How Does Hair Cloning Grow Hair Follicles from Cultured Cells?

February 21st, 2007

Q: Considering cell cultivation is made possible how could their injection create a normal formation of hair on the scalp and can they induce hair growth also in scarred areas where previously hair stopped growing?

A: That is the question. It is not known if these induced follicles will resemble normal hairs, and be cosmetically acceptable on their own, or if they will grow unruly and must be used as a filler behind more aesthetically pleasing transplanted hair.

Hair growth is an interaction between the dermal components (fibroblasts in the dermal sheath and dermal papillae) and the epidermal structures.

It is possible that the injected dermal fibroblasts will interact with resident epithelial cells to produce a properly oriented hair. A tunnel of epithelial cells can also be created to facilitate this process and some researchers are using cultures of both dermal and epithelial cells.

As you suggest, part of the challenge is not just to multiply the hair but to find a way for the hair to grow in its proper orientation. With scar tissue, the task will obviously be much more difficult.

Another issue is that the induced follicles are just that, they are single hair follicles rather than complete follicular units. Because of this they wouldn’t have the cosmetic elegance of one’s own natural hair, unlike that which is possible in follicular unit hair transplantation.

That said, much work still needs to be done and it is not clear at this time what might be the solution.

Read more on the Hair Cloning page on the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration website.

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Posted by Robert M. Bernstein M.D. on February 21st, 2007 at 8:32 am


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