Scientists might have found the baldness breakthrough that men have been waiting for. New research done with stem cells has been able to create natural-looking hair that actually grows through the skin. Rather than doing hair transfers, it might be possible to actually grow new hair on bald heads.
The study was led by Alexey Terskik, of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California. Terskiki said that "This is a critical breakthrough in the development of cell-based hair-loss therapies and the regenerative medicine field."
The Breakthrough research
Terskik has focused a lot of studies on a cell called dermal papilla, which is found inside of hair follicles. The cell controls hair growth, so the key was figuring out how to use it to their advantage. He found that they could create dermal papilla out of stem cells, which then could be placed under the skin on a 3D biodegradable scaffold. (Which is made out of the same material that stitches are.) This would allow them control over which way to hair would grow out of the skin, and potentially create the most natural-looking result.
They tested this process out on mice and it was indeed successful. The next step in the research process will be to test it out on a human using human stem stells. If it works, it could be a pretty significant breakthrough in the world of hair growth.
Why These Findings Could Be Life-Changing
At this time, 50 million men and 30 million women in America are dealing with hair loss that warrants treatment. Some studies have found that both genders can experience anxiety or depression when they are dealing with hair loss. There are currently a lot of partial treatments that can be done, but there are many challenges involved in treating inherited baldness.
Richard Chaffoo, who is a doctor and medical adviser to Stemson Therapeutics, expressed his excitement about this new potential baldness breakthrough treatment.
"Hair loss profoundly affects many people's lives. A significant part of my practice involves both men and women who are seeking solutions to their hair loss. I am eager to advance this groundbreaking technology, which could improve the lives of millions of people who struggle with hair loss."