The days of wearing hats and wigs to cover up balding heads could become a thing of the past as researchers have discovered a new way of growing “unlimited” hair.
Scientists shared the good news with fellow researchers at the International Society for Stem Cell Research summit this week, claiming they had made a “critical breakthrough” with baldness and found how to regrow locks to their former glory, The Sun reports.
In ground-breaking trials, researchers grafted human cells on to those of mice and attached it to tiny “scaffolds” to facilitate hair growth and help it to grow straight up. Next they placed it under the skin and amazingly the hair emerged through.
Speaking about the incredible discovery at the summit, Dr Alexy Terskikh from the Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute said the revolutionary idea will help the change the lives of many around the world.
“Our new protocol described today overcomes key technological challenges that kept our discovery from real-world use,” he said according to The Sun.
“Now we have a robust, highly controlled method for generating natural looking hair that grows through the skin using an unlimited source of human stem cell derived dermal papilla [hair] cells.”
The scientists aren’t the only ones to claim to have found the cure for baldness as researchers from New York School of Medicine announced last year that they had successfully regrown hair on damaged skin.
The results of the trial, which were published in the Nature Communications journal, revealed that scientists activated a pathway in the brain called the ‘sonic hedgehog’ which is utilised in the womb when hair follicles are being formed, but stalls in aged or damaged skin.
Researchers looked at damaged skin in laboratory mice and focused on collagen-secreting cells called fibroblasts, which are responsible for maintaining the health and strength of hair.
Dr Mayumi Ito activated the sonic hedgehog signalling pathway, which is how cells communicate with each other, and saw results of hair regrowth in mice within just four weeks. After nine weeks, the researchers observed the appearance of new hair roots and shaft structures.
Dr Ito told The Sun newspaper: “Now we know it’s a signalling issue in cells that are very active as we develop in the womb, but less so in mature skin cells as we age.Our results show stimulating fibroblasts through the sonic hedgehog pathway can trigger hair growth not previously seen in wound healing.”