A cure for hair loss may soon be developed by Japanese biotechnology research firm RIKE and technology giant Kyocera. In the US alone, male pattern baldness (MPB) accounts for roughly 95% of hair loss cases. While males make up a large percentage of those with baldness, women make up a significant number of Americans living with some form of hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association. The effects of hair loss can affect mental health and impact self-esteem, personal relationships, and social interactions. This new and likely permanent hair loss treatment could boost confidence in those suffering from hair loss.
Hair Loss Due to Male Pattern Baldness
The main cause of hair loss can be triggered by genetic factors, diseases like hypothyroidism, and certain types of cancer medications. Current treatments for baldness include topical treatments that are applied directly to the scalp, oral medications that are taken daily, and surgical implants. However, topical treatments like minoxidil are only effective for about 40% of those using the medication. Current advancements in stem cell technology for hair regrowth, however, are yielding promising results in regenerating hair follicles in mice—and this could lead to a cure for baldness in humans.
Primordium Method & Hair Regrowth
In collaboration with research giant RIKE, Kyocera, and Organ Technologies Inc., scientists propose taking hair follicles and small patch of skin from the patient’s scalp. Through a process called the primordium method, scientists take the stem cells in the follicles and cultivate them in a lab. After the stem cells are processed and converted into follicles, they are then grafted into the patient’s scalp to aid hair loss and allow for natural growth throughout the treated region.
This unique process will allow adult cells to automatically regenerate fully functional hair follicles that connect to dermal and epidermal tissue layers on the human scalp.
Stem cell-based therapies are on the verge of becoming the most effective form of treatment for hair loss, and other companies are following this model to bring a cure those affected by this condition. Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido is also developing a similar hair regenerative process, and this therapy is expected to be introduced to the mass market in 2018. Shiseido’s hair regenerating treatment is projected to cost around $1,000 USD, according to insider reports. This new research could provide an everlasting cure for those suffering from hair loss.