Despite the many claims of a “cure” for baldness, to date there are only a few viable methods hair restoration.
The first one is through hair loss medication such as finasteride marketed as Propecia and minoxodil marketed as Rogaine – the two FDA approved medical treatments for hair loss. The second is through hair transplantation – a surgical procedure where hair is removed from the donor “safe zone” (the sides and back of the head where hairs are not vulnerable to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the hormone responsible for the loss of genetically predisposed hairs) and then transplanted into recipient incisions in the balding areas made by a hair transplant doctor.
Though some options are more viable than others depending on the hair loss sufferer, none of them offer a “perfect” means of hair restoration. Hair loss medication MIGHT restore some hair but is generally better at combating future hair loss. Hair Transplantation may give a patient a cosmetically pleasing look and the illusion of density – one can never restore a full head of hair.
But what about the future of hair restoration? Will there ever be a hair loss cure?
Hair loss is being researched from two different perspectives as far as I can tell.
The first perspective is finding and curing the cause of hair loss by attacking it at the core. WNTs proteins and the signaling pathway is one such possibility in discovering the root “cause” of hair loss in order to find a cure.
The second perspective is hair regeneration or hair multiplication. This is a process in which dermal papilla (DP) cells (the cells responsible for the formation of new hair) are extracted from the donor “safe zone”, are multiplied and than injected into the balding areas of a hair loss sufferer.
ICX-TRC hair regeneration is being developed by a company called Intercytex. It is currently in Phase II clinical trials in the UK. Preliminary results were expected the first half of 2007 – not sure if they are available yet). These Phase II clinical trials are being conducted at The Farjo Clinic – one of our recommended hair transplant clinics.
In a nutshell, this is how ICX-TRC hair regeneration therapy should work if it becomes approved for safety and efficacy…
Hair follicles and dermal papilla cells will be extracted from a patients scalp which will take approximately 30 minutes or so. These cells will then be sent to a lab and separated from the follicle. The lab will disassociate the DP cells from the follicle and will multiply them over a 3 week process.
The patient will return to the clinic in which time these cloned DP cells will then be injected into the recipient area and eventually grow on a similar timeline as a traditional hair transplant. Unlike a traditional hair transplant however, there will be no recipient sites made with a cutting instrument.
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