Scientists in Japan investigating the cause of hair loss
at a cellular level have made some remarkable discoveries that could pave the way for new treatments.
The team, from the National Defence Medical College in Saitama, have been studying the microscopic world of growth factors substances such as vitamins and hormones which are required for the stimulation of growth in cells in the hope of being able to add new treatments to the MHRA licensed and FDA approved options already available
They say that in tests on 12 people with “thin hair”, they were able to stimulate both terminal hair growth and a general thickening of existing hair using dalteparin/protamine nanoparticles, which can “effectively carry growth factors such as fibroblast.”
Fibroblasts in Cell Culture
Fibroblast catching on fast
Fibroblast has also been identified by the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania
as important in hair regrowth; in their own tests they increased levels of fibroblast in mice and saw hair growth double and even triple. Others have caught on, too: a spray-on Australian-made product (not licensed by the MHRA or approved by the FDA) named évolis ONE
was said to have shown promise in clinical trials. Several other pharmaceutical companies are developing products that incorporate fibroblast.
In the new Japanese study, one millilitre of fibroblast (FGF-2 100 ng/mL) and dalteparin/protamine nanoparticles (D/P NPs 56 μg/mL) was applied and massaged on the skin of the scalp by the participants (11 men and one woman) twice a day. Over the course of six months, they were photographed using a digital camera for general observation and a hair diagnosis system was established for measuring hair diameter to assess any improvements to their thinning hair
The team states that: "The mean diameter of the hairs was significantly higher following the application of FGF-2&D/P NPs for 6 months than the mean hair diameter prior to the application. The percentage of terminal hair was also significantly higher after the application than before.
Importantly, the team state that because all the components of FGF-2&D/P NPs, ie, dalteparin, protamine, and FGF-2, "are in clinical use, it is likely that the FGF-2&D/P NPs are safe for clinical use.” They also say that no signs of acute inflammation, allergic symptoms, skin redness, swelling, or itching were observed in the scalp skin during the test period.
Exciting times for hair loss research
These are irrefutably exciting times in the world of hair loss research, with multiple possible future treatments
now waiting in the wings. The path to market will likely be a long and difficult one for many of them, however, meaning that anyone with hair loss would do well to weigh up their options sooner rather than later - particularly if the cause of their hair thinning or receding hairline is genetic, as this will gradually worsen over time.
While some hair loss conditions
can easily be diagnosed at home, others are less straightforward making a visit to a reputable hair loss clinic a sensible idea for anyone concerned about losing their hair. A dedicated specialist will be able to provide not only a diagnosis and prognosis, but can also offer personalised treatment recommendations, as well as supplementary hair growth supporting products
in addition to on-going advice and monitoring.