Dr. Gho talked about follicle stem cells. That was how his “HST” (for “hairfollicle stem cell transplant”) procedure was supposed to work. Basically he extracted hair follicles from the donor area and bisected them longitudinally, supposedly leaving stem cells on either half. Theoretically then either side of the follicle would give rise to a complete follicle, with zero loss. He referred to this as a “stem cell transplant” because you are moving stem cells from one part of the scalp to another. The description of the procedure is still on Dr. Gho’s website -
It looks like Dr. Cole is claiming to do something like the same thing. But my question for Dr. Cole is, how is he certain that he’s isolating stem cells? To me, just bisecting the follicles isn’t good enough to know for certain that you have a pool of stem cells on each half. Does he verify this by actually viewing the stem cells under a microscope? (highly doubtful). Does he verify it with some kind of chemical marker specific to HF stem cells? In my view if he (or Dr. Gho) can’t verify this with 90% accuracy, then the whole thing is just guesswork.
Why? Because of the anatomy of the hair follicle. The “bulge”, where the HF stem cells sit, does not wrap around the follicle shaft 360 degrees, but only sits on one side of the shaft. It takes up maybe (rough guess) 60 degrees of the 360 degrees of the shaft’s circumference. When the longitudinal bisection is made, how are they certain certain thry’re getting sufficient stem cells in either half? (Dr. Cole’s procedure might be a bit different than Dr. Gho’s, where he’s removing an unspecified part of the follicle – I think – and creating some kind of mixture which is “rich” in stem cells. But how does he know this?)
To me, you either have to be able to confirm that stem cells are present microscopically (which I sincerely doubt they’re able to do with each extraction), or chemically with a marker (also HIGHLY doubtful). In my view there is no other way of confirming this for the patient. Since it’s based on something like guesswork, grossly there will be a lot of mistakes and most of the time, only 1 half of the bisected follicle will actually contain HF stem cells. Therefore practical usefulness of this procedure will be MUCH less than optimum. Thanks to chance (where the bulge itself is actually bisected along with the entire follicle), it will work a certain percentage of the time, but it’s doubtful it will actually work the majority of the time.
That’s just my reading of this…