Hair cloning is also known as hair multiplication. Like in other types of cloning, in hair cloning, the idea is to extract the existing hair follicles and multiply them.
Medical, cosmetic, and surgical treatments in hair loss are not entirely effective as they do not add new hair to the scalp. A full head has all the previously existing hair follicles in theory. It then looks thick. In hair transplant surgeries, the hair of the patient’s back of the head where the hair follicles are resistant to balding are extracted. The surgeons then transfer/transplant these follicles to the balding recipient sites. In this procedure, they do not add new hair.
Hair cloning is a promising treatment for hair loss. It is currently not available; however, the researchers are doing research on cloning hair.
Hair multiplication and hair cloning are often interchangeably used. There are different techniques which go by the same name among most people but in reality hair multiplication is a bit different to hair cloning.
In hair cloning, the hair follicles which are still capable of developing and are resistant to balding are removed, and they are multiplied outside of the body. Then they are implanted into the scalp. This is the theory. In hair multiplication, the hair follicles are extracted from the scalp, and they are manipulated. In the resulting the look the amount of hair is more than before.
In one method cut hair follicles are implanted into the scalp. In another the plucked hair fragments are implanted. Both of these methods have their problems. Hair follicles are not easy to clone. They are not whole organisms.
So far the scientists tried the following experiments cloning:
- Implanting only dermal papillae cells
- Implanting cloned dermal papillae cells next to miniaturized follicles
- Implanting using a matrix
- Implanting dermal papillae with proto hairs
The researchers need to perfect the methods that they are working on and get an approval. Hair cloning may be within reach in the following years, but we do not know exactly when.