NEW FINDINGS IN STEM CELLS FOR HAIR GROWTH

New findings in stem cells for hair growth

Svenson Hair has brought trichology to clients the world over for over 60 years. While tools and techniques have since progressed, our convictions remain the same: hair and scalp care that’s committed and holistic. Always one to bring the latest news and discoveries to their clients, Svenson attended the World Congress Hair Research 2019 this April at Barcelona. Much time was invested into the lectures, and exciting new discoveries were learned. This is part 2 of a series of 4 articles that the team has prepared to share their learnings.

At the World Congress Hair Research 2019 in Barcelona, many new findings from scientific research on hair follicle stem cells were shared. These initial studies have certainly opened the door to more possibilities when it comes to prevention and treatment of hair loss with stem cells, as more research in needed.

As one of the leading brands in the industry, Svenson has always strived to bring the latest technology, formulations and information in regards to your hair and scalp care. As stem cell technology and research has always been evolving, Svenson invested time and effort to gather information on the latest findings on this topic, especially during WCHR 2019. We’ve broken down the scientific articles into bite-sized snippets below.

However, to understand more on what was covered during the seminar, a basic understanding of the Hair Bulb Anatomy is needed:

Hair Bulb Anatomy

The hair follicle is what anchors each hair strand to the scalp. Though hair is a non-living body part, it does stem from the hair follicles – a skin organ. Within that follicle, is a hair bulb that forms the base of the follicle, and is also the connection point between the blood vessels and hair root via the hair papilla.

Hair Bulb Anatomy

The hair bulb contains living cells which divide and grow to build the hair shaft, these cells are also known as hair follicle epithelial stem cells (HFSCs).

Hair regrowth is dependent on HFSCs, which are found in both the bulb region and papilla of a hair follicle . HFSCs respond to signals from the nervous system, body cells and adipose tissue, which allows them to adapt to environmental changes. For example, one may experience the loss of hair due to stress as the hair root is responding to the body’s signals of high levels of stress.

This is why understanding how HFSCs function and what exactly affects them is important to understanding the basis of hair loss diseases1.

1. Hair Follicle Stem Cells (HFSC) in the Bulb Area of a Hair Root

HFSCs found in the bulb area usually remain dormant throughout most of adult life. It has been found however, that following skin wounding, bulb stem cells would leave the bulb area and contribute to the healing of the epidermis2.

This leads to the possibility of exploring therapy options that emulate skin wounding slightly, just enough to stimulate and activate the stem cells from the bulb area to rejuvenate the entire follicle – such as using derma-rollers.

2. Secondary Hair Germ – Key to Growth

Secondary Hair Germ Key to Growth

The Secondary Hair Germ (SHG) which is found at the junction where the arrector pili muscle joins the hair follicle consists of HFSCs. It is a key player in hair and follicle regrowth as it helps to build the layers required in a hair follicle, as well as the outer root sheath3. Recent acquired data revealed that the SHG is a primary target for growth-inducing signaling, and supports that the SHG cells are capable of being “germinative”4.

This discovery leads to more possibilities of engaging studies into the SHG to look into its germinative pattern and role in the hair growth cycle to aid in hair loss prevention methods as well as hair growth efforts.

3. Physical Stimulation and its Effects on Hair Stem Cells

The long-believed notion of stem cells are that they are mainly regulated by signals from their surrounding micro-environment. More and more recent studies have refuted this instead, arguing that the stem cells may react to signals coming from multiple layers of environmental controls which are affected by changing external and physiological needs5. A previous study on testing this theory was demonstrated by plucking of hair at specific areas, with results showing that the hair plucking seemed to induce an efficient regeneration response – as though the stem cells are able to detect and respond to the hair plucking which is an external physical force6.

Another experiment was conducted to study this phenomenon – whether mechanical/physical cues from the environment such as hair plucking or skin stretching, can induce stem cells to have a regeneration response.

Changing the mechanical stimulation method, a specially designed device to stretch skin on scalp was used in this experiment instead. The research team conducting the experiment discovered that hair stem cells are activated in response to the stretching but hair regeneration only occurs when proper strain and duration were practiced .

This exciting discovery opens new doors to possibilities on regenerative medicine, and further validates existing therapies which engages mechanical simulation since cellular processes can be manipulated through it.

More articles on World Congress Hair Research 2019:


1 Millar, Sarah E. 2019, Hair follicle stem cells and their niches: Introductory Overview from a Murine Perspective, P85
2 Millar, Sarah E. 2019, Hair follicle stem cells and their niches: Introductory Overview from a Murine Perspective, P85
3 Panteleyev, Andrey 2019, The secondary Hair Germ: Revisitation of a Unique Progenitor Cell Niche, P85
4 Panteleyev, Andrey 2019, The secondary Hair Germ: Revisitation of a Unique Progenitor Cell Niche, P85-86
5 Chu, Sy, Chen, CC, Lee O K, 2019, Mechanical Stretch Induces Hair Regeneration Through The Alternative Activation of Macrophages, P87
6 Chu, Sy, Chen, CC, Lee O K, 2019, Mechanical Stretch Induces Hair Regeneration Through The Alternative Activation of Macrophages, P87

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