Hair Follicles: Fountain of Youth

On the market today, there are several “miracle” collagen creams that boast the ability to replace or boost our collagen production, but to date none have proven to be the fountain of youth promised.

Fibroblasts are the most common cell in the body constantly creating collagen. Scientists have discovered that a certain fibroblast cell population in the hair follicle, even as we age, continues to produce an abundance of collagen.

Found at the back of the head, these hair follicle cells promise to do what no other product or procedure have been able to achieve thus far, increase collagen production and maintain the look of healthy skin.Recent clinical studies suggest that the injection of these cells into aging or sun-damaged skin can significantly increase collagen, reversing the impact of skin aging.

A few “high-end” surgical centers have been doing a version of this treatment. They “render out” the fibroblasts from lipo-suction procedures and inject the fat as well … with the fibroblasts … in the face (mostly for filler, but some fibroblast … injected separately … action as well.

Interestingly, the fibroblasts in your face are “older” than the ones in your butt (for a number of reasons). Facial fibros age, because of more inflammation over the years (in your face: sun etc.). For this reason the various inflammation treatments (peels and laser) might cause a temporary improvement and, actually, the hoped-for collagen turnover … but in the long-run might actually AGE the skin and cause more wrinkles. (Same thing with multiple “micro-derm” treatments.) Overall, it could be bad “ju-ju” for the skin?

A friend, Dr. Bjorn Eek, is now doing clinical trials in Switzerland on a similar product that they hope will help repair spinal cord and other injuries (disk injuries). Stay tuned.

The new rage in dermatology is the Infini radio frequency micro needling device. Instead of manual mcro-needling derma-rollers, the device stamps skin with 49 insulated needles and delivers RF frequencies to stimulate collagen production from wounding.
Dermatologists I spoke to tell me they like it better than fraxel lasers as they see more results.

Hair emerges from hair follicles, at around 100,000 to 150,000 on every head. The hair life cycle includes three phases:

The anagen phase: this is the growth phase. It lasts for 3 to 6 years. Hair grows.
The catagen phase: this is the resting phase. Hair stops growing. This lasts for 3 weeks.
The telogen phase: the falling out phase. The hair falls out and is replaced by a new hair in the anagen phase. This lasts 3 months.