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.
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.
In theory, hair cloning and multiplication would 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 then transplanted.
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.
Actual cloning 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 cloning and multiplication technology to market so far. Most of these have 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 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, including those at Bosley, 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 40 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.
Bosley offers both surgical and non-surgical hair loss solutions, including hair transplantation, low-level laser therapy caps, topicals, and scalp micropigmentation. To learn more about your hair restoration options, download Bosley’s FREE guidebook, The Complete Book on Hair Restoration, to see how great your hair can look. Or schedule a free consultation with a Bosley specialist today.