Hair loss is one of the biggest industries in today's world, with pharmaceutical companies vying to find a cure. Here, we look at some of the biggest recent discoveries in the hair loss world and rate how useful we think they might be.
Propolis is a substance made by bees. Humans have been using it for its wound-healing and antiseptic properties for centuries, but Japanese scientists have recently discovered that it could also be useful in promoting new hair growth, as it stimulates the production of keratinocytes, which are essential to the production of hair shafts and follicles.
It is important to note that it is unlikely that propolis could help with male-pattern baldness, where the hair follicles have died off completely, but it could be very useful in treating conditions like alopecia areata.
The body's ability to self heal has long been harnessed in the medical aesthetic industry, where it is believed that by creating several tiny wounds in the skin, we can stimulate it to produce more collagen, thus making us look younger. Now scientists have found that this process can also be used to stimulate hair growth.
It is early days yet, but this could prove to be a major player in the fight against male pattern baldness.
Baricitinib is a drug used to treat cancer, although it is also currently being trialled to treat rheumatoid arthritis and kidney disease.
As an interesting side effect, it appears to also stimulate new hair growth, which means it could well be useful as a treatment for conditions like alopecia areata, which currently is either left to resolve itself or treated with a topical medication, minoxidil.
If further trials yield positive results and Baricitinib comes onto the market as a drug to counter alopecia areata, this could offer real hope to sufferers of the condition.
This is the real contender. If we can find out early enough whether someone is likely to suffer from hair loss in future, then we can work to prevent it before it has even started.
Science has now advanced to such a point that we are able to test people's DNA to find out how likely they are to lose their hair – if the test result is positive, that means they have an 80% chance of losing their hair in future.