Researchers said the procedure, tested in mice, would not just relocate hair, as in a transplant, but would increase its amount.
So far, the technique has been tested only in mice, but it has managed to grow hairs on human skin grafted onto the animals. If the research pans out, the scientists say, it could produce a treatment for hair loss that would be more effective and useful to more people than current remedies like drugs or hair transplants.
Present methods are not much help to women, but a treatment based on the new technique could be, the researchers reported Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
At Bauman Medical Group, we are keeping a close eye on this technology for hair loss. Unfortunately, the hairs grown in the lab (on mice) from this technology were very small and certainly would not be cosmetically significant for a human patient. However, small steps forward in this process may eventually yield a non-surgical cure for baldness. For the time being, however, modern transplantation techniques--when done artistically and less invasively (NeoGraft FUE)--can be used to undetectably redistribute permanent hair follicles with little pain or downtime. --Dr. Alan Bauman