The future of hair loss treatmentThere’s already a great range of proven treatments and procedures for tackling the problem of hair loss from scalp micropigmentation to a full hair transplant. What’s even more exciting though is a range of new treatments in the development stage which could see a genuine revolution in the hair loss industry over the next few years.

The problem with transplants

Hair transplants have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years due to advances in technology and techniques but they are still limited by the amount of donor hair on the back of the head. This limitation may soon become a thing of the past thanks to work being carried out in Japan by a research team led by Dr Takashi Tsuji. His work aims to regrow hair follicles in the laboratory using cell culturing before providing them for the already proven transplant procedure. One of the key problems with hair loss is that there is no established technique for regenerating areas that have stopped growing. It’s possible to halt loss and migrate hair via a transplant but new growth has proven elusive. This is why a new technique called hair follicle neogenesis, being developed in the US for release in 2018 could be very important. It’s a two stage process whereby the top layers of the scalp are removed which reverts the skin cells below to a stem-like state. A compound is then applied to stimulate regrowth, ideally of hair follicles not skin cells. Another product which promises regrowth is SM04554.. This US development doesn’t have the catchiest of names but should be entering the third phase of clinical trials this year. The compound is applied directly to the scalp and should reinstate Wnt signalling pathways, effectively telling the hair to start growing again.

Available now in the Far East

One product that is currently being used in Japan and Korea could soon be available in the UK and US. Dutasteride is by all accounts significantly more effective than the currently available Finasteride. This solution has the advantage of already passing the clinical trial phase in at least one part of the world. Fingers crossed it comes here in 2017. If you’re starting to lose your hair and not sure about what to do then speak to a hair loss clinic. They’ll be able to advise on existing treatments as well as being up to speed on any new developments and when and if they’re likely to be available. There’s never been a better time to be going bald.

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By Ian Watson

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