Can science banish baldness?

It may not be a cure for cancer, but science is getting close to banishing baldness. Here’s a quick summary of recent research on hair regrowth.

The 3D Spheroid Solution

A joint program between the University of Durham and Columbia University Medical Centre has found a new way to grow new hairs from tissue samples. Historically this has been tricky because when the cells are grown in the lab they tend to produce more skin instead of hair fibers. But the team figured out that by clumping the cells into “3D spheroids” they could increase the number of hairs produced. Problem yet to be solved: how to prevent the spheroids from becoming cancerous! Researchers say that “It’s hard to say exactly how long that would take.”

The Faux Follicle Simulation

Scientists from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have used their cell and tissue engineering expertise to develop a “hair follicle-like structure” from dermal papilla cells and keratinocyte. They hope this breakthrough will simplify the testing of new hair loss drugs. The catch: we still need new drugs.

The Prostaglandin Paradigm

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that high levels of a protein called prostaglandin D synthase is associated with hair loss. The challenge now is to determine which compounds, if any, could interact with the genetic receptor and whether or not the interaction would reverse balding or just prevent balding. Apparently this will “take a while to figure out.”

The Hairy Leg Juxtaposition

According to The Archives of Dermatology, researchers have developed a new procedure for taking hair follicles from patients’ legs and grafting them to their head. Apparently this technique results in a more look because hair transplanted from other parts of the body can look “pluggy.” The procedure involves 1,500 to 1,800 follicles and requires about eight hours Best of all, if you can find the right doctor, you can get it done right now!