Hair Loss Research

What is hair loss research? It is the past and ongoing research about hair loss.

hair-loss-researchFuture hair loss treatments address many of the limitations of the cosmetic, medical, and surgical treatment methods currently in use, and will include some entirely new treatment methods such as hair follicle cloning and gene therapy, both of which are methods that have the potential to actually “cure” inherited pattern baldness permanently.

But it also seems reasonable to ask why human society would spend precious biomedical research effort and limited funds on hair loss treatments, when deadly and debilitating conditions such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease also need solutions. While economic concepts such as a “free market” and “supply and demand” are a couple of answers, it also happens that the human hair follicle is a rich scientific model for understanding important aspects of human cell biology, organ system developmental biology, immune response medicine, the process of controlled cell regeneration and differentiation, and especially human genetics.

A unique feature of hair follicles is the way these miniature hair-growing organs cycle through growth and rest cycles. In addition to hairs being grown and then shed in these phases, the follicle itself disintegrates almost entirely by the end of the regression phase, and an almost entirely new follicle is created at the beginning of the next growth phase. The creation of a hair follicle at the beginning of each growth phase presents unique opportunities for applying advanced molecular biology medical techniques such as cloning and gene therapy. The more we unravel the working of different parts of the human body, the more we find that everything is connected, and what we learn in one area of medicine can inevitably be applied to many other areas.


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