Q&A: Hair Multiplication/Cloning

Q:

Dear Dr. Mohebi-

I am 33 years old and have been dealing with thinning hair since I was 19.  That is when I started on finasteride and it has helped slow down my hair loss.  I also use concealers or camouflaging agents to help my thinning areas appear fuller and thicker.  I have been watching for new treatments such as hair cloning to come to fruition and still hold out hope for that one day.

In the meantime I have thought about FUE but just do not have the resources financially to afford it.  Do you think hair cloning will be a viable option in the future?  What are my options in the interim?  Thank you for any help or advice…and you would definitely be my doctor of choice for treatment in the future (hopefully for hair cloning!).  Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my question!

 

A:

Hair cloning has been studied and the results indicate that we can multiply hair in the lab or in tissue and use it as new hair for transplantation.  Of course, hair multiplication (also known as hair cloning) could be a great option for many people who don’t have enough resources for restoring a full head of hair.  That might be due to having a large balding area in comparison to the limited donor area, or poor quality of their donor hair.  However, most people do not need to wait for hair cloning; current state-of-the-art hair restoration can give them a full head of hair.

We don’t know precisely when hair multiplication will be available for those who need it.  The research has been slow and costly, and the main company that initiated the research of hair multiplication went out of business.  If it becomes possible to clone hair, I don’t think it will be practical until eight to ten years from now.  That is the amount of time any new medical procedure requires to complete phase III of its research process, which is when scientists perform tests (lasting eight to ten years) to make sure it won’t cause any long-term complications in patients (such as cancer, etc.).

We will keep our patients updated through our website, blog, and social channels if and when any new technique for hair restoration becomes available.