Calecim — Reversing the aging process of hair follicles

Featured image
Leonardo da Vinci, La Scapigliata, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Could there be new hope for hair loss? Millions of men and women worldwide suffer from hair thinning.  There are many causes including age, genetics, hormones, diet, stress and disease.  In 2016 NYU’s Langone Medical Center estimated that more than 80% of men and nearly 50% of women will experience “significant” hair loss in their lifetime — and that was before Covid 19 claimed hair as one of its casualties.

Just as there is no shortage of hair loss causes, there is no dearth of non-surgical re-growth therapies from serums to supplements to medication to minimally-invasive treatments like Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).  But these have had mixed results, potential side effects and/or require a lifetime of maintenance.

A pioneering new hair treatment, however, has been clinically proven to boost hair growth and reduce shedding in as little as six weeks. Ethically sourced from the umbilical cords of red deer, the Calecim Professional Advanced Hair System comprises a serum that contains a robust, patented blend of some 3,000 stem cell-derived proteins including cytokines and growth factors.

The Calecim serum contains a complex of mesenchymal stem cell-derived proteins and growth factors, obtained from the umbilical cord lining of New Zealand red deer (reared for their antler velvet). The cells are collected from the lining of discarded umbilical cords – a waste product – via a process which harms neither the mother nor the foal. Only one syringe of stem cells has been used with Calecim, according to hair technician, Kelly Morrell, as it contained a billion stem cells and more were produced in a lab. Mesenchymal stem cells, as Kelly explains, are “the same as the ones we have in hair follicles that help produce new hair.”

Calecim’s parent company is CellResearch Corporation, founded in Singapore in 2002. “Their main aim is to heal chronic diabetic ulcers,” reveals Kelly. “They realized that this serum can close a wound that has never been closed before because of its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to really stimulate new cell production. It’s brilliant.”

The serum aims to awaken dormant hair follicles by promoting hair follicle signaling, thereby re-invigorating the dermal papilla, the small structures located at the bottom of hair follicles that are responsible for hair growth.  This restores a healthy hair cycle and halts inflammation which causes follicle cell death.  Reportedly, melanocytes are also revitalized, with anecdotal evidence showing the reversal of greying.

Kelly Morell, hair technician at London’s The Private Clinic of Harley Street and founder of hair restoration consultancy, Scalp Confidential

Additionally, Calecim can be utilized in conjunction with other in-clinic hair restoration treatments, such as PRP, where growth factors are collected from the patient’s own blood and injected back into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

“I got involved with Calecim because I was looking for a complement to PRP,” reveals London-based hair technician, Kelly Morrell.

“PRP is excellent if you’re healthy and you eat well, you’re a non-smoker and you have a good diet. But if you’re under par with health, the quality of the growth factors you produce is only going to be as good as your health.  It’s nice to have an alternative.”

Indeed, an article published in 2022 in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery described how Calecim, as an adjunct to conventional therapies, effectively treated Covid-induced telogen effluvium – reported to have affected 36.7% of hospitalized patients.

Left: Patient with Covid-induced telogen effluvium, before treatment with Calecim. Right: Patient with Covid-induced telogen effluvium, 6 months after regular treatments with Calecim, alongside other therapies.

At times, it’s also good to have a drug-free alternative. Last year, Kelly treated a breast cancer survivor who had alopecia areata (a disease that occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles).  The client did not want to take medication to address hair loss, opting for the Calecim treatments instead.

In fact, in vitro results showed a cell growth of 24.1% with Calecim, when compared to a dermal papilla cell growth of 24.5% with use of Minoxidil at a concentration of 2ug/ml, making Calecim a good drug-free option.

The results are below …

Patient with alopecia areata before treatment.
After 3 months of treatment.
After 6 months of treatment.

Calecim is administered by microneedling the scalp via a dermastamp twice a week for 6 weeks either in a clinic or DIY-style (at home kits are $360).  The recommended dosage is half a 5ml ampoule per treatment.  In-clinic treatments offer application with longer microneedles.

“We go a little bit deeper in the clinic,” says Kelly. “The at-home needles are 0.6 mm so you can’t do too much damage. The ones that we use here go to 1.2mm, 1.5mm, 2 mm, even 3mm.” But, cautions the hair expert, “be good to your scalp, be good to your hair. Don’t go too deep if hair is fragile or shedding.”

Calecim is administered by microneedling the scalp via a dermastamp twice a week for 6 weeks.

As for frequency of treatment, it depends on the severity of hair loss. If it’s in the early stages, Kelly recommends a 6-week course followed by occasional maintenance. If the condition is more complex, she recommends a 12-week course.

And as for who’s a good candidate, it’s somebody who still has a decent amount of hair to stimulate. “You need some follicle activity,” explains Kelly, further advising prospective patients to address the underlying issues first — for instance, a thyroid problem — in order to gain an understanding of “why you’re undergoing treatment before applying a load of serum.”

Ultimately then, where’s there’s hair, there’s hope!

Before & After pictures of 6-week Calecim treatments

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