A hair cloning technique that regenerates dormant hair follicles to produce new growth is not being recommended by the researchers who demonstrated its potential, because it is still in the early stages of development and effective hair loss treatment options are already available.
(PRWeb UK) January 28, 2010 -- Researchers and hair restoration surgeons Dr Gary Hitzig and Dr Jerry Cooley created a technique that multiplies the number of hair follicles in an area that had been dormant using an FDA-cleared wound healing powder, but they stipulate it is not fool-proof yet.
"It appears to stimulate copying or 'cloning' of surrounding tissue to fill in a defect. However, this does not always occur, and I am conducting research to determine the best way to use the ACell to maximise success," Dr Cooley said.
ACell's MatriStem MicroMatrix powder was traditionally intended for diabetic ulcers, second degree burns and surgical wounds, but researchers say it has the potential to cause site-specific tissue regeneration that could be useful in hair restoration surgery.
"We've made amazing breakthroughs using MatriStem as a hair cloning tool," Dr Hitzig said. "We"ve been able to multiply the number of hair follicles growing in the recipient area, and as an added benefit are seeing faster hair growth. This new hair cloning technique also makes hair transplantation surgery less invasive.”
Presently there are many obstacles that prove challenging with this technique, but if the procedure becomes available it will involve surgical implantation of externally engineered tissue cells into the scalp, meaning one would have to lose their hair before doing anything about it.
But hair loss specialist Leonora Doclis from The Belgravia Centre says successful preventative measures are available, which means most men and women never have to appear as though they are thinning or balding.
"Someone in the early stages of hair loss would be better off using preventative hair loss treatment, since it is risky to wait for the hair to go completely then consider this new procedure. There is always a small chance that it is not a suitable method," Ms Doclis said. "Additionally, hair growth on a previously bald spot makes the change in appearance obvious. Most people are embarrassed to let colleagues know that they did something about their hair loss, as though they do not want to appear vain."
While the results of preliminary studies prove promising and the technique could be beneficial for those who have run out of traditional hair for transplantation, Dr Cooley says hair cloning is not the cure for baldness yet.
"At this time, until more results become available, I am not recommending it for first time patients or those with other uncomplicated situations where existing corrective techniques work well," he said.
Ms Doclis says comprehensive and individualised programmes that utilise the most effective treatments for hair loss mean it is already possible to stabilise, reverse and prevent the effects of thinning hair or baldness in most men and women.
"The earlier the hair loss is diagnosed, the more successful the treatment," she said. "This would save you from undergoing such an extensive procedure for an otherwise simple problem that already has uncomplicated solutions."
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