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Exosomes as a hair anti-aging solution?

I received this in email form from a well–respected HT doctor. I’m curious what people’s thoughts are about exosomes as a strategy to prevent or minimize hairloss.

"Exosomes seem to be the key ingredient in all methods of anti-aging medicine for hair including PRP, Amniotic Membrane, and Adipose Stem Cells. Will Exosomes alone provide a single solution? With this in mind, [the doctor] has begun to study the potential for a single solution to help individuals with androgenic alopecia maintain their hair as long as possible.

Exosomes are not stem cells. They are much smaller than cells and produced by stem cells. Exosomes are the particles which initiate protein formation by cells for regeneration, increased circulation, stem cell replacement. Put in a nutshell, these are the paracrine initiators, which are the primary ingredient in all forms of regenerative medicine. This is a single therapy, which has the most likely probability of replacing all other types of regenerative medicine in a singular treatment. While it remains to be seen if a single treatment can replace the combination of more invasive procedures such as stem cell harvesting and injection in combination, amniotic membrane, cytokine-rich plasma, and Acell. To help answer this question, [the doctor] will be collecting data to evaluate your response to treatment.

The product [the doctor] will administer contains 100 Billion exosomes per milliliter.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be included in the innovative medical technology of minimally invasive hair restoration, call to reserve your appointment now.

What exosomes will do for you:

  • - Hair that is minimizing/thinning – exosomes will add volume and thicken, giving you a healthier head of hair for men and women
  • - Follicles that are in the resting phase – exosomes will wake them up and start them growing again, extending the growing phase and life of the follicle "*

Where’s the science behind this claim?

It’s an interesting theory but as far as I can figure out exosoms are carriers of other cells, proteins, enzymes.

In case of hair loss, what should they carry and where to?

You will likely get better results than PRP but by no means the kind of cell therapy we are hoping for. If I recall correctly, I believe Dr. Cole is charging some US$3000-$4000 for a session which IMO is very pricey for something that is not even proven for hair loss. That being said, he does have before/after pic for his Exosomes patients (see video below), you be the judge.

The different length of the hair in the before and after pics makes it hard to decide if the treatment works or not. Even if it does work it won’t get you a full head of hair.

I don’t think this is anything revolutionary, and I don’t think it will help for hair loss. Exosomes are just “pieces” of a cell surrounded by cell membrane, that have broken off of the cell, and contain SOME of whatever the cell was producing.

I think these doctors are promoting this because they realize it’s way too hard to get regulatory approval to treat patients using actual stem cells, so they’re using this as a substitute, like a ‘next best thing’. They are guessing that exosomes from stem cells (and I don’t know how they’re verifying that they actually come from activated stem cells, and not just a mixture of cells), contain some of the growth factors that stem cells produce.

The problem is that exosomes will only contain small amounts of these growth factors, and they are no real substitute for stem cells. Stem cells don’t work ONLY by the chemical growth factors they produce, they work in a lot of other ways, as well. Exosomes can’t mimic that. Therefore I think that exosomes will not produce any kind of meaningful results AT ALL. It might even be more useless for hair loss than PRP.

Exosomes don’t contain a cell nucleus, they’re not real cells, so they cannot have the effects of stem cells.

(By the way, I’m not saying PRP isn’t good for some things – it is good to help tissue heal, including donor sites in HT. But PRP doesn’t grow any hair.)