Just thinking about culturing human hair and re-implanting into the scalp sets the scene for hair transplantation with an unlimited capacity. This being the case, the donor area would be left with very minor interference…….after all, that’s one of the two main factors in attaining a good hair transplant.
But the truth is, almost 20 years of research has past and many problems have surfaced. With inconsistencies in the culturing, it brings to light the myriad of obstacles that must be overcome in the future.
At present, research science is working hard to perfect hair cloning but will it be aesthetically acceptable. Animal studies show tissue culturing to be grossly dissimilar to the original hairs. So we must ask, would human hair be greatly deformed as well? The growth angle also comes into question as it must mimic the same angle as your own hair would naturally be. Another important point for consideration is, the tissue cultured cells showing any tendency toward tumour formation? The transmission of infectious diseases must also be carefully considered.
Cloned hair transplantation is a wonderful idea that, once perfected, would overcome the donor supply problem. However, at this stage there are inconsistencies and problems with reproducibility. For example:
- Will it be economical to bring safe, effective cloned hair to the market?
- Harvesting just the right cell type for cloning.
- Growing the new hair to mimic your own at the same angle, colour and texture.
The prospect of having an unlimited supply of donor hair available to treat hair loss will continue to spur research into overcoming these hurdles in the future.
So when do we see successful hair cloning? Could be 5 years, could be 10 years or it could blow out to another 20 years. In the meantime, there is always the possibility of breakthroughs in oral medications that may successfully regrow lost hair due to male pattern balding.
At present, follicular unit grafting is the most advanced technique available and we, at Medici Capelli, are at the leading edge of this technology.