La Jolla doctor utilizes stem cells for faster hair growth


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Leaning back in his tall, burgundy armchair, Dr. James DeYarman runs his hands through something that millions of men and women wish they had more of – hair.

Since DeYarman began practicing in 1974, hair transplants have been the only surgical option to treat hair loss. Expensive and painful, many people find that they’re not even good candidates for a transplant, especially women.

According to DeYarman’s patient coordinator Nicole Johnson, that’s because women tend to experience hair loss all over their scalp rather than in just one area like most men do.

But that all changed with the introduction of stem cell hair therapy.

This new, nonsurgical hair restoration procedure takes FDA-approved stem cells from donated umbilical cords and injects them into the scalp. DeYarman Medical Group claims that its patients have seen incredible results after spending only an hour in the chair with virtually no downtime the next day. And most people see full-coverage growth in only two to four months.

“We inject 5 million stem cells into the scalp, and it immediately goes to work and starts reversing the miniaturization in all of these hairs,” Johnson said. “It works for almost everybody, but I’ve seen it work in as little as two to three weeks.”

DeYarman is no stranger to using stem cells. Three years ago, he was working with ones taken from fat tissue and combining them with enzymes. Though he still saw great results, he said the stems cells from donated umbilical cords are more flexible, malleable and better for hair restoration.

The hype of stem cell therapy and it promises to aid people in everything from osteoarthritis to infertility to heart disease has not been met without criticism. Because much of those promises are still being tested and researched, the FDA is keeping a close eye on the way doctors and laboratories are using this kind of regenerative medicine.

Just last month, the FDA sent a warning letter to StemGenex Biologic Laboratories in San Diego for promoting an unapproved stem cell product.

But DeYarman Medical Group is convinced stem cell therapy can deliver on many of those promises. Even though they’re treating patients for hair loss, Johnson said they’ve seen some pretty incredible side effects in the weeks following the procedure.

“We had a woman who had debilitating arthritis in her neck and back,” Johnson said. “She had a hair transplant, and we did the injections on her head, and she said in two weeks her pain was completely gone. She hadn’t been able to treat it for a decade.”

Even the doctor himself has seen how stem cell therapy can work firsthand.

“I had my own stem cell injections done yesterday for my hip joint, and I’m amazed how it works,” DeYarman said. “I’m sold on the whole thing.”