First ever Skull and Scalp Transplant

The original version of this post (see bottom half) was in relation to the world’s first ever skull and scalp transplant in 2015. I am now updating the post with news of the world’s first African American face transplant in 2019. And the world’s first combined double hand and face transplant in 2021. The first two of these three examples also involved a bonus: brand new scalp hair.

Note that science has now reached a point where taking dangerous immunosuppressants is a lot safer. Moreover, some researchers think that in future we will need minimal to no immunosuppressants. Especially beyond the immediate short-term after surgery.

Make sure to also read my post on the exciting future of allogeneic hair transplants.

First Ever African American Face Transplant in 2019

The world’s first ever face transplant in an African American person (Robert Chelsea) took place in 2019. Later in the year, the news media widely covered his story with amazing after photos. As of 2019, only around 50 face transplants had been performed worldwide.

African Face Transplant
First African Face Transplant.

What is also amazing is that 68-year old Mr. Chelsea grew back a young person’s hairline, with dark pigmented hair from the donor face. While this face transplant did not include a full scalp transplant, it seems like a significant portion of the donor scalp was also transferred during the procedure.

10:40 into the below video:

“Now what looks really different is he has hair”.

First Combination Face and Double Arm Transplant in 2021

In 2021, medical and surgical science made yet another big breakthrough. The surgical team from NYU Langone Health performed a face and double hand transplant for 22-year-old Joe DiMeo. Both of these procedures are extremely rare. A combination of the two is quite astounding. The lead surgeon was Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez.

June 4, 2015

In a recent post, I discussed face, organ and limb transplants and the connection with person to person hair transplants. Unlike with organ transplants that save lives, doctors will never prescribe immunosuppressive drugs to those who are bald and want another (dead or alive) person’s hair.

Immunosuppressants are deemed to be too dangerous to be justifiable for any cosmetic procedure. However, I think that people on immunosuppressants rarely seem to die of related causes, especially if they are not that old. Such patients are carefully monitored and dosages are reduced at the slightest signs of any adverse symptoms.

First Ever Skull and Scalp Transplant in 2015

Scalp and Skull Transplant with Hair
First ever scalp and skull transplant.

In any event, the reason for writing this post is that earlier today, it was announced that a US surgical team led by Dr. Jesse Selber has performed the world’s first ever skull and scalp transplant on a 55-year-old patient named James Boysen in Texas.

2016 Update: See Jim Boysen’s after photos with significant new scalp hair as a bonus.

For most men in their 50s, needing a haircut is a minor inconvenience. For James Boysen, it’s a nice problem to have.

Within days, his doctors marveled to see the transplanted scalp sweat and his hair grow.

Even more impressive, Mr. Boysen also received a new kidney and a new pancreas during the procedure because his old ones (that were also transplants!!) were failing. Mr. Boysen has had diabetes since age 5, and got his first kidney and pancreas transplants in 1992.

Unfortunately for Mr. Boysen, it seems like the immunosuppressant drugs that he had to take since his original organ transplants in 1992 perhaps contributed to him getting a rare type of cancer called leiomyosarcoma on his scalp in 2006. Although this cancer was treated successfully, it left his scalp significantly damaged. He finally got this scalp transplant after waiting for a donor scalp for a few years.

Mr. Boysen’s perseverance in spite of so much adversity and bad luck are truly admirable. The most interesting part of this story is that Mr. Boysen thinks that the new scalp will give him more hair than he had at age 21. This means that he was extremely bald at a very young age. From his after photo with the new scalp, it seems like the hair on the donor scalp has been shaved, but will grow in the coming months. It will be very interesting to see what Mr. Boysen looks like in another 6 months.

Here is the BBC story of this extraordinary development. My favorite version of this story with a video is on the UK’s Daily Mail. It should be noted that 3D printed skull transplants have been occurring since 2014. Just take a look at this one from this week. But this particular case was the first ever human to human skull transplant.

49 thoughts on “First ever Skull and Scalp Transplant”

  1. Alright Modern Medicine has Finally cured 1 Case of Male Pattern Baldness – a billion more to go. But hopefully there will be an easier method.

  2. Of course one could get the procedure/transplant (a scary one) and still lose their hair – or the hair doesn’t grow in for whatever reason. There are no guarantees and that’s quite a risk for a not for sure return. And you’re left with jagged scars. And I’m willing to bet it would be a lot more costly than a HT.

    It would be great if they could put donor hair onto/into another person. One could keep getting HTs until they’re satisfied.

  3. What’s happening with stemson therapeutics human trails for hair cloning? They said there supposed to start human trials this year does anyone know anything Jan I’m looking at you.

    1. They’re looking to hire someone for cell culturing right now, good sign. I don’t think you’ll be hearing news from Stemson until late August/September. Clinical trials can be expected to start next year (hopefully early next year).

          1. @yoyo although I appreciate your insight I was just being sarcastic. But anyways that’s freaking amazing news! How come no-one is talking about this. All I know I’ve been waiting for hair cloning since dolly the sheep was cloned in 1997.

              1. @yoyo thanks bro for the info, I’m incredibly saddened by histogen even though I saw it coming, it’s just so frustrating I mean we’re already eating cloned meat and have been cloning mammals since 97 and where about to land on Mars

  4. Hey All.
    Triple hair seems ready to release thier first natural hair loss therapy (Therapy-016) for men (under the name Rizen) and for women
    (Under the name Plenty).
    The company claiming a far superior results than minox 5% in clinical studies .
    As per the link below.
    Lets hope its not another Trinov.

    1. I’m skeptical of any “natural” therapy – there have been way too many over the years that did jack squat. So many made from plants and roots and herbs. If it were that easy we’d have it cured it by now.

      Also, it states it’s for those that don’t want a chemical cure. I can’t speak for others but m I’d swim in grade A chemicals (and gargle them like mouth wash) if it meant I’d get hair and I bet 99% of others here would too. I’d take a cure any which way I can get it, as long as the sides aren’t bad.

      This just seems like another money grab attempt to me, but I’m sure someone (not me) will try it and let us all know. I’d love to eat my hat (with mustard) and be wrong.

      1. I kinda agree and disagree with you in the same time. I don’t think finding a biochemical active element in nature that cures androgenic alopecia is impossible at all.
        the reason why we never saw a cure from this venue is due to the agency and patency issue of the health industry. Companies can only make profits if the product/procedure is patentable ..and that eliminates all the drive in all-natural treatments since they are not patentable.

        Bear in mind that the big three treatments for hair loss available today…(Finasteride/Minox/Nizoral) were discovered by chance and as a side effect…same as with Viagra.

        Also I believe this quest will keep going till we realize that the issue is not with the hair follicle itself (the seed). Its in the inflammatory scalp environment (the soil). That’s why transplanted hair dies after a while and you have to be on the big 3 protocol to maintain the transplanted hair. With every new study, we realize there is something wrong within the scalp environment (elevated PD2/low oxygen/calcification/fibrosis/unbalanced scalp microbiota/overgrowth of P.acnes bacteria), which confirms the obvious.

        This guy reversed his hair loss without using the big 3. Worth checking out.

        1. I get what you’re saying but at this point, what natural ingredients haven’t been tried in almost every combination? You’ve got companies saying fruit juices rubbed into the scalp regrow hair. I mean, anything is possible. But I just don’t think the cure will come from a plant or some fruit. But who knows.

          And yeah, I see blogs all the time with people saying they cured their hair loss. Sure, and the reason they didn’t bring this to market and make themselves billions is….

          Because it doesn’t work, at least for the vast majority. Probably only worked for the blogger because his was something like stress induced (remove stress and they’re back to normal). Or something like that. Some random blogger does not have the answer because if he did we’d all have hair. He’d bottle it up. People would be shouting about it. I’d have a man bun right now.

          I think the cure will come from science. Scientists. Not botanists. Or random people playing chemist/inventor in their tree fort.

          Just my two cents of course. I’d love to see a cure any which way I can get it.

    2. Company site doesn’t list ingredients, but the patent filings in the product timelines are easily obtained. The doctor in question is Dr. Haufar Sekhavat. Look here:

      He has filed for several patents on various formulations of topical therapies combining minoxidil, finasteride, and latanaprost. He is an ophthalmologist, so latanaprost makes sense.

      He has also filed two patents for a hair loss combination treatment using melatonin and resveratrol.

      Judge for yourselves! Though, to be fair, there isn’t anything “all natural” about minoxidil, finasteride, and latanaprost, which makes me think we’re looking a the melatonin/resveratrol patents as examples of what they plan to bring to market. To be fair, I’d give it a try, because the studies on melatonin and hair growth suggest the hormone is involved in other (non-human) mammalian hair growth cycles.

  5. A scalp transplant! At this point why don’t we really push the edge and get a head transplant !! If you’re lucky you end up looking like Brad Pitt;)

      1. In many religions and cultures hair plays a fundamental role, in some cases being without it is equivalent to being an evil spirit or worse …

    1. I agree. Similar to the surgically altered Kadashian’s. Rumour has it, they give each other new heads for Christmas.

    1. That’s the trick. If they could find a way to allow donor hair from others to be transplanted, we’d have a cure (basically). They could take donor hair from people willing to donate (for a few), bank them and have them for any HT. Then it’s just planting vs spending time pulling from the sides.

  6. “By growing a new thymus from stem cells matched to transplanted tissues, we can condition the immune system to be tolerant to the transplant and to avoid chronic immunosuppression.”

    I Believe the thymus is responsible for much of the immune systems function. Being able to clone a Thymus from a donor’s stem cells could stop the rejection of donor hair follicles. But even if it was possible to clone a thymus today, it wouldn’t be ethical to have major surgery for the sake of curing A. Alopecia.


      1. Major surgery has many health risks involved. To undergo major surgery to fix a condition classed as “cosmetic”, wouldn’t be ethical, so unlikely to ever be legalised.

  7. I’ve had hair loss for 6 years. couldn’t tell for 6 years and in the span of 4 months its getting bad. why I dont know, ive been on rogaine and propecia for the whole time. didn’t change a thing. being bald isn’t an option. its a non starter. as much as I dont want a piece of glued on wig on my head. ive given up on a cure in the decade. im 20 so ill wear a system until im 30 and when they come out with something when im 35 ill take it off. I dont get people here talking about price. as in the stemson team is doing it out of the goodness of their heart. like what? this this is obviously going to be 6 figures. I have 20k in my bank and if a cure with free top offs was 300k, id take out a loan or work overtime. anybody thinking its 50k to appeal to more people boggles me. im throwing in the towel and will get a system in a year. their real enough today where I think ill be fine. having hair line lifts and swimming/sweating are my greatest concerns but its the card I was dealt with in life.

    1. I’m with you on cost. I’m not rich, but I’d pay quite a bit if I had to. It would be great if it was reasonable and maybe it will be one day but it won’t likely be at first, especially if it involves cloning. Even at 50k a large portion of the population couldn’t afford it – or wouldn’t be willing to pay that much. I’m sure I have a limit as to what I’m willing to pay but I’m not sure what it is. It’s up there, let’s just say that.

      I’m also with you on the last few months. I haven’t changed anything (food, medicine, etc) but my hair has been getting way worse over the last 4 or 5 months. I can’t explain it. I’d like stemson to start making leaps and bounds pronto, though.

        1. I thought allo said they can only keep the hairs alive for six months after the procedure. Maybe I missed the update.

          1. The Korean researcher is still doing research and his past indications were that the prospects look good. The scalp transplant guy in this post and the face transplant guy both also saw permanent new hair growth (not just 6 months).

      1. Its the card we were dealt. its sucks a lot. like before I would think about life, no this sh*t is consuming every waking min, its so stupid. but yeah I dont expect it to be done by the end of the decade. it will def come out in the 2030’s but I dont expect it to go below 200k, just because of demand. a new bald baby is born every day. the demand is exponential. it reminds me of insulin. insulin is just from pigs at the end of the day, and prices go up every year. that stuff is nearly 1-2k for a month supply. id pay 300k if I had free refills. like I would work 90 hour weeks at work to make it happen, just because at 35 most guys are their most attractive, so if I think about 300k as my cost to take a wig off my head and feel free or live in a house. ill take the hair and a rental. you also have to realize, I think women will pay more. women will spend 500k if it means they can take a weave out. Look at all the Louis and Cartier out there. a 100k watch. like seriously. so I think the competition isn’t to get the price lower. its to reserve a spot and fight off other people.

        1. Yeah, I’m not as concerned with price. I just want to see results – confirmed in humans. Then they can set the clock for when it hits the market and how much it’ll cost.

          You’re probably right about the timeline but what’s depressing is…people have been saying that for years. In 2010 people said by 2020z in 2000 they said by 2010. Hasn’t happened yet. BUT I feeeel like we’re close (though others in years past probably said that too).

          1. Its all about financial motivation. the past decade 10’s of billions have been poured into messaging apps, food delivery apps. TikTok raised 13 billion dollars in capital. its gonna take someone spending 50 billion to fight off hair loss, cure diseases. the money isn’t there right now because of regulation. it takes 10 years of testing t get regulatory approval. whereas Facebook, Uber etc can just launch an update overnight. I will say at some point there will be a super computer that will analyze diseases and tell us the cause. those don’t exist yet but there’s 10’s of billions being poured into them. google spends 10’s of billions trying to figure it out. so if someone doesn’t find a cure, a computer will eventually. id say we’re closer because of computer. but super computers are 30 years away. its 1000% accurate to stay this will be solved in our lifetime by someone.

            Let me ask you, how do you all feel about hair systems. I watched a few videos and so long as you go light on density it looks amazing. like really amazing. so long as it doesn’t feel weird on my head and stay on for a week im fine having one. what sucks is, in 4 months I went from 100% density to having my sides and back thin. what I have might be scarring alopecia because my head is always in pain but oh well.

            1. A hair system isn’t for me. I travel a lot (pre pandemic almost every three weeks). From what I understand, they take quite a bit of maintenance and they’re not cheap (but can look cheap if it’s not done right). I don’t knock it, it’s just not for me. I’ve seen some good videos but I haven’t seen someone with a good one and my fear is that it doesn’t look as good as the pics or videos. But it might. Like anything else, probably depends on where you go and how much you spend. I don’t like the idea of it pasted to my head, to be honest. But maybe I’d get over it if I met someone with one and it looked good.

              1. Everyone the closest thing we have to curing this or coming really close to it, Is verteporfin not trying to hype it up I’m just saying. We really really need a hair transplant doc or a phase 1 trial so hair transplant doctors can use it off label.

                1. What I find as the biggest giveaway that someone is wearing a hair system, is how it matches up with the hair on the sides and rear. Hairlines have come a long way, but I see guys with much thinner hair on the back and sides and different shade of color then the top. Some guys pick a nice thick top but that isnt realistic because the transition isnt subtle. So they look in the mirror and all looks good but they fail to look at the side angles and they certainly do not check the back. Now I’ve seen some darn good hair systems too. Key is to match it up with existing hair as close as possible. Sounds obvious I know. It definitely requires time and maintanance im sure.

                2. Woofy – definitely promising! I’d left them try it on me lol. Seriously, someone just needs to try it and see. Sign me up!

  8. This seems interesting. We all know we suffer from hair loss, anyone who is on this website. The First Genetic Test for Hair Loss: Introducing TrichoTest, from Fagron.

    TrichoTest analyzes prostaglandins metabolism, inflammation, androgenic effect, vasodilation and blood circulation, collagen synthesis, vitamins and minerals metabolism, and insulin-like growth factor metabolism.

  9. With a hair system, I am thinning a bit on the sides but I have short hair. I look better with short hair. at 22 im not looking to have that face covering hair you see on TikTok. so so Long as I pick a light density that short, say 1-2 inches, with a lace hairline. it should look super realistic. also I kinda have the money to get it professionally done every week. I weigh my options. no hair vs hair that looks 90% realistic. also maybe you dont see alot of people with hair systems because they look so realistic. you dont see alot of people on YouTube putting hair system videos out because no one wants to expose themselves like that. besides I have a different mindset. im willing to wear it for 10 years or 15 years because I know hair cloning will be here 2035-2040 for a fact. I think they’ll start trials in 2025.

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