The concept of hair cloning is a hair restoration method currently being researched. As more people suffer from hair loss, new techniques to battle this problem arise, and some methods of performing hair cloning or hair multiplication have come far enough to soon pass from their laboratory testing phases into their clinical phase. Here we go through what the most high-tech cure for hair loss actually does.
The Difference Between Hair Cloning and Hair Multiplication
The method of hair cloning means that a doctor extracts healthy hair follicle cells from the patient’s scalp and clones them in vitro. The larger amount of healthy cells are then returned to the scalp to grow hair as normal.
Hair multiplication, on the other hand, means that the actual follicles are plucked from the scalp and reinserted. The hope is that the cells at the base of each hair will then generate new follicles that produce hair.
How Far Has Research Come?
Research on hair cloning has been successful in rodents. As of now, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved cell cloning for use on humans in the U.S.
However, many researchers are hopeful that the technique will be available for patients in the near future. Hair restoration specialist Dr. Ken Williams, based in Irvine, California, is collaborating with British company Hair Clone. Britain is currently the only Western country that allows hair cloning as a practice on humans. Clinical trials are underway.
“The typical candidate would be someone who has had multiple surgeries and can’t have any more hair transplantations, but they have lots of areas of balding,” Williams said in an interview in April. For an individual patient, the trial treatment would cost between $4,000 and $10,000 – and they would also have to fly to England.
Risks With the Treatment
Critics of this treatment point out that hair cloning induces the risk that the cells mutate and could turn cancerous. The FDA will not approve hair cloning as a medical treatment until that risk is minimized.
However, once approved, hair cloning would be an attractive alternative to many people as it doesn’t cause any visible scarring. The procedure is quick, and any results would be permanent.
Whichever path you choose, there are many ways to improve hair health. You just have to find yours.