Hair Loss Research and Treatment Making News in 2020
It seems like each year bring news that promises an end to hair loss or a new discovery that might eventually lead to hair loss being a thing of the past. Hair loss can be the result of genetics, certain medications and even some form of trauma to the scalp. In order to combat hair loss, both male and female patients look for hair restoration methods that can provide them with the full hairline they desire. Let’s take a look at the latest medical innovations, and even some that might not be all that new, being promoted as a way to end hair loss once and for all.
Hair Loss Research and Treatments in 2020
The idea of hair follicle cloning has been around since the 1990s but it is still being discussed as a possible means to end hair loss. The cloning of hair follicles can best be described as hair multiplication. Several hair follicles can be produced from a single hair in a medical lab or in vivo AKA inside the body. The science behind hair cloning has been described as the follicles getting connected to the existing stem cells on the scalp of a patient. In other words, the hair that is newly grown in a lab can become one with the scalp and eventually grow directly in the scalp like any natural hair.
There has been some success in the use of this process with animal models. However, there are multiple additional phases that will need to be completed in human models before doctors and patients are able to see the long term effects and overall safety of this possible hair restoration method. The use of hair cloning in real world situations is not available to the general public so it will be (at least) a little while before this hair loss method is normalized and available for patients to utilize to address their balding scalp.
Biotechnology Cure for Hair Loss and Balding
Patients should be aware that hair restoration can provide a full and healthy hairline in the area being treated on the scalp. The hair that is transplanted is permanent and will not be subject to balding in the future. Unfortunately, this does not prevent balding from being a possibility on other areas of the scalp as a person continues to age.
The issue of balding for patients of all genders and ages has not been solved or eliminated. Companies that are located in the biotechnology sphere have been working to find a cure to the issue of balding as well as simply trying to determine if baldness can be eliminated and cured. For example, Follicum, a Swedish biotech company whose lead candidate drug for the treatment of hair loss is currently in Phase II clinical trials, discovered a possible treatment while studying treatments for arteriosclerosis which is when the walls of the arteries thicken and harden as a person gets older. Scientists at Lund University in Sweden discovered that a variant of a protein known as osteopontin, which naturally occurs in the human body, might increase hair growth in mice.
Further studies have shown that this protein variant can target a very specific point or area on the hair follicle cells which gives it the ability to accelerate the hair cycle from the resting to the growth phase. This ability allows the protein variant to stimulate the hair follicles in the dormant phase to start producing hair in the growth phase.
To date, Follicum has tested an injectable form of treatment in two clinical trials that both lasted for a period of three months. The results from the clinical trials both showed patients reporting increased hair density. A new test phase involving a version of the product that is a topical cream is expected to begin later in 2020.
Hair Transplant to Treat Baldness
Before we go any further, this is not a mistake. While hair transplants have been used for years to address issues of balding on the scalp, hair restoration through hair transplants is always evolving as new methods of performing hair transplants are constantly being tested and put into use for patients. For example, our practice performs a hair restoration method, pioneered and perfected by Dr. Mohebi, known as Celebrity Hair Transplant. This Los Angeles FUE hair transplant method uses a limited number of grafts so there is minimal downtime and little to no detectability.
Research is always being performed on how to better perform hair transplants and provide even better results for patients. Even with the other hair restoration methods discussed above being studied and tested, a hair transplant is still the best and most effective method of providing patients with the hairline of their dreams.
While there are many efforts being made to address and solve the issue of balding for patients, further studies and tests are needed on hair restoration methods that are not hair transplants. Patients that are interested in learning more about the hair restoration options available to them should schedule a consultation appointment with our office to discuss your hair restoration goals.