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    Hair restoration method generates follicle growth

     

    A new hair restoration method may give previously unsuitable candidates the chance to regrow hair, according to results of a recent study.

    The study, conducted by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York, describes a process that generates new hair follicle growth, in addition to hair growth.

    Patients who lack donor hair are poor candidates for hair transplantation surgery, including women, burn victims, sufferers of scarring alopecia, and men in the early stages of baldness. The new process may open hair restoration to these candidates.

    Existing hair-loss medications tend to slow hair loss without stimulating new hair growth or follicles, limiting their suitability for patients lacking donor follicles. Conventional hair transplantation also doesn’t create new follicles, but moves existing follicles from one place to another.

    The new method may require only a few hundred donor hairs to create the new follicles.

    In tests on mice, researchers harvested dermal papillae from humans and cloned the cells. The cultured papillae were later transplanted into human skin grafted onto mice. The majority of tests resulted in new hair growth lasting at least six weeks, and the new follicles genetically matched the donors’.

    Although tests on humans have not yet begun, the research team is confident that clinical testing on humans could commence in the near future.

    The study was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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