Hair Loss & Stem Cells
Stem cells are non differentiated cells
- They have two key features:
- Self renewal: they can give birth to other stem cells
- Potency: they can give birth to specialized cell types
- Stem cells are divided in two broad categories:
- Embryonic stem cells, which are totipotent: they can create a complete human being
- Adult stem cells, which are multipotent: they can generate an organ
Stem cells are at the origin of our body self regeneration faculties.
When suffering from hair loss, the telogen phase is prolonged, and the transition to the anagen phase becomes more difficult. Hair become thinner and the percentage of hair transitioning to the telogen phase continues to increase.
The problem comes from the fact that the hair follicle stem cells/outer root sheath cells (also called ORSc) located in the bulge along the hair, are less productive, and less adapted to improve the quality of the matrix (made of keratinocytes) supporting the hair follicle growth. Furthermore, the fibroblasts located in the dermal papilla (also called Hair follicle dermal papilla cells) are less efficient in communicating with the stem cells, meaning that the matrix will not be renewed as it used to. Initiating the anagen phase becomes more sluggish, and hair loss becomes a part of daily life.