The science of hair restoration is always evolving, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of emerging research and technologies designed to help hair loss sufferers protect and regrow their hair.
One of the most promising areas of research over the past few years has been in the area of hair cloning, multiplication, and regeneration. While this technology isn’t ready for consumer use just yet (since results so far have been limited), the possibility of generating new hair follicles from existing ones is still very real.
While we still don’t have the ability to successfully clone hair, let’s look at where the research stands and what hair loss treatments are available today.
The Benefits of Hair Cloning
Hair transplantation is currently the only permanent solution to hair loss. This involves taking healthy donor hair follicles from the back of your head (either individually or as a strip) and transplanting them into the thinning areas of your scalp. The challenge comes when a patient doesn’t have enough donor hair available to achieve the results he or she desires.
So how would this research improve how we perform a hair transplant? Cloning and multiplication may be able to help solve this problem by providing an unlimited supply of hair for transplantation. Instead of a one-to-one transplantation of hair follicles from one area of the scalp to another, hair follicles would be multiplied outside the body and each hair clonewould be transplanted.
However, while we await the ability to successfully clone hair, transplants remain the best option for addressing hair loss.
Hair Cloning vs. Hair Multiplication
While these terms are often used interchangeably, it’s important to understand the difference between true hair cloning and the process of hair multiplication.
Cloning hair follicles involves removing a hair follicle and cloning it in vitro using some sort of growth media to encourage multiplication. Hair multiplication, on the other hand, is when a hair follicle is removed and cut into multiple pieces, which are then transplanted into the patient’s thinning areas. The hope is that the germinative stem cells at the base of the hair that are still attached when the hair is removed will help generate a new follicle.
Challenges with Hair Cloning and Multiplication
Researchers have faced a number of different challenges in bringing hair follicle cloning and multiplication technology to market so far. Most of the challenges involved in multiplying and cloning hairhave to do with the complexity and fragility of the hair follicles.
For traditional cloning, the challenge has been to find the proper environment in which cells can grow while still remaining in a hair-like state. For hair multiplication, researchers have found that only a small number of germinative cells are extracted with each hair, and that even fewer survive re-implantation into the scalp. This makes it less likely that they will eventually generate a new hair follicle.
Bosley and Aderans Hair Cloning Research
Bosley and our parent company, Aderans, have been at the forefront of this pioneering research. The Aderans Research Institute, led by Bosley Chief Medical Director Dr. Ken Washenik, has invested over $100 million to perfect these hair follicle cloning techniques. And while research has been discontinued for now, early trials showed promising results.
“Interim data from the early stage of Phase II shows that about 50% to 70% of trial subjects are responding at a level that’s at least as good as anything that’s out there for growing hair, and we expect the later stage to get even better.” – Ken Washenik, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Director
While hair cloning and multiplication technology may not be available to consumers for some time, hair loss researchers continue working on solving the challenges posed by this promising new field of study. As the world’s most trusted hair restoration expert, with more than 45 years of experience in the art and science of hair restoration, we’re always investigating new ways to help hair loss sufferers address their hair loss.
Ultimately, it will be a while before researchers are able to clone hair follicles successfully. If you’re struggling with hair loss and looking for a solution now, there are both surgical and non-surgical treatments available today.
While we await successful hair cloning, transplants are highly effective and offer long-lasting solutions. These surgical techniques involve the precise extraction and transplantation of hair follicles, resulting in natural-looking and permanent results. By surgically implanting healthy hair follicles into thinning or balding areas, surgical options provide the most comprehensive and transformative outcomes for individuals seeking to regain a fuller head of hair.
FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) hair transplant is a highly sought-after surgical procedure for hair restoration. During an FUE transplant, individual hair follicles are extracted from a donor area, typically the back or sides of the scalp, and meticulously implanted into the recipient area. This technique offers natural-looking results with minimal scarring, making it an appealing choice for many people.
FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) hair transplant involves removing a thin strip of tissue from the donor area, usually at the back of the head. The strip is then dissected into individual follicular units, which are subsequently transplanted into the recipient area. FUT is an established technique that can effectively restore hair density and is often recommended for individuals with significant hair loss. However, it’s important to note that it may leave a linear scar.
BioGraft is an advanced hair restoration technique that combines both surgical and non-surgical methods. Bosley pairs the highly-effective FUE hair transplant with Hair Club’s Xtrands+ state-of-the-art Strand-by-Strand® process. Using the FUE transplantation method, donor hair is taken from the back and/or sides of the head to recreate the hairline. Then, a licensed Hair Club stylist will use Xtrands+ to address areas of thinning on the top and back of the head, resulting in a fuller, thicker appearance.
Non-surgical options for hair loss treatments offer a convenient and accessible approach to addressing hair loss. Non-surgical treatments can help stimulate hair growth, improve blood circulation, and enhance the appearance of hair density without the need for invasive procedures. They are typically easier to incorporate into daily routines and can be suitable for individuals with mild to moderate hair loss. While non-surgical options may require ongoing maintenance, they provide viable alternatives for those seeking to address hair loss without undergoing surgery.
Finasteride, an FDA-approved oral medication, is commonly prescribed to treatmale pattern baldness. It works by inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that contributes to hair loss. Finasteride has shown positive results in slowing down hair loss and promoting hair regrowth in many individuals.
Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that involves depositing pigments into the scalp to simulate the appearance of hair follicles. This technique creates the illusion of a closely-shaved head or adds density to thinning areas. SMP is an excellent option for individuals who prefer a buzz-cut hairstyle or want to camouflage balding or thinning areas on the scalp. It offers immediate results and requires minimal maintenance.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) utilizes safe and painless laser devices to stimulate hair growth. The lasers emit specific wavelengths of light that penetrate the scalp and stimulate cellular activity, promoting hair regrowth. LLLT can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies. This is a convenient option, as it can be performed at home using handheld devices or in clinical settings.
The derma roller is a popular at-home treatment that involves rolling a device embedded with tiny needles across the scalp. This process creates microscopic punctures, stimulating blood circulation and triggering the body’s natural healing response. As a result, hair follicles are stimulated, and hair growth may be improved.
Topical products for hair loss provide a non-invasive and convenient approach to addressing thinning hair and hair loss. These specialized solutions — such as minoxidil, specially-formulated shampoos, hair growth serums, and more — are directly applied to the scalp, targeting the hair follicles to stimulate growth, improve circulation, and enhance overall hair health. By incorporating topical products into your hair care routine, you can potentially promote thicker, fuller hair and create a favorable environment for regrowth.
What to do next?
To learn more about your hair restoration options and the average hair transplant timeline, The Complete Book on Hair Restoration, to see how great your hair can look. If you’re ready to do something about that bald spot or thinning hair now, schedule a FREE in-person or video consultation with a trained Bosley hair restoration specialist. Together with a Bosley Physician, we can help you find out what’s causing your balding and what treatment solution is right for you.