You may have heard the term follicular unit micrografting while researching hair transplants, but what is it? Is it technobabble and marketing speak, or a distinct technique for successful hair transplants?
The truth is that hair transplant doctors use the modern technique of follicular unit micrografting to create natural-looking hairlines. This technique is useful for new hair transplants, as well as “hairline correction” for patients who got the old-style “plug” transplants.
New research may lead to a topical medication could delay male pattern balding, also called androgenetic alopecia. The research was conducted by L’Oreal in Paris, and it looked closely at hair follicles and stem cells that cause hair to grow. They hope to one day develop a cream or shampoo that staves off the male pattern balding by encouraging hair to “wake up” from its domancy phase.
The hair growth cycle has three phases: anagen, catagen and telogen. The anagen phase is when the follicle creates a hair, and the hair grows for several years. The hair follicle begins to shrink in the catagen phase, and the hair falls out. The follicle becomes dormant in the telogen phase for several months. Then the cycle starts over.
In male pattern balding, however, the follicles in areas sensitive to hormones get smaller and smaller, producing thinner, smaller hair. Eventually, the follicle stops producing a hair and remains in the telogen phase forever.
Your head is itchy and flaking. Small balding patches are showing up on your scalp. Your hair always looks dirty, and you can’t wear black anymore. And you’re trying one dandruff shampoo after another. Is this a simple case of dandruff, or is it something more serious?
Approximately half of the 7.5 million Americans who have psoriasis specifically have scalp psoriasis. They may also have psoriasis on other parts of their body.
Scalp psoriasis appears as red, raised and sometimes scaly patches on the scalp, and can spread to the back of the neck, behind the ears, or the forehead. This condition is not contagious and its cause is not truly known. It may be caused by the immune system growing skin cells too quickly. The skin cells build up as patches that are itchy and flaky.
The hairs on the neck of this hairless mouse were bioengineered
Scientists in Japan have conducted animal research that may result in treatments for balding within a decade, using bioengineered stem cells. A study in Nature Communications described how experimental organ replacement regenerative therapy research resulted in hair growing on bald mice.
In the study, stem cells from hair follicles of typical mice were implanted into the skin of bald mice. Within 2 to 5 weeks, most of the hair grew in. These hairs behaved normally, in that they followed the hair growth cycle (growth, shedding, dormancy, regrowth). The scientists tested this by pulling out hair to see if it would re-grow, and it did. Just like natural hair , the hairs that resulted from the transplants made connections to nerves and muscles under the skin.
A key protein that causes male pattern balding has been identified by researchers. This could lead to hair loss treatments that stop balding, and maybe even reverse it.
The journal Science Translational Medicine published research from the University of Pennsylvania that pinpointed which genes are activated when men begin to experience male pattern balding. This type of balding, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is extremely common, and is caused by a genetic predisposition and hormones – specifically, testosterone (T). It usually begins in the middle years, and 80% of men have hair loss by the age of 70. Androgenetic alopecia causes hair loss on the top and front of the scalp, leaving a “wreath” of hair around the back and sides of the head.
Early-onset male pattern balding may be triggered by consuming products that alter hormones, such as anabolic steroids, whey protein isolate, andro, Creatine, DHEA, and GH (growth hormones).