The research and study for improved treatment options for hair loss is an ongoing science. Today’s available treatments such as hair supplements, surgery, and topical solutions are also being developed for a much positive results for every hair loss sufferers who are all hoping for an effective product that will not just drain their pockets without giving them a good outcome from it. Most of the ongoing research that are being made are promising, however, for this to be available to the public it might still take years or even decades to come out with a perfected and safe product.
Don’t lose hope. Whether you are young or not-so-young or whether or not we live up to the day these future treatments are out, present treatments that are available are still as good and these future treatments will give us something to be hopeful about and look forward to the possibility of having a bald-free head.
Here are future treatment options that we can all look forward to and hope they continue and finish with their research.
Stem Cell Research (Hair Cloning / Hair Multiplication)
Stem cell research has been around for years mostly in the pursuit for treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and injury of the spinal cord. This research is has received controversies about the embryonic cells. It is believed that these cells will induce specialized cells and tissues of the body. However, in hair loss we will not be dealing with this specific cells but with adult stem cells in the bulge area of the hair follicle. Adult stem cell has the ability to copy itself (self-renewal) and generate progenitor cells which will divide and become specialized cells of the hair shaft, inner root sheath, and outer root sheath.
These stem cells are removed from the person’s good hair follicle (most of the time at the back of the head) and will then be transplanted to the balding areas and will produce new hair follicles.
What scientists are trying to find out know is how chemical signals between the cells and the bulge area work. The adult stem cells and the bulge area remain irresponsive of each other until they get signals from epidermal cells and then they generate a intermediate state before they divide into specialized cells in the hair follicle or epidermal tissues.
This research is being done by several scientists and laboratories such as Aderans and Follica.
Sonic Hedgehog Gene
Hedgehog genes are present in flies to humans and there is a hedgehog signaling pathway which gives cells information they need to make embryo develop properly. This gene is can convert hair in resting phase to growing phase. Sonic Hedgehog is the most studied among the three Hedgehog homologues in mammals.
Hedgehog as a treatment is being developed by Curis Inc. and Procter and Gamble, a hedgehog agonist which is a drug for treatment of hair loss or hair growth disorders.
This is a more advanced treatment and is still in its infant stage. Since male pattern baldness is mostly from genetics, inn gene therapy you will change the genes and alter cell function.
From the American Hair Loss Association:
“Gene therapy requires learning how an inherited medical condition occurs at the DNA molecule level, and then going in and fixing it. With gene therapy, the hair follicles with DHT-sensitive cells could be changed into follicles with DHT-resistant cells, and the hair follicles would continue to grow new hairs for a lifetime. But gene therapy involves several very difficult to achieve steps. The first step is figuring out which of the tens of thousands of genes on strands of DNA are involved in the characteristic to be altered, and the second step is figuring out how exactly the target genes are to be changed, so that they give instructions for making the slightly different proteins that will achieve the desired effect. The third step is getting the target cells in the living organism to incorporate the new and improved genes as replacements for the old undesirable genes.”
Obviously, these future treatments really do seem too futuristic right now. They require extensive research and trials to make the treatment more effective than the products that we have right now. There’s nothing any of us can do but wait and see what these scientists and companies can develop. We can hope for the best that the research will be on our side. Still, there’s no doubt that results will not be available for another couple of years or so.