It may be possible in the future to cure baldness with human hair grown on the scalp.
Scientists say they are growing hair on human skin that has been grafted onto mice.
If it were shown to work, it would be a great treatment for hair loss. It could replace procedures that use drugs or involve hair transplants.
Currently, transplants move hair follicles from the back of the head to the front. This moves hair, but does not increase the amount of hair.
The new technique involves removing a small patch of dermal papillae cells from the base of hair follicles found on the scalp. These are the cells involved in hair growth. The number of cells is increased in the lab using new methods.
The cells are then injected back into the person’s scalp to fill in bald or thinning spots. This new approach actually adds hair.
It could be used to treat a type of hair loss called alopecia areata. This condition creates bald spots on the scalp and can run in families.
Researchers tested the new cells on seven human skin grafts. New hair grew in five of the seven graphs.
More tests of this technique to grow human hair are not far off.
Source: The New York Times October 21, 2013