When I was a teenager I had the thickest, most beautiful glossy and healthy hair that I absolutely took for granted! From bleaching the life out of it for years to weeping over handfuls of hair falling out in the shower after having my two children – you never really know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
With age, damage, pregnancy and hormonal changes, men and women alike are subject to hairloss and thinning throughout life which can have an awful effect on self confidence. My once thick hair is now limp and fine in my thirties, often exposing my scalp at my parting which is why I always keep it tied up and out of the way. I try to keep the length of my hair long in order to maximise its coverage, but rather than trying to hide it I’ve decided to address the quality and quantity of my hair instead with a non-surgical stemcell hair transplant at Vie Aesthetics.
Using stemcell micro transplantation, men and women alike can regain the hair of their youth. This is a one-off treatment to achieve results that will last between 2-6yrs depending on the individual. Complete within half an hour, it’s a more cost-effective, convenient and comfortable procedure compared to a traditional hair transplant surgery which repositions existing hair follicles in areas of baldness.
Whilst I’m not applicable for a traditional hair transplant surgery as I have no bald patches myself, this stemcell hair transplant targets the areas of my thinning and fine hair to make them more plentiful; a non-surgical step to reverse and prevent hairloss. This process uses your own body’s stemcells to combat hair loss and thinning around the temples and the top of the scalp – the main target areas to combat androgenic alopecia and other hair loss problems. Micro-transplantation with stemcells is perfectly safe and natural without any harmful effects, no downtime and no painful recovery which really appealed to me.
The body’s own tissue and stemcells are harvested in order to improve the skin of the scalp, increase the density of the existing hair and stimulate the re-growth of new hair follicles. This treatment puts an end to hair loss and helps existing hair return to its usual cycle. Stemcells are collected from behind the ear – an area of the scalp where the hair is still dense and not affected by baldness as these are hair follicle cells that are always in abundance and the best quality.
The stemcells are collected by removing a small collection of hair follicles much like taking a biopsy. A local anaesthetic is administered via needle to numb the area before a small medical punch clicks and removes a small circle of tissue (approximately 3mm in diameter) which is repeated three times. The process of collecting stemcells is entirely painless as the area is numb from anaesthetic, however a short crunching sound is heard much like scrunching up a bag of crisps that only lasts a second. I found this part the most noticeable and memorable part of this procedure purely for the strange noise that it made!
As it’s a scalp treatment, all movement and processes took place entirely above and behind me so I didn’t see any needles, equipment or blood throughout as I simply laid on the medical bed, closed my eyes and relaxed. Therefore, for somebody who doesn’t like needles or gets squeamish at having treatments, this is ideal because you really can’t tell what’s going on unless you ask.
The biopsy tissues appear are then filtered, calibrated and mechanically processed in a specialist machine to harvest the stemcells, creating a pale pink liquid, which is e re-implanted into the areas with thinning hair and hairloss. The results being an activation of hair follicles that are towards the end-phase of their life cycle which causes them to thin – rebuilding them with healthier hair by promoting follicles that produce denser and more thicker hair.
There is no downtime for this treatment and it was immediately undetectable after I’d had it leaving me free to return to my day as normal. I must wait 24hrs before washing my hair in order to allow the biopsy sites to heal and close over which will be fully healed within 7-10 days and needs no stitches or dressings. The small circular biopsy marks may remain behind my ear but these will be easily covered by my hair and become less visible with time just like any cut or scar.
With no chemicals or foreign materials used in this process, the growth of new hair is much faster than with a traditional hair transplant as the first stage of results can be observed within just 4-6 weeks. I will first start to notice a greater density of hair to the injected areas and thicker hair with new growth will increase across the next 3-7 months time. These results need no further maintenance or upkeep and can last between 2-6 yrs before being repeated if necessary.
This treatment is suitable for both men and women alike, aged 18+ it can also be applied to patients who already have had hair implants or hair transplant procedures in the past. Stemcell micro transplantation is hailed as the future in treating hair thinning and hairloss with only one session, no anaesthetics and no stitches which makes it a highly attainable, convenient and less invasive alternative to having surgery.
For my procedure I had 4ml of my own stemcells injected into my temples and scalp, collected from my three biopsy sites which is the recommended amount of tissue to collect in order to get the maximum amount of stemcells – between 800,000 to 1,000,000 cells have been used within this treatment. Injections are placed every 1.5-2cm across my scalp and temples at around 50-60 injections sites with a super fine needle that feels no different to having Botox. With a small pinch each injection takes just a second and the thought of the needle in the scalp is far worse than the process itself. On a scale of 1-10 for discomfort I would place this at a 3/10, facial fillers at a 4/10 and a tattoo at 8/10.
Whilst my entire appointment took half an hour, the preparation and biopsy were the longest parts with the actual stemcell injections taking less than ten minutes to complete. With any injection site there can be bleeding, however it isn’t anything more than a small pin prick which is dotted with a swab and stops immediately.
For aftercare I needn’t apply any expensive healing creams or take antibiotics and medication, instead all that I have to do is keep my scalp clean, dry and away from dirt or friction for the first 24hrs. Certainly quick, simple, cost-effective at just £1,200 per treatment and far less painful or invasive as having hair transplant surgery. I see this as something perfectly comfortable to have done within a lunch hour which is instantly undetectable but will make such a huge difference to my life. I can’t wait to see and share my results over the coming months with you all, so watch this space!
UPDATE: 12hrs Post Treatment
I slept on my left side last night to avoid laying on my biopsy sites as they need to close over and heal naturally without stitches or dressings. Surprisingly I stayed in position all night and didn’t roll over in my sleep which was a relief as I didn’t want to cause any damage or bleeding. I slept beautifully without and pain or discomfort, as if I hadn’t had anything done.
The morning after treatment, the top of my scalp feels ever so slightly tender as if I’ve either had my hair tied up very tight all day or worn a hat that’s too small for me and it aches a little. Not to the extent of having a headache, but more so a slight sensitivity to touching the very top of my head – a part of my body that I’m not usually aware of nor think about, however now I’m now slightly cautious to keep it safe and not brush my hair too hard or scratch it.
My head isn’t itchy, sore or raw, it doesn’t look any different, nor does it hurt or tingle. So I’ve tied my hair up loosely in a low ponytail just to keep it tidy and out of the way and I’m going about my day as normal! Now to wait for my results…
UPDATE: 05/12/19 – Nine Months After Treatment
So it’s now been nine months since I had my stemcell treatment and I’ve just been so busy I haven’t even thought about it; therefore I’d like to apologise for the time it’s taken me to post an update on my results. Working, juggling the children and studying, time just passes in the blink of an eye and now here we are.
The first thing that I noticed after my treatment was the improvement in the quality of my hair, the hair that I already had and so desperately wanted to protect against hair loss. My hair became stronger with less breakages, looked and felt silkier and softer to the touch and generally sat better rather than being limp and lifeless.
My mother was the first person to notice when I took the children over one weekend and she asked if I’d been using a different shampoo because my hair looked so much more alive. It wasn’t the shampoo, it was in fact my treatment and I’d noticed it too.
I went from being rather fretful about losing hair in the shower to no longer thinking about it because the extent and volume of loss wasn’t as much. It’s natural to shed hair anyway with the lifecycle that it has, but I found myself no longer panicking about it or feeling so concerned as my hair was looking and feeling better than ever.
My results crept up on me in the months that passed since my treatment; perhaps it may be more immediately noticeable on a person with short hair where the scalp is exposed and therefore the difference in hair thinning and loss can be seen very clearly. My results began silently without me realising.
Something that made me fist-pump the air was the day that I saw small tufts of new hairs growing along my hairline; they started at just a centimetre or two at first and now they’ve reached around 3-4inches in length. Most people complain about tiny baby hairs in their hairline which stick out and can’t be tied back, but I’d never had them before so for me it was utterly groundbreaking.
Gradually these precious hairs grew and grew all over my scalp where I’d had my treatment and they’re now very much a part of my hair. I still have a while to go until my new hairs are as long as my existing hair, but they’re now long enough to lay amongst my hair without standing up or sticking out – making my once sparse scalp now look plentiful and glossy and I’m beyond thrilled with the results.
Lifestyle wise my life is exactly the same, I haven’t done anything different with my healthy diet, supplements and exercise nor do I use a special shampoo or wear a protective cap to sleep. I just carry on as normal as day by day my results get even better and better.
The only change that I’ve made is the colour of my hair – for which I’d always highlighted just the top section – whereas I’ve now embraced a warmer shade to become a redhead – something I would never have dreamed of doing before my treatment, as I’d have been too worried that the darker hair would make the visibility of my scalp more noticeable being such a contrast!
This treatment has been life-changing, given me my confidence back and restored my crowning glory – my glossy healthy hair! I’m so pleased that I’ve had it done and my before and after pictures here have really made me pinch myself to realise what a difference it has made, as it’s something that had gradually progressed and can’t be fully appreciated until you see photos of what was and now what is side by side.
Everybody deserves to look and feel good, to have confidence and like what they see in the mirror. With age, stress and illness we can lose what we once had – such as beautiful healthy hair which can be hard to accept. Finding this non-surgical treatment which has delivered results above and beyond my expectations has been incredible for me and totally given me back my confidence as a woman, mother and model to both look and feel my best. I hope in sharing my hair journey I may inform and inspire others to do the same and realise that you are not alone in experiencing hairloss because there is expert help available should you need it.