The latest technology to cure alopecia is “hair cloning”. This is a concept if hair extraction from the donor cell which is artificially cultured and reintroduced into the recipients scalp. It seems the ultimate solution to the age old problem of hair loss. But due to ethical issues and impeding research, it does not seem like a possibility in the near future. The process is under intensive study and even when it does hit the market, the price may make it inaccessible to normal man for the initial few days. This process involves adding new hair follicles to your head and if successful, it guarantees an unlimited supply to potential growing hair follicles. The two types of stem cells that cause hair growth are the dermal sheath and the dermal papilla. Both these are injected into the scalp.
There are various experiments that have been done to get hair cloned. Some of them are-
- Research by Dr. Amanda Reynolds and Colin Jahoda- Hair follicles are complex structures that cannot be cultured and therefore outright cloning is not an easy task, but these researchers showed that the dermal sheath cells can be isolated from a subject and reinjected into another subject to promote the formation of new hair. The implanted cells propagate the creation and growth of new hair follicles. In this process the dermal sheath are multiplied in a Petri dish and then injected in to the subjects scalp. During the experiment it was observed that donor cells can be implanted in the opposite sex and they are do not get rejected by the recipients cells. It’s also observed that the new hair follicles resemble the recipient’s hair and not the donors.
- A group of Chinese scientist has developed the following method to clone hair follicles.
- Dermal cells were proliferated in a controlled condition to increase their number.
- This was followed by these cells getting automatically microencapsulated into polymer matrix. This was done in a specially designed high-voltage electric field droplet generator.
- When this dermal papilla micro capsule was implanted into hairless foot of host rats, they observed hair growth.
The above experiment did not yield the desired results on humans.
This seems to be the most promising cure for alopecia unlike the popular methods like hair weaving and hair transplant. Hair transplant which involves removing a patch from the scalp and operating it on the bald region can decrease the density of the hair on the scalp. Comparatively, once this method is out in the market, it will guarantee complete recovery from alopecia, with a good density of hair on the head.