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HairClone® Hair Follicle Banking

What Is Hair Follicle Banking?

Hair Clone Scientist holding traysIf you could save healthy hair follicles now to use when you start balding later, would this be worth a quick procedure to you? Hair follicle banking from HairClone® is a revolutionary concept that involves harvesting high-quality hair follicles with the goal of cloning them and re-injecting them into the scalp. These grafts can be taken once someone has noticed their hair starting to thin, giving them the unprecedented option of being able to preserve their full head of natural hair. Leonard Hair Transplant Associates is one of few, exclusive hair restoration practices offering this advanced new option world-wide. Our team believes it will be a viable alternative or supplement to hair transplant surgery.

HairClone® — the first ever follicle banking program — is based in the U.K. and is made up of world-renowned hair loss specialists, hair transplant surgeons, scientists, and biotechnologists. By combining their expertise, this group has committed to advancing the science behind hair loss and rejuvenation. Our chief hair loss surgeon, Dr. Matthew Lopresti, has known these colleagues for years, and is thrilled to offer their innovative work achieved through HairClone®.

Why Should I Bank My Hair Follicles Now vs. Later?

Although the cloning process is still being developed, hair follicle banking is available now and can be highly beneficial for those wanting to thicken their thinning hair. By choosing to harvest these cells sooner rather than later, younger, healthier follicles can be banked before they start to degenerate, helping to “stop the clock” on their aging. Similar to a woman freezing her eggs or embryos for future childbearing, hair follicle banking while younger can preserve an opportunity that may otherwise not be available due to the aging process.

Since our team is one of a select group of practices offering this groundbreaking technique, you will also be able to have your cloned cells implanted earlier, once the technology is available in the near future. We pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of hair restoration advancements, including this newer option of hair follicle banking which we exclusively offer in our geographic area.

Who Is a Candidate for Hair Follicle Banking?

Hair follicle banking can be a great option for both men and women wanting to maintain a youthful head of hair. In general, the best candidates for this technique are those who can relate to the following:

Patients who are eligible for other hair restoration treatments, such as PRP therapy, are often great candidates for hair banking as well. During your consultation, one of our hair restoration surgeons can go over the details of hair follicle banking and help you determine if it may be right for your needs and goals.

What Does the Hair Follicle Banking Process Entail?

Once the hair cloning and re-injection steps are available in the U.S., the entire treatment is expected to be completed in a four-part process.

Hair Clone Steps

Part 1: Hair Follicle Harvesting

The initial step of the hair follicle regeneration process includes the extraction of hair follicles, which is performed in our office. Under local anesthesia, a tiny punch extractor will harvest about 120 follicles from the back of your head. The surrounding hair should easily hide these harvest sites. Immediately after the quick 30- to 45-minute procedure, you can return to your normal activities.

Part 2: Cell Banking and Storage

After your hair follicles are banked, they will be sent to HairClone® where they will be stored using a process called cryopreservation. This helps to keep the cells alive while halting their aging process. The banked hair cells can remain banked for as long as needed, until the cloning and re-injection options are available and you are ready to move forward.

Part 3: Hair Cell Cloning

The goal of the cloning process is to grow the dermal papilla cells that have been harvested. In theory, the cells from just a few hair follicles could potentially treat thousands of thinning hairs. Once the follicles are taken from the bank, the processing step can begin. The cells will grow in culture, multiplying over the course of two to four weeks. This cloning research has been tested on both animals and humans, and has shown noticeable improvement in thinning hair.

Part 4: Hair Follicle Re-injection

Once the cloning step has taken place, the duplicated cells should be available for re-injection. At this point you would return to our office, and your hair restoration surgeon can micro-inject these cells into the thinning areas of your scalp, helping to rebuild the weak, thinning hairs with thicker hair shafts. Re-injection may be needed every two to three years as other hair continues to thin.

How Much Does Hair Follicle Banking Cost?

The cost of your hair follicle banking will factor in the extraction procedure, transportation of the cells to the banking facility, and storage at the facility. You may have additional fees once the cloning and re-injection steps can take place. Our team understands that banking hair follicles may feel like a big step when major hair loss has not yet occurred, but for those already noticing thinning, it can be a worthwhile investment for maintaining a youthful appearance and glowing self-confidence, made possible by having a thick, full head of hair despite the aging process. Our team will provide you with a more detailed overview of what you can expect with cost to help you make an informed decision.

If you would like more information about HairClone® hair follicle banking, our surgeons at Leonard Hair Transplant Associates would be thrilled to explain this state-of-the-art option with you.