Its pretty interesting to see that you are investigating this whole ACELL thing. I was kinda wondering one day if you would be one of the DOCs to have this Acell cross your mind. I just ran into this whole page doing a daily Google study on Acell and the usual Hair loss deal and saw that yeah you are thinking about it. Good to see.

Would it make sense to use Acell injections/Powder in the donor area after a strip or FUE procedure as well as Acell into the transplant area such as the frontal hairline area, etc? I have read that it helps the wounds heal faster and the scar feels better when healed With ACell then if healed naturally. IF you said that you saw that it had value in the scar area after a strip procedure. Would it then also have the same value in the transplanted area where it would cause the tiny pin holes after the hair follicle is grafted to heal faster and be less present? As well as help heal the tiny holes after a FUE procedure in the donor area where the follicle was removed. In theory In the long run, would it show almost no scaring anywhere after any type of transplant. Weather its a strip or fue?

I know all the hype is about cloning this and that and plucked hairs growing everywhere. but in the sense where it promotes rapid healing and helps the scar look/feel more natural or show almost no scarring at all. IS that not a great value to the whole hair transplant community?

There are a bunch of cases where grafts that were installed were driven into deep and look like indents after all is done and healed. Im speaking from my own experience from a procedure. Those little bastards are ugly so would that Acell bacon compound help that case as well?

So ACell alone without FRP or whatever they call it for faster healing and better cosmetic scar results seem like a very realistic and valuable thing

Things in life like this interest me. Especially When i read about things that come out like Acell and other medical devices that could potentially help people with hair loss and hair surgery

ACellIt it generally thought that ACell will help the healing process deep in the wound and possibly reduce the superficial scarring, thereby making better wounds. There is circumstantial evidence for this in our practice, but this is more conjecture than science. I have not seen that ACell has helped the graft healing or made it grow better.

In our practice we have been using ACell for donor wound for over 3 years in most of our patients on a daily basis. Subjectively, the donor wound does look better with less tactile feel of a scar, so it may have some use in reducing keloid formation. Some patients came back for repeat surgeries and the old ACell scar seem to look better, but it was not a drastic improvement. Note that this is just a subjective observation from both the patient and doctor. ACell did not really have a reduction in the overall scar width and it does not make the scar any smaller in our observation. In one or two cases, the patient (who had prior non-ACell surgeries) thought it made the scarring worse. Even I (Dr. Rassman) had ACell put in my donor wound for strip surgery, but it made no difference in scarring compared to prior surgeries. ACell does not promote faster healing in our experience.

We also used ACell in many years ago in graft growth and even possible replication in recipient area. We submitted and applied for research approval with the medical board and conducted studies with Dr. Bernstein in New York. In the end, it didn’t work. The claims were false. To date, no one was able to replicate the claims of hair regeneration. Simply put, it was a publicity hype for the hair transplant world.

Tags: acell, hair multiplication, hair cloning, hair transplant, wound healing

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.

Tags: prp, acell, hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss

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.

Tags: acell, experiment, fraud

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.

Tags: prp, platelet rich plasma, acell, hairloss, hair loss, hair transplant

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.

Tags: acell, hair multiplication, hairloss, hair loss, hair transplant

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.

Tags: acell, hair growth, hair multiplication

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.

Tags: shock loss, hairloss, hair loss, acell

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.

Tags: acell, hair cloning, hair multiplication, hairloss, hair loss, hair transplant

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).

Tags: hair loss, hairloss, ishrs, alaska, acell

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:

Tags: acell, hair transplant, hairloss, hair loss, hair multiplication

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.

Tags: acell, hair cloning, hair multiplication, plucking

Hi Dr. I have been reading about several treatments for hairloss for a number of months as I am also a hairloss sufferer. I was understandably excited by the ‘A-Cell’ breakthrough news you made several months ago but was also aware that there were several years before we could really start to consider such a treatment (if successful!)

However, I was searching the internet earlier and I came across a Press Release which sent me here

I understand you are busy, however I was just a bit shocked to see that a surgeon was already beginning to use the A-Cell treatment and I was wondering if you could share your opinions about this?

Thank you for your time and for the effort you put in to helping out hairloss sufferers such as myself

Some doctors are already offering this to patients and claiming results that aren’t able to be verified. What I see in that page you linked to appears to be a photographic misrepresentation and a hair comb-over in the crown. The release says, “Patients will not only experience significant hair re-growth in just six months, but the wound where donor hair is taken and transplanted will heal with little or no signs of a scar within a few weeks.

That is a bold claim to make for an unproven treatment. If there were real results, hair counts would have been done. If I claimed a cure for cancer and showed an unhappy patient before my treatment and a happy patient after my treatment, would you believe me?

Tags: cloning, acell, hair loss, hairloss

I realize it will take time to figure out whether acell will stand the test of time but wouldn’t Dr Cooley and his experiments have a good idea by now. Wouldn’t they be able to provide the public with some hope

Dr. Cooley is a class act doctor that does not jump the gun. I expect that when he knows with absolute certainty if the ACell trials stand the test of time, he’ll inform the public.

Tags: acell, cooley, hair transplant

Hello Dr. Rassman and others

Im a little hardwired to detect threat and overly skeptical, and I just noticed you sure do have a lot of information very rapidly and discussion about ACell, and I noticed on their site their trying to get investors.

Im curious are you one of the private investors of this company? Do you have an interest in generating interest and popularity because it might one day go public or have an IPO? It just seems odd how important it became on your site, and did so very quickly.


The reason there was increased discussion about ACell on this site starting around late October was because of the presentation at the ISHRS meeting in Boston, piquing our interest.

Since I receive a fair amount of conspiracy theories from our readers, I’ll try to put this to rest once again. Neither myself (Dr. Rassman) or Dr. Pak have investments in ACell, Merck, or any hair related stock or products. In fact, we are just as skeptical as you are about various claims made regarding ACell’s use in auto-cloning. This is the reason why we are conducting research and not selling the product. Dr. Pak and I are mainly invested in creating the best hair transplant surgical clinic.

Tags: acell, investor, hairloss, hair loss, hair cloning

I was wondering if you have considered using ACell combined with plasma and injecting it back into the scalp using a tattooing gun. This would create the necessary scaring effect allowing ACell to, in a since, rejuvenate the scar. What do you think?

Pushing ACell into a scar with a tattoo machine will not work to do what you’re probably looking to do. There’s still no hair present in the scarred area, as ACell won’t make hair suddenly sprout in scar tissue where hair does not exist.

While it’s an interesting idea, I’d be skeptical of any doctor claiming to do scar rejuvenation in the way you described. I’m not sure if you’re just curious about an idea you came up with or if someone out there is offering it already (believe me, I’ve read about some far fetched ideas that some doctors are selling to patients). Unfortunately, I’d have to see some really solid evidence to change my thinking on this.

Tags: tattoo, acell, scarring, hair translplant