3 Hair Restoration Techniques Showing Promise For Patients
New techniques are constantly being tested and researched to try and combat hair loss. Some might show promise and be marketed to consumers while others will never get out of the research phase. Here are some techniques currently being studied to help those who suffer from hair loss:
- Hair Multiplication
A partnership between the RIKEN Research Institute of Japan as well the Japanese electronics company, Kyocera, and Organ Technologies is studying the science of hair multiplication for dealing with hair loss. The research team plans to extract the hair follicles of a patient and then multiply them through the use of cell culturing. The multiplied hair will then be transplanted back onto the areas of the scalp that are balding. The process of hair multiplication looks to solve the issue of insufficient donor hair supply on the back of the scalp. The research team is aiming for 2020 as the date for the process to be commercially available.
- Skin Perturbation
Follica is a United States company looking to combine skin perturbation (where the top layers of the scalp are peeled back) and topical compounds. The removal of the top layers of the skin prompts the skin cells that are located beneath them to change to a stem-like state. Once this happens, a topical compound is applied to the area to stimulate new hair follicle growth. This technique is designed to work on patients who have already lost their hair. Once the skin is peeled back, the cells in the area make the decision to create more skin or hair. Follica is working on trials with mice and human subjects to try and move the cells in the direction of making more hair. They hope to finish their trials sometime this year and have the technique ready for public use by 2018.
- Wnt Signal Reactivation
The biotechnology company, Samumed, released data from the second phase of their clinical trial of SMO4554 in 2016. The data showed information regarding SMO4554 which is a drug applied topically to patients with male pattern hair loss. The drug works by restarting any Wnt signaling pathways that were disrupted. These are the proteins that give instructions to a cell. The idea behind starting the signals again is that hair growth will begin again once normal cell functions have resumed. Samumed plans on starting the next phase of their clinical trials later this year which should give the public a better idea about the viability of the technique.