Stem cell research has been a hot topic for many years, but it’s back in the news again as something that could play a major role in hair regrowth. While it may not seem like huge news, it could mean big things for people with alopecia. One of the primary issues with hair loss is that once the hair falls out, it doesn’t grow back. If researchers could figure out how to re-stimulate hair growth, it would hugely benefit the millions of people worldwide who are affected by hair loss.
What is the treatment?
The treatment is in very early research stages and uses stem cells created from the skin to convert to epithelial stem cells – the building block of the various types of skin cells that make up the layers of skin. Early results found that hair-like structure were able to be grown, though not all necessary types of skin cells were able to be reproduced.
While this isn’t anywhere near a treatment for re-growing hair or even an experiment ready for human testing, it is a step in the right direction and gives us some insight into the possibilities for stimulating hair follicles and ultimately re-growing hair and even skin cells. In the future, this type of research could also help us find new and better ways to treat wounds and other skin disorders.
We still don’t know exactly what causes alopecia and other types of hair loss, but the ongoing research in this area is continually expanding and teaching us new things about how to manage and treat it. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to completely reverse the effects of hair loss, but until then we’ll keep searching for a cure.