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Hair Loss Research

Staying Current on Hair Loss Research

For the millions affected by hair loss, new studies into the underlying biology offer hope for potential treatments. While genetics play a role, researchers are finding other factors that contribute to follicular miniaturization and impaired growth cycles.

Examining the Underlying Causes

Androgenetic alopecia, or pattern hair loss, occurs when dihydrotestosterone (DHT) binds to receptors, shrinking follicles. But inflammation, oxidative stress, and disrupted angiogenesis can also accelerate shedding. Targeting these mechanisms may help stabilize or revive follicles.

A 2021 study in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that a topical anti-androgen reduced DHT levels in follicles by nearly 60% in 4 months. Participants saw slowed hair loss progression and increased density.

Emerging Treatment Pathways

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that altering signaling pathways related to WNT, a key protein for follicle development, can jumpstart dormant follicles to grow new hair. Further research is exploring WNT pathway modulation.

Meanwhile, investigators at Stanford University identified specific cells that fuel follicle angiogenesis. Enhancing vascularization could nurture healthier follicular environments.

Current Treatment Options

While research continues, solutions exist today:

  • Hair Transplants – Hair follicles are surgically extracted from the back and sides of the scalp and implanted into thinning areas. Advanced techniques like FUE allow transplanting large numbers of grafts.
  • Minoxidil – This topical vasodilator penetrates follicles to stimulate growth.
  • Low Level Laser Therapy – Laser light energizes follicles increasing thickness over 3-6 months. Cleared by the FDA for men and women.
  • Anti-Inflammatories – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs combat inflammation that can compromise follicles.
  • Nutrient Serums – Formulas with peptides, biotin, and antioxidants provide essential nourishment.
  • Hair Additions – Non-surgical options like wigs, hair extensions, and hair systems add the appearance of fullness and coverage.

 

Natural Oils for Hair Regrowth

Exciting new research is exploring the potential of CBD, derived from hemp, to stimulate hair growth. A 2022 in vitro study by University of Colorado researchers found that applying CBD to human hair follicles extended the anagen (growth) phase while delaying the catagen (regressing) phase of the hair cycle. CBD’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may create a healthier scalp environment.

A 2022 clinical study by Dr. Gregory Smith and John Satino delivered promising results for natural hair oils. Their formula of advanced varins and other plant oils outperformed the FDA-approved drugs minoxidil and finasteride in boosting hair growth over 4 months. The researchers suggest the oils’ nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories aid follicle health. Based on this research, the natural oil formula has been made into a new product called Tricomax Hair Maximizer. These findings suggest properly formulated natural oils could stimulate significant hair regrowth.

Consulting Hair Loss Specialists

Because of the intense research and rapid advance of hair loss therapies, patients should consult dermatology specialists or subscribe to trusted news sources like International Hair Authority to analyze causes and map customized treatment plans. For many, consistent use of research-backed approaches can maintain healthy hair. Scientists remain dedicated to unraveling the intricate biology of hair growth to develop new solutions.

Regenerating Hair in Scar Tissue

Interestingly, new hair loss research also shows promise for regenerating hair follicles in wounded or scarred skin. A 2022 study published in Nature found that wound healing processes can lead to follicle neogenesis – the formation of new follicles – in adult mouse skin. Further investigation revealed that extracellular matrix proteins and mechanical forces play a key role in signaling follicle regeneration after injury.

While more research is needed, this discovery opens doors to potentially restoring hair growth in scar tissues. For patients with extensive wounds or burns resulting in scarring alopecia, techniques that spur neogenesis may bring new possibilities. More clinics are exploring microneedling and lasers to activate wound healing pathways where scars have destroyed follicles. With greater understanding of mechanisms that lead to follicle formation, regenerative hair restoration may become a reality.

Banking Follicles for the Future

Some patients and clinics are now exploring hair follicle banking as an investment in future treatments. This involves extracting and cryopreserving healthy follicles that contain stem cells. The hope is that preserved follicular units could one day be multiplied in a lab using cell culturing methods to produce large numbers of new hairs. These could then be re-implanted back into the scalp via injections to increase density beyond what current grafting allows.

While still experimental, early research showing stem cell multiplication and differentiation into new follicles has provoked excitement. Companies like Hair Bank in UK, Follicum in Sweden and Stemson Therapeutics in California are pursuing hair cloning techniques. For those willing to undergo extraction and pay banking fees, storing follicles provides an option if cloning becomes viable. Patience and caution are warranted, but follicle banking taps into the possibilities unfolding at the intersection of hair restoration and regenerative medicine.

Many hair loss research are being conducted everyday throughout the world. Stay tuned to stay updated.