Hair cloning has been described as the ultimate solution to baldness and scarring alopecia. It has raised a lot of hopes among people suffering from pathological hair loss.
Currently, no treatment for hair loss can cure alopecia or even treat hair loss forever. Hair loss can only be permanently corrected by a transplant, but this procedure is dependent on the patient’s available hair reserve (even though the FUE transplant method has made it possible to increase the size of the donor area by 30 to 50%).
What is hair cloning?
Hair cloning is a technique that aims to artificially reproduce the germ cells of healthy hair follicles. Each germ cell then aggregates with others to form the hair shaft.
Follicles can even be extracted from a completely bald scalp and cultivated in the laboratory. Each stem cell can thus produce healthy hair. These are then injected into the patient’s scalp, using the same method as a classic transplant.
In theory, cloning can renew the stock of hair available for transplantation and thus correct baldness entirely, regardless of the extent of hair loss.
What is the current status of research?
Hair cloning’s potential is indeed exciting for all those who suffer from baldness or scarring alopecia. However, researchers are still engaged in the experimental phase and no treatment using cloned hair is available at this time. It will take at least ten years before such a treatment is available on the market.
Tests have been carried out on mice but have not yet produced the expected results: either the new hair was depigmented or it grew back in an uncontrolled manner. In addition, there are still concerns about the impact of cloning on health and the cloned cell’s ability to continue to reproduce throughout the patient’s life. All these issues need to be resolved before a stem cell treatment for baldness can be offered to patients.
Which treatments are currently available?
Hair transplants are currently the most effective technique to correct baldness without risk to the patient’s health.
There are also other treatments that have a positive effect on hair health. This is the case with medication, mesograft, PRP treatment, mesotherapy, microneedling and light therapy.
Scientific studies have shown that these treatments can sometimes help normalize hair loss, stimulate hair growth and slow down the progression of baldness.