Procedures that used to be science-fiction have become commonplace procedures today. Hair loss therapy is diving into the new frontier of technology. Advances in gene and stem cell therapies may be more known for their positive roles in fights against cancer and chronic illnesses, but scientists are also using these cutting-edge treatments to combat hair loss. These fascinating studies are developing technologies that will improve our ability to stop hair loss and regrow hair in the near future. Follicular regeneration is the ultimate goal, and the scientific community is making significant strides toward achieving it. Pharmacological (medication) advancements, hormone therapy, stem cell transformations, and gene therapies are all experiencing exciting new breakthroughs.
Stem cell research. Researches changed one type of stem cells into the cells that regulate hair-follicle formation and the growth cycle. Produced by the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the researchers in this study have generated new hair. While it is only the first step toward the development of a cell-based treatment for over 40 million men and 21 million women, affected by hair loss, it is an exciting first step.
Gene manipulation and therapy. Gene mapping has led to the discovery of using gene isolation and manipulation to trigger amazing results. While more research is needed in this area, the progress to date has been promising with the identification of male pattern baldness and greying genes. These findings could be used to predict using genetics the severity of potential hair loss in men. If you know how severe a condition may become, finding a suitable and satisfying treatment is more likely.
Enzyme inhibition. Columbia University Medical Center has produced a study that shows inhibiting a family of enzymes inside hair follicles that are suspended in a resting state restores hair growth. Tofacitinib and ruxolitinib are both FDA-approved drugs that inhibit these enzymes. In experiments with mouse and human hair follicles, researchers found that drugs that inhibit a family of enzymes promote rapid and robust hair growth when directly applied to the skin.
Hormone therapy. Testosterone replacement gels and medications are become increasingly popular. With the recent advances in these therapies, they are also becoming safer and more effective. Using similar mechanisms as hormone replacement therapy, the drug finasteride, keeps testosterone from forming its DHT by-product. DHT is the chemical signal that shortens the growth phase and lengthen the resting phase of individual hair follicles.
Better surgeries. Hair plugs used to be the pinnacle. These were painful procedures that did not have natural-appearing results. Today, technologies like NeoGraft use gentle suctioning power to remove the entire hair shaft with root and then transplant it to the affected areas. This type of technology is by far the most safe and painless of what is available today. The future of hair loss solutions is bright; these up-and-coming technologies will both enhance what we have and change the game entirely. Either way, if you are experiencing hair loss now, there are viable options to achieve your hair regrowth goals. Dr. Guenthner is one of very few dermatologists who are qualified to perform this procedure. With two convenient office locations in the greater Indianapolis area, the best time to call and schedule a consultation is now.