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Category Archive for ACell



I live in Denmark and just spotted this ad for “vaccination” against hairloss. They are doing trials of the product at a reduced price.

It’s is discussed here:

What your thoughts of this product “Hydracell” ?

I found the website for the clinic that markets HydraCell, and while I can’t read Danish, I did find a press release from 2011 in English: Hair Restoration Pioneer Brings ACell and New Hydr-ACell Solution to Norway Study

I read up on the mixture of ACell and PRP, and this is mostly hype. There is no basis for any value for either PRP or ACell for growing hair or vaccination against hair loss. I’m not impressed.


Did the Doctors That Claimed ACell Multiplied Hairs Commit Fraud?

Hello Dr Rassman, I have a question about Acell. No it is not in regards to the effectiveness of the compound, or whether other physicians are still trying to get it to clone hairs. It is in regards to whether the claims made about Acell constitute fraud.

The physicians who popularized the product claimed that it cloned or duplicated plucked hairs. You claimed that you had a in depth discussion with the doctors about their claims where they “retracted” their initial statements about the product be capable of duplicating plucked hair follicles. Is that not distorting experimental results? Is that not illegal?

This whole situation kind of reminds me about Dr Wakefield, a well known researcher notoriously acknowledged for making the outrageous claim that vaccines for measles and mumps cause autism. Vaccines clearly dont cause autism and Wakefields journal entry was retracted by the publishers (something rare I thought). While the situation with Acell maybe a little bit different, doesnt the fact still remain that scientific data was misrepresented here?

I know this blog is not some place to criticize other surgeons/researcher and I am aware that you do not slander other physicians here (an obvious and ethical choice), but I know I am not the only one who thinks that the whole Acell things was borderline fraud. The claims about it were just not scientifically valid. Im out of line here?

Sometimes doctors jump the gun and get excited about something before it becomes vetted properly in scientific journals, where it can be reviewed by experts in the field. Consumers pay the price as they read hyped Internet advertisements. I said it many times — it is a buyer beware market — and this case is no different. What you read in the Internet is not always the truth.

We tried to adhere to the scientific method and attempted to duplicate the claim by getting approval from the medical board. When we offered it to select patients, we got approval from an institutional review board and never profited from these trials. We actually lost out with the expense from the application fees, materials cost, and our time.


Use of PRP and ACell in the Hair Transplant Process?

Im inquiring if dr rassman is treating people with thinning hair with acell and prp as a standalone treatment? (and if so can you give me some more info). Im intrested in this procedure before undergoing any surgery, i didnt see anything on the website but his name popped up on a web forum saying he does this?

Thanks kind regards

I do not use platelet rich plasma (PRP) or ACell prior to a hair transplant. There is no evidence that either of these produces value for the patient having a hair transplant. I’ve written about some doctors offering PRP, and we did try ACell for hair multiplication to no avail.

What gives value is a very high growth rate, which is produced by experienced surgeons with experienced, well-seasoned teams working under strict quality control conditions.


ACell Plucking from Harvested Grafts?

Doc, I understand Doctor Cooley is still doing plucked hair procedures but found they need to be done with grafts harvested from FUT or FUE.

What’s your comment on this

It is not considered plucked hair when you are using follicular unit grafts. That sounds like a regular hair transplant procedure. The pulled graft/hair will not grow back from its ‘plucked’ place. It is no longer considered hair multiplication.

If one believes that adding ACell to a hair transplant procedure for better growth, it needs to be studied and proven.


Reader Says ACell Plucked Hairs Grew For Him

Saying ACell doesn’t work for hair multiplication is spreading misinformation. Sure, it didn’t work for you. Meanwhile, Dr. Cooley continues to do the procedure on a weekly basis with spectacular results. I am living proof that it works. He implanted over 1000 plucked hairs and most if not all regrew in and behind my hairline. The trick is I still had some hair in the recipient area. What Dr. Cooley has said is that it does not work on completely bald scalps.

Thanks for sharing. As I’ve written before… as far as I’m aware, no doctor has been able to reproduce the ACell results claimed by Drs. Hitzig or Cooley.


With Shock Loss a Possibility, Is the Best Transplant Candidate Mostly Bald?

IDOC.. let me see if I have this correct. Having a transplant in an area where there is still a fair amount of hair increases the odds of shock loss? if i want to get a head start and restore my hairline as its thinning but still have hair, the trauma from the surgery will most likely cause shock loss to the existing hair in that area. Is that right? So the best candidate is one who has little hair in the area to be transplanted?

Is anyone still testing A Cell therapy for hair restoration?


Broken recordThose who are at the highest risk for shock loss include:

  1. Patients with noticeable hair loss that is active at the time of surgery
  2. Patients that are younger than 30 years old
  3. Patients that have significant miniaturization of hairs in the balding pattern.

When such patients are on finasteride, the risk for shock loss is reduced.

I know I sound like a broken record at times, but everyone is different and every individual case is unique. There is no universal answer to this question. Some wait until they are bald before they have hair transplant surgery. Some have surgery as they are balding (to maintain their existing look). Shock hair loss is always an issue, but not an overriding one after all the factors are considered… as long as you and your doctor are realistic about shock hair loss. Some overreact or misinterpret what shock hair loss really is, and make it out to be an overbearing issue. But this is a generalization. Please read this recent post on shock hair loss. We do take it seriously, but we also take it on a one-on-one basis. That is why we have a real doctor- patient examination and consultation before any surgery.

With respect to ACell, we have conducted the one year study for hair restoration, but it was a failure. As far as I know, no doctor has been able to reproduce the results claimed by Dr. Hitzig or Cooley on hair multiplication. That is probably why you are not reading about it in scientific journals or in the mainstream media as the next great breakthrough. I don’t know which doctors are still experimenting with it, though.


What’s Next for ACell and Hair Multiplication?

Since Dr. Hitzig appears to have reversed his stance on acell 2 hairs for one process on a bald scalp, how much hair density did he say is required for the new hair to grow?

Are you planning to do studies using denser sites for transplantation? Or do you think we’ve been sold a too good to be true situation.
He must know others would try and duplicate the process. And fail.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough on the ACell matter…

ACell for use in hair cloning or hair multiplication (plucked hairs) does not work. I am not at all sure if it even has a future in hair multiplication. We aren’t planing further studies, but I can’t speak for other doctors that might be trying to get it to work as originally claimed.


2011 ISHRS Meeting Review, Part 3 - ACell

ISHRS 2011

Note: The annual meeting of hair surgeons was in held in Alaska this past week. The following review is very selective and is biased by the things that were interesting to me and what I (Dr. Rassman) thought could be interesting to the readers.

This is part 3. More to come…


Dr. Hitzig and ACell

    I had breakfast with Dr. Hitzig, known for popularizing the use of ACell for plucking hairs. For those unfamiliar, the idea was that by plucking a hair and keeping some of the genetic material in the original donor area, that plucked hair would grow into a full hair (with the use of ACell), along with the regrowth of the hair in the donor area. Essentially getting two hairs out of one.

    I shared my experience with him (100% failure to have plucked hair regrow into new hairs in a balding area of the scalp). After considerable discussion, Dr. Hitzig seemed to retract his stance that ACell works with plucked hairs in a bald scalp. His present view is that these plucked hairs have to be put into an area where there is already hair present. This appears to be a 180 degree turnaround position from his previous reports that it can grow hair.

    Of course, if it can not grow a hair, then obtaining two hairs from one is not possible, and the hair multiplication process is improperly named for this technique. I was a bit angry, considering that I offered this procedure to multiple patients (at no charge of course).


If ACell Can Regrow a Thumb, Why Can’t it Work for Hair?

Hello Dr. Rassman and Dr. Pak, Thank you for having this blog. I was wondering if Acell can grow (or re-grow) a new thumb, why can’t it grow (re-grow) a hair follicle? What if a 1mm punch was used to remove a section of the scalp and then the punched area was packed with Acell to see if a follicle will form?

I wish I had good news to report, but we know from our own studies using ACell powder and sheets in the wounds, that no significant amount of hair (less than 3%) was grown from the plucked hairs moved into the transplant area from the back of the head. I consider that this is not a supportable technique in our hands and I question the results of other doctors who report successful studies. This process is not rocket science that has technical barriers to entry that are for a doctor with my experience.

We were excited about the potential for ACell in hair transplantation following last year’s ISHRS meeting in Boston, but we haven’t been able to replicate anything close to the results from those original reports.

For those that want more information on ACell use in hair transplantation see these past posts:


NHI ACell Update?

Dear Dr. Rassman

You posted on the 5th Nov 2010 that NHI was conducting a study using Acell for hair multiplication. As we are now half way through 2011 I am wondering if you have any updates in regards to the results you’ve experience so far. I’ve heard stuff from Dr. Cooley and Dr. Cole but nothing from yourself so far.

I look forward to your answer.


I have seen most of the half dozen people that I performed ACell plucking procedures. They averaged 200-300 plucked grafts. Although there was some growth from the plucked hairs, there was just as much growth in the control group as in the ACell treated group. I would conclude from this that I have not replicated the results reported by others.

With regard to the large number of patients where I used ACell in the wounds of strip surgeries, I have seen some value, although I have not called them all back to evaluate their wounds.

For hair multiplication, I am not considering performing more of these procedures until I view the results of others at the upcoming ISHRS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska this September.