For men and women experiencing hair loss, the good news is that scientists continue to work hard on developing new treatments that can halt, or even reverse, the signs. We recently reported the results of an experiment to grow new hair follicles using 3D spheroids, but this is not the only new potential treatment under development. Here are three more techniques that are currently under investigation.
Originally created to help treat glaucoma, patients prescribed Latisse also noted the growth of thick eyelashes. Researchers realised that Latisse’s active ingredient, Bimatoprost, was responsible. Since the initial discovery, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US has approved Bimatoprost for eyelash regrowth.
British researchers have since tested Bimatoprost to see whether the drug can help regrow hair from other parts of the body. Initial tests on mice have been encouraging with consistent regrowth of human hair on their test hairsubjects. Clinical trials are on-going, and it was announced in May this year that there had been a delay. It could be some time before Bimatoprost is approved for treating hair loss in humans.
Back in 2011 it was reported that researchers had stumbled across a correlation between stress and hair loss in mice. The balding mice were found to have an increase of a stress hormone called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in their blood which was thought to have caused the hair loss.
To test their theory, scientists injected mice with a stress blocker that counteracted CRF. Each of the mice grew new hair within five days, proving a link between stress and hair loss. The anti-CRF drug was also found to reverse greying of the hair.
As with Bimatoprost, these stress-busting drugs are still undergoing tests and remain some way short of obtaining the relevant clearances from the MHRA for use in treating baldness in humans.
3. Sub-dermal fat cells
Scientists at Yale University discovered that men and women experiencing hair loss also have fewer fat cells in their scalps than their hairier counterparts. As hair falls out, the layer of fat cells surrounding hair follicles begin to shrink. The researchers noted that where the layer of fat had disappeared, so too had hair growth potential.
The study suggested that fat calls in the scalp produce molecules called platelet derived growth factors (PDGF) which is an essential component of hair growth. Without the fat cells they concluded, hair follicles did not receive the building blocks required for new hair growth.
Research continues into the importance of fat cells for healthy hair growth, but because pattern baldness is caused by the effect of hormones on the hair follicles, it is unclear how this particular discovery can be applied. Fat cells may end up playing a secondary role in the development of future hair loss treatments.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our online diagnostic form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.