Don't Transplant - Grow Hair
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Don't Transplant - Grow Hair Over the years on this program we have teased each other about being follicularly challenged. If a new treatment actually works in humans, maybe we’ll both end up with a full head of hair. This treatment could be better than today’s drugs and hair transplants.

Right now people take minoxidil. They also take finasteride, which stimulates hair regrowth by increasing testosterone. But as soon as the drug is stopped, hair loss returns.

Another approach is hair transplant which moves hairs from an area of thick growth to the bald areas. The hairs are first separated out, then thousands of hairs are transplanted requiring several sessions. Most people attain sixty percent of new hair growth after six to nine months. The drawback is the cost, ranging from four to fifteen thousand dollars.

The new treatment doesn’t transplant hair. It cultures cells that grow new hair. Researchers cut out a small patch of scalp with abundant hair. They removed dermal papillae cells, grew them in culture, which then gave rise to hair follicles.

They found, in order for these cells to grow hair, they had to be cultured suspended in droplets on the lid of a petri dish. The cultured cells were then injected into human foreskins grafted onto mice. Since human foreskins do not grow hair, they reasoned that if hair grew on that skin, it is likely to work in the scalp.

Sure enough, hairs sprouted from five of the seven treated areas. But, the hairs that grew are rather small, and only expressed twenty-two percent of the genes normally turned on in hair follicles. The next step is to turn on more genes so the cells grow more and better hair. Sadly, Norbert, a lot of work remains before we can cure your chrome dome.

For more information…

Microenvironmental reprogramming by three-dimensional culture enables dermal papilla cells to induce de novo human hair-follicle growth
Higgins CA, Chen JC, Cerise JE, Jahoda CA, Christiano AM

New Technique Holds Promise for Hair Growth
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