of having much less density than prior to transplantation.

Dr. Gho has attracted a lot of skepticism over the years from other hair transplant surgeons. Moreover, I would have thought that by now he could have made a fortune if he were to have taught his potentially revolutionary technique to other surgeons for a very high fee, instead of still continuing to perform hair transplants himself. Nevertheless, I do not doubt his technique entirely, since there does seem some sound logic behind the idea that leaving some stem cells behind could lead to donor follicle regeneration.

Dr. Christophe Guillemat and Stem Cell Transfer (SCT) Hair Transplants

Going back to the subject matter, I finally decided to cover Dr. Guillemat because five days ago he published a groundbreaking (or fluff) blog post that is a must read. You will need to translate it into English via right clicking in your browser and selecting “Translate to English” or via using the Google Translate webpage. Dr. Guillemat wrote the post after seeing extremely positive results in three patients’ donor hair regeneration one year post stem cell transplantation.

The title of Dr. Guillemat’s blog post when translated reads “Resounding success in hair generation with stem cells“! Some of the other overly extravagant sentences in the translation that I have pasted below made me laugh with disbelief, but I do hope that they are all true and I prove to be very wrong in my skepticism:

“We’ve got an average of 82% of hair regeneration with stem cells in the donor area !!!”

“It is the first time in the history of hair transplants that such an important hair regeneration is achieved” — Note: I wonder if Dr. Gho agrees?

“In short, the process works and can say that we are at the beginning of a new era for the correction of baldness”

“To this day, there was no technique that allows hair implants recover such amount of follicles in the donor area!”

“The stem cell transfer is a reality”

“Revolutionary technique that allows patients to repopulate a bald area without losing their hair capital in the donor area.”

To be fair to Dr. Guillemat, despite the overly emotional language, he does mention some limitations and areas that need improvement:

  • Only 50-60 percent growth in recipient areas and 82 percent hair regeneration in donor area (both numbers will need improving).
  • Cell transfer is a much more delicate procedure in comparison to entire hair follicle transfer.

Dr. Guillemat is going to publish more patient information, photos and videos on his blog in the coming days. If you are really interested in this technique, you should also read his past blog posts, see some of his YouTube videos and follow him on Twitter.