LIFESTYLE

Hairloss Cure: Could Follica Be A New Breakthrough In Baldness Prevention Products?

09/09/2013 11:10

Hairloss cures range from hair transplants to multivitamins, from injecting plasma into the head to applying lotions, but HuffPost Canada has brought to our attention a new breakthrough product that might give hope to thousands of sufferers.

US company Follica, says The Scientist, claims to have created a solution that creates new follicles in both mice and men, harnessing the principles of stem cells.

"This discovery sheds light on a novel mechanism to regenerate hair follicles and opens an exciting new avenue to develop treatments for hair loss in humans," the company's Dr. William Ju said in a press release. "Follica has developed a technology platform that is uniquely suited to support clinical translation of these new findings."

baldness

How does it work?

Like most baldness procedures it sounds mildly terrifying: they start with a process called 'skin-peturbation' where the top layers of the scalp are peeled back. The cells beneath then revert to a stem-cell like state, and a topical solution is applied to the area that re-boots the cells to start producing hair.

At present, male pattern baldness is the chief cause of balding among men with over 6.5 million sufferers, which is caused when enzymes in the body convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT has an tends to shrink hair follicles on the head and eventually reduces how much hair they produce, reported The Express.

Baldness is also something that most people will experience in their lifetime - The Telegraph reported that four out of five men will experience baldness by the time they are 70.

At present, reported HuffPost Canada, "if you want to stimulate regrowth rather than have a hair transplant or wear a toupee, options basically come down to minoxidil, marketed as Rogaine, and finasteride , which you may know as Propecia.

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"The former is a vasodilator, which purports to prevent follicles from shrinking and choking off hair. Propecia aims to stop testosterone from being converted, and thus weaponized as DHT, which starves hair of vital nutrients."

Although there is no cure as such for male or female pattern baldness, last year, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania made a critical discovery that the enzyme prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) was instructing hair follicles to shed their hair.

The Scientist reports the procedure has already passed preclinical and clinical trials.

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