Category Archives: Exosomes

Exosome Before and After Photos: McGrath Medical

Dr. Dan McGrath from McGrath Medical is perhaps the most experienced person in the world when it comes to using exosomes for hair growth. Closely followed by Dr. Jerry Cooley. In my first post on exosomes and hair growth from 2019, I linked to several of his videos. In this post, I will show some of his more recent best case before and after results.

5cc Exosomes for Hair Growth from McGrath Medical. Full Scalp. 3 Months.
5cc exosomes on full scalp. 3 month results showing significant new hair growth and thickening. Source: McGrath Medical.

In spite of great results such as the above, I think that the original excitement in regards to using exosomes for hair loss was a little overblown. However, there continue to be new published studies and conference presentations pertaining to exosomes and hair loss.

Who knows how much of this is marketing versus actual results. But the subject matter interest from both readers and scientists remains significant. Moreover, far more doctors will jump on board the exosome bandwagon if the FDA sorts out pressing legal issues in 2021.

Below Dr. McGrath patient at 8 weeks post 7cc injection of exosomes:

7cc Exosomes. Full Scalp. 8 Weeks Hair Growth.
7cc Exosomes. Full Scalp. 8 Weeks. Source: McGrath Medical.

Anecdotal Data Point

One of this blog’s most reputable long-time readers underwent an exosome procedure on his scalp in January 2020. He does not want me to divulge his name. He had 5cc’s of exosomes injected into his scalp in addition to microneedling.

At 5 weeks post injections, he was very impressed. His words to describe the procedure were “game changer” and “my confidence has quadrupled”. His shedding declined and his existing hair became thicker. Unfortunately, 3-6 months post treatment, he felt like the results were not as great anymore.

Later on, he told me that he thinks there was only some minor benefit. Exosomes were modestly more effective than PRP at thickening his hair per his experiences with both. Make sure to also read my post on whether PRP works to treat hair loss.

McGrath Medical: Exosome Before and After Photos

Last week. Steve Cook from McGrath Medical sent me around 10 before and after photos of exosome patients treated at their clinic. Note that Dr. McGrath is not a sponsor of this blog and I am not being compensated for displaying any of the pictures in this post.

According to Steve:

    • The price for the first 5cc at their clinic is $5,000. Discounts are sometimes available for larger sessions.
    • Dr. McGrath uses Direct Biologics’ ExoFlo™ product. It is also called XoFlo™. The exosomes in this product are obtained from bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells.
    • Dr McGrath encourages all patients to try the oral combination of finasteride + minoxidil + biotin first for at least 6 months before investing in ExoFlo. Women who can still have children will not get finasteride. If a patient does not want to take the oral medication for any reason, they suggest the topical version. After the 6 months, if they are not seeing expected results, they are encouraged to remain on the medication, but consider adding ExoFlo.
    • The procedure is largely for people who still have at least some remaining existing hair. My note: I would not go for this treatment if I was a Norwood 5 or higher on the male pattern baldness scale. For women with more generalized thinning hair patterns, this treatment may be more frequently viable.
    • Some patients do get regrowth of new hair (see below two images from McGrath Medical). However, this is not promised to anyone. My note: I doubt that these types of exceptional results are common. The first patient below is the same as in this video (I think).
2cc Exosomes from Dr. Dan McGrath. Frontal Scalp Only. 3-Month Hair Growth.
2cc exosomes injected into frontal scalp only. 3-month results.
  • Dr. McGrath has to date treated over 400 hair loss patients with exosomes. In many of them, he combines exosome treatment with hair transplants.
  • The 5cc vial contains approximately 100 billion exosomes and covers one-half of the scalp. The 10cc vial covers the entire scalp from front to back.
5cc Exosomes. Frontal Scalp. 3 Months.
5cc exosomes treatment for hair loss. Frontal scalp only. Before and after 3 months.

Darker Hair with Exosomes

Darker Hair after Exosomes.
Darker hair regrowth after 10cc exosomes treatment.

In some instances, exosomes can also darken new hair growth. This is seen in the before and after photos of the patient on the right. He received a significant 10cc of injections.

I have covered this patient’s eyes for the purposes of this blog. However, you can find full images on Dr. McGrath’s site. Including another one of a person getting darker hair after exosome therapy.

Exosomes and Hair Loss Update

When I published my first post on exosomes and hair growth in late 2019, I got numerous requests for an update. However, the US FDA has since posted warnings about the unregulated use of exosomes for hair loss and other regenerative medicine applications. I was awaiting further updates in relation to product safety and legality.

Over the past decade, the FDA has generally been very hands-off when it comes to stem cell and related treatments. This includes PRP, adipose-derived stem cells, SVF and more. The government likely did not want to inhibit the growth of new therapies in regenerative medicine per Dr. Ron Shapiro.

However, we now have problems with the proliferation of unethical clinics. Some use third-party derived exosome products that are poorly processed and can cause side effects and infection. Sometimes, these products may not even contain exosomes! Or they contain 1000s of times fewer exosomes per cubic centimeter (cc) then promised.

One key issue to look out for in 2021 will be updates on 351 versus 361 status. The former is expensive to attain. Technically, exosomes fall under 351. Meaning that they need to be regulated as drugs and/or biologics. Note: I am not 100 percent certain about these technicalities, but the gist of the matter is that one needs to be cautious.

Adding to my delay in writing this post, the initial excitement about this subject matter was perhaps overblown. Exceptional results have not been as frequent as expected and advertised in some Youtube videos out there. I also wanted to see if more doctors would jump on the exosome bandwagon in 2020. And if more studies and patents would be published on this topic.

Exosomes for Hair Loss Feedback

I have received feedback and updates from a number of doctors since I published the original post in 2019.

Dr. Jerry Cooley is one of the early pioneers of using exosomes to treat his hair loss patients. His website has an updated section on this subject with a number of before and after photos. Dr. Cooley uses ExoFlo™ products from Direct Biologics. These exosomes are derived from bone marrow cells. Note that Direct Biologics also market the product as XoFlo™.

According to Dr. Robin Unger, her exosome results are more dependable than platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Moreover, she already gets good results from using PRP to treat hair loss. Make sure to compare growth factors in PRP versus this comprehensive list of growth factors in exosomes. Dr. Unger has been using exosomes for more than a year and is currently undertaking a study on their benefits.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport, “Exosomes are not FDA approved. No guarantees or promises can be made regarding treatment or cures of conditions or diseases with exosomes”. He only uses them for people who have not responded as well as he likes to PRP. Below is one of Dr. Rapaport’s patients before and 3 months after being treated with exosomes for his hair loss.

Exosomes Before and After Hair Growth
Exosome hair loss treatment in a young male. Before and 3-months after hair growth. Source: Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport.

Dr. Rapaport also said that he believes in Direct Biologics. “The company has an IND for using exosomes to treat Covid. This says something for the safety of the product”. Per the doctor, one cannot be sure that exosomes will still be available to treat hair loss after May of 2021. Apparently, that is when the FDA concludes its evaluation.

Note: My hope is that the FDA takes a lenient position on exosome use. But also imposes very stringent requirements on any company seeking proprietary exosome product marketing approval. If there is an outright ban, I would not be surprised if people start going to other countries for treatment. This would be far more dangerous.

According to Dr. Ron Shapiro, the debate over the use of placental versus bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes still exists. Note that stromal and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be derived from bone marrow; the placenta; umbilical cord tissue; adipose tissue; molar cells; and amniotic fluid.

Combination Treatment with PRP

Dr. Shapiro is very pleased with his results to date and sent me the below two before and after photos of one of his patients. Note: I always assume that all photos sent to me from any doctor or surgeon are examples of best-case results.

The first photo below is 6 weeks after combination treatment with 5 cc exosomes and PRP. The second photo is another 6 weeks after an additional 5 cc exosomes + PRP + Wharton’s Jelly addition to the treatment.

The results are excellent in my opinion. Note that the second after photo was taken by the patient himself at home, hence the difference in lighting. It is often not possible to get a patient to fly back to a clinic just to get an after photo in similar lighting and background. Dr. Shapiro also sent me closeups of the crown and entire frontal scalp of this patient. All looked great to me.

Week 0, Week 6 and Week 12 Treatment Progression

Exosomes PRP Before After Hair Growth
6 weeks before and after results after 5 cc Exosome and PRP combination hair loss treatment. Source: Dr. Ron Shapiro.
Exosomes, PRP and Wharton's Jelly Hair Loss Treatment
12 weeks before and after results after initial 5 cc Exosome and PRP combination hair loss treatment. Then, at 6 weeks, a second 5 cc Exosomes and PRP injections treatment (with the addition of Wharton’s Jelly). Source: Dr. Ron Shapiro.

New Exosome and Hair Loss Studies

In comparison to 2019, fewer studies on exosome treatment for hair loss were published in 2020. But at least half of this year was wasted due to shutdowns.

And finally, a September 2020 article on stem cell hair loss treatments has two important notes on exosomes:

  1. There are currently no clinical studies on extracellular vesicle (or exosome) therapy for hair growth.
  2. There are presently no standard effective isolation methods for exosomes.

The second statement above ties in with recent warnings from the US FDA. Irreputable exosome products can cause major side effects or worse.

Part 2 of this post will come next week.