If you haven’t heard of hair cloning, this article may sound like science fiction to you.
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But the truth is that science has long studied the viability of this technique, whose ultimate goal is to end alopecia.The studies are still in a very preliminary phase.
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But perhaps it could be a reality in less time than we think.
Hair cloning: What exactly is it?
The starting point of hair cloning is simple. It replicates the operation of the capillary micro graft: taking tissue from an area of the patient capable of producing hair and implanting it in another area that can no longer do so. In the capillary micro graft specifically, healthy hair follicles are extracted to put them in place of those that no longer generate hair.
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But capillary cloning does not work with the follicles, but with the patient’s stem cells to modify them. The intention is to get them to produce other certain cells, in this case capable of producing hair.
When we talk about stem cells, we refer to those that have the ability to give rise to other cells. In fact, they can turn into other types of cells and self-renew. That is, divide and make copies of them. Therefore, they can colonize, integrate and originate new tissues. In this case, new hair follicles. Therefore, thousands of hairs could be cloned from the stem cells of a single hair.
Well, the idea of hair cloning is similar but a little more complex. The essence of this technique is to extract stem cells from the patient’s healthy area. This material is modified to produce certain cells. The modified cells are then inserted into the patient so that they allow the growth of healthy hair follicles.
Those cells that are extracted from the patient are the ones located in what is known as the dermal papilla, the area between the dermis and the epidermis.
This dermal papilla is located at the base of the hair bulb (the deepest part of the hair follicle). It is essential for the root of the hair, since it is responsible for providing the energy and oxygen that are needed for hair to grow. In the papilla coincide numerous blood vessels full of nutrients.
Hair cloning, reality in the future
The capillary cloning technique is not new. In fact, it has already been intensely debated by specialists, always with the intention of finding the Holy Grail that will make it possible to put an end to alopecia definitively.
In any case, science has made giant strides towards curbing hair loss. The FUE and FUSS techniques, of which we are specialists at the Hair Clinic, allow us at this time (and without thinking of science fiction) to solve the problem of thousands of men and women who had lost their hair.
Even so, it is very likely that hair cloning will be a reality in the future. At the moment the investigations are still in the experimental phase. Treatment with cloned stem cells has given good results in laboratory mice, but has not been very successful in humans so far. Perhaps in the future it will be, but at least another ten years of research will be needed and the demand will for hair fibers.
End baldness without cloning
While cloning arrives, to treat common baldness at the moment we have two very effective weapons: pharmacological and surgical. In the first, topical minoxidil and oral finasteride (ant androgen drug) have achieved very good results.
Regarding surgery, hair transplant is, as we said before, a scientifically proven technique, minimally invasive for the patient and with optimal results. If you want to find out about our treatments, do not hesitate to ask us for an appointment without obligation.