Baldness: the cure

How cloning your hair could help thinning hairdos

Are you one of the millions of women who suffer from thinning hair, or does you other half suffer from premature baldness? Well, we might have the cure.

A new technique has been created which allows scientists to clone hair follicles is being backed by a £1.9 million government grant and could be available to the general public within five years.

In trials, ‘follicular cell implantation’, to give it its scientific name, increased hair count on two thirds of patients after six months, and had even better results when the scalp was treated first with ‘gentle abrasions’ to encourage hair growth.

‘We can take a small sample from the back of the head, extract the dermal papilla cells and then use a patented method of multiplying these basic cells of extracted hairs in the lab,’ explains Bessam Farjo, president of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, who is leading the research.

‘Within eight weeks they are capable of generating literally millions of themselves, meaning that only around 100 hairs are needed in order to produce thousands of new hairs.’

Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute of Trichologists, tells The Telegraph: ‘If it works as well as the preliminary findings suggest, this is going to be absolutely superb. Baldness is sometimes only noticed once a lot of hair loss has already occurred and a lot of men who do not have a lot left at the back of their heads cannot opt for current transplants, while the cost is also prohibitive.

‘We don’t yet know what the cost of these injections would be, but if they were made available they could also be a useful treatment for women whose hair typically becomes extremely thin all over the head.

‘This could allow a lot more people to opt for hair restoration who currently might previously not have considered having anything done.’

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