In research studies, the National Institute of Health estimates 80 percent of men will experience some form of hair loss by the time they turn 75. However, this does not mean it’s inevitable that you will look in the mirror and always see your hair thinning. In fact, it may be quite the opposite. Thanks to researchers the world over, new technologies and breakthroughs are occurring in the area of hair loss. If you’re ready to join the hair loss treatment revolution, here are some new approaches you’ll want to keep an eye on in the years ahead.
Lab-Grown Hair Follicles
One of the most interesting and important advances in helping scientists understand why men lose their hair is the recent breakthrough of being able to grow hair follicles in a lab. This feat, which was accomplished at Yokohama National University in Japan, used stem cells from mice to develop hair follicles in cultures that were completely mature. Taking just over three weeks to accomplish, this breakthrough has allowed scientists to understand the signals given out between cells that can trigger either hair growth or hair loss.
In today’s world, you will find AI being used for more and more things, and hair loss is no exception. Scientists at the Qingdao University of Science and Technology have created artificial intelligence software that can accurately predict various groups of chemical compounds that can effectively combat hair loss in men. Using the information generated by AI, scientists were able to test the compounds on mice that had bald patches on their bodies. Within two weeks, the mice were found to be growing hair that was thick and dense.
At Columbia University, researchers are developing treatments for alopecia that could revolutionize medication for hair loss. Focusing on how genetics play a key role in the development of alopecia, genetic researchers have started to figure out why many drugs used in the past for alopecia were not effective, and it all has to do with what are known as “Killer T” cells. Discovering that large groups of these cells surround hair follicles in men who have alopecia, scientists have found that they can develop drugs that have the capability to shut down signals given out amongst “Killer T” cells. Once the signals are killed, the T cells cease to function, allowing for the growth of hair follicles.
Controlling the Dermal Sheath
At the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, NY, scientists think they have discovered how controlling the muscles surrounding your hair follicles could possibly be the beginning of the end for hair loss as we know it today. Unlike skeletal muscles that are always under voluntary control, your dermal sheath is not. When the dermal sheath contracts, the result is a squeezing and regression of your hair follicles. As the dermal sheath contracts more and more over your lifetime, the result can be baldness. By learning this, scientists are currently working to develop medications that can neutralize muscle contractions, thus allowing you to keep your existing hair.
In many instances, drugs that were developed to treat one type of medical condition can turn out to be very effective at treating others as well. This has been the case with the rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant, which researchers have found can be useful in helping to treat alopecia and male-pattern baldness. Recently approved by the FDA for use with alopecia patients, Olumiant is looked at as being a true breakthrough for hair loss patients. In clinical trials where men have taken the drug over a 36-week period, some have gone from being almost totally bald to having a stunningly full head of thick and dense hair. Other breakthroughs with drugs include:
- Oral minoxidil
- Twice-daily pill for alopecia
- Saw palmetto may help more than you realized
In fact, the results have been so stunning that some researchers have theorized that this could lead to treatments that might eliminate balding altogether within a decade.
The hair loss treatment revolution is gaining strength each and every year. As more is learned about hair loss, your days of seeing thinning hair in your mirror may soon be a thing of the past.
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