Burn victims and men with male pattern baldness could see new growth in their hair development, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Durham.
Lead researcher Angela Christiano insists that the discovery will revolutionize the medical treatment of hair loss, by using a regenerative method of growth that uses the body’s own cells.
During the study, researchers harvested cells from the base of a human follicle. The cells were cloned, then implanted into a human skin graft on the back of a mouse.
In five of seven cases, the skin graft grew new hair.
“Several obstacles still remain [before human trials],” Christiano said. “But the basics - the first step - is actually showing that it can be done.”
While the study is still in its early stages Christiano, who suffers from alopecia areata and therefore bald spots, says researchers are getting close to a final product.
Christiano added that women who typically don’t have enough donor hair to prevent baldness could benefit from the research, as well as burn victims who were previously unable to re-grow hair. The method may also be able to allow men with male pattern baldness to grow a new head of hair.