European Correspondent

Put Your Hair in the Bank The search for the Holy Grail

As a hair care professional, you will undoubtedly get questions about hair transplants. Clients may also ask what progress has been made cloning hair follicles.

As you may already know, several labs are researching cloning hair follicles. The reason is simple. With most hair transplants, there is typically a shortage of donor hair to completely treat advanced baldness. Cloning hair follicles could solve this deficiency.  So, for hair loss victims everywhere, this is a quest for the holy hair grail.


Dr. Bessam Farjo

Hair in the bank

In response to this pressing need, one company, “Hairclone” has come up with a treatment for freezing healthy hair follicles from the donor until the technology is sufficiently advanced that they can clone and multiply the follicles for re-insertion.

The man behind this exciting project is our well-known colleague, Dr. Bessam Farjo from the UK.

 

Hair cloning, save follicles for later

Afraid of going bald? You can already store healthy hair follicles in the HairClone hair bank. These are hair follicles taken from the back that are not subject to hair loss. Not even later.

 
Dr Sarah Wasserbauer
HairClone Follicle Preservation Freezes Follicles for The Future

Dr. Sara Wasserbauer, a hair transplant doctor in Northern California, performs HairClone Follicle Preservation in the USA, a procedure that allows patients who expect to lose their hair in the future to store hair cells so they can be used when future treatments like cloning hair follicles become possible.

 

The first step

The first step is called hair banking, a method of preserving hair follicles when the cells are most active and vibrant. The most suitable candidates are at least 18 years old with a family history of severe hair loss so it is likely that they will not have enough donor hair in the future to treat the entire thinning area.

 

The method

A date is scheduled for the procedure which will take less than two hours. For the procedure itself, Dr. Wasserbauer anesthetizes an area on the scalp that is about the length of a finger and removes up to 50 grafts for the sample. Dr. Wasserbauer then examines the sample and documents the exact number of hairs and what they look like and then stores them in a refrigerated box that is shipped to the UK where it is cryopreserved (frozen) until needed. Cryopreservation methods reach very low temperatures, so that any chemical activity in the cells is stopped.

“We performed HairClone follicle preservation on patients in Northern California for the first time in 2020,” said Dr. Wasserbauer. “The hair follicles that we have removed are then cryogenically frozen, which stops the hair’s aging process. The follicles are stored in the UK, where tissue banking is approved by the government. We hope that the FDA will grant permission to store tissue in storage facilities in the United States sometime this year. ”

 

The sequel

Once their hair follicles are frozen, donors will have to wait until the technology to clone hair follicles is ready. When thawed correctly, the hair cells will function normally again. The follicles are essentially frozen in time; the tissue remains viable for at least 20 to 30 years.

 

Best regards,

Hans

@HansJDiks

hans@haarproblemen.nl

www.haarproblemen.nl  (translation available in 5 languages)

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