Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hair Cloning

Hair cloning is one of the most exciting developments in the search to find better solutions for hair loss. Popularly known as follicle cloning or multiplication, hair cloning involves taking a sample of one's hair follicle cells, multiplying these cells in a lab and injecting the multiplied cells back into the scalp. The basic use of hair cloning is to create natural hair regrowth without the use of an invasive surgery.

How hair cloning works?
Hair cloning helps in hair re-growth by harvesting healthy follicle stem cells. Instead of transplanting the hair follicles right away, hair specialists learned how to multiply the stem cells or seeds.

First of all new follicle stem cells will be grown in laboratory cultures. They will be attached to tiny skin-cell scaffolds. Then they will be implanted into bald areas of your scalp. The idea here is - taking these follicle stem cells from bulb of the hair and growing them together. After getting more number of hair seeds they will be injected into the scalp. First you can start with a small number of hairs. Later you can come back with larger number of hair seeds. Then you can inject them into one area and create brand-new hair follicles.

Hair specialists discovered the fact that some follicle cells can do more than regenerating. They can give off chemical signals which make the nearby follicle cells - that have shrunk during aging process - respond positively to these signals and regenerate, making healthy hair.

What are the obstacles that hinder Hair cloning?
Unfortunately, hair cloning is not yet possible. But still lot of research is getting done to perfect it. Current predictions indicate that it may take another ten years for hair cloning to become available for the public use.

Anyway the name of the process itself is a little misleading. In reality it refers to cell therapy rather than cell cloning. Research is being dedicated to work on this process with just a small sample of tissue from scalp. Once this process achieves perfection, one can develop several hundred thousand hair follicles.

The following are the major obstacles that have to be overcome:

Still there is no certainty that the multiplied cells will develop into hairs.
There is no certainty that the new hairs developed in the process grow to same thickness, color or direction like the existing hair coverage.
There is no certainty that the cloned cells will not cause any serious health problems like the growth of cancerous tumors.
Clearly hair cloning will offer exciting possibilities for hair loss treatment in the future. But for the time being, you have to make use of the more limited treatments currently available.