Now known as RCH-01, RepliCel’s procedure is a patented cellular replication and implantation technology designed to rejuvenate damaged and miniaturized hair follicles in a balding scalp. According to Buckler, the technology involves the extraction of as few as 20 hair follicles from the back of a patient’s scalp where healthy cycling hair follicles reside. Specific cells are isolated from hair follicles and are cultured using the company’s proprietary cellular replication process. The cultured cells are reintroduced or injected back into balding areas on a patient’s scalp and are expected to rejuvenate damaged hair follicles leading to the growth of new healthy hair fibers.
Hollywood has made movies about it. Industries have made billions from it. And if the volume of scripture is any indication, the Almighty God must have placed great value on his creation of the head of human hair. After all, He gave Samson—the strongest man of whom the Bible tells—his immense strength through his hair and declared a woman’s hair "a glory unto" her in the 11th chapter of 1 Chorinthians.
“I was 21 when I noticed my hair getting thinner,” says David Anderson, 45, who has had seven hair transplants. He is now senior patient adviser at the Maitland Clinic in Liverpool, one of the country’s leading hair transplant clinics, where he raises awareness of the vulnerability of sufferers. “It was devastating. It completely consumed my existence. Now, I really regret that. But time and again, I’m meeting patients going through the same anxieties. It’s an epidemic. A lot of people don’t understand how it can make you feel.”
"This is an oral, prescription-only medication with the brand name Propecia that’s also FDA approved to treat hair loss," says Spencer. Male pattern hair loss occurs when a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) prevents hair follicles from getting the nutrients they need. Finasteride works by blocking the production of DHT, which protects the follicles.
After the groundbreaking 1999 study on mice, some researchers were mildly optimistic that SHH activation could also have positive implications on human hair growth in balding men and women. A new company that was formed in 2000 called Curis partnered with Procter & Gamble in 2005 to try and develop a topical Hedgehog agonist product for scalp hair growth.
Many pharmaceutical companies and researchers are in the search for a hair loss cure. This is because 7 out of 10 men and 4 out of 10 women suffer from androgenic alopecia (genetically caused hair loss) in their lifetime. In the United States that amounts to around 80 million men and 40 million women currently suffering from hair loss. Of course, a permanent cure would relieve a huge percentage of the population.
Each hair develops from a follicle — a narrow pocket in the skin — and goes through three phases of growth. Anagen (A), the active growth phase, lasts two to seven years. Catagen (), the transition phase, lasts about two weeks. During this phase, the hair shaft moves upward toward the skin's surface, and the dermal papilla (the structure that nourishes cells that give rise to hair) begins to separate from the follicle. Telogen (C), the resting phase, lasts around three months and culminates in the shedding of the hair shaft.
Caffeine – Quickly finding its way in to many skincare products for both men and women, caffeine is a natural antioxidant that not only fights free radicals that accelerate the signs of aging, but also help to stimulate the growth of hair. In fact, in a recent study published on the National Institute of Health (NIH) website, it was discovered that there were ‘growth-promoting effects’ to the hair with regular application (source).
“The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, which is genetic pattern hair loss,” explains Dr. Michael B. Wolfeld, a board-certified plastic surgeon and an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The root cause of this type of hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone that shrinks certain hair follicles until they eventually stop producing hair.
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in men and women and is a normal physiologic variant. It is most prevalent in white men, with 30%, 40%, and 50% experiencing androgenetic alopecia at 30, 40, and 50 years of age, respectively 2 (Figure 1). Although this condition is less common in women, 38% of women older than 70 years may be affected3 (Figure 24). Many patients with androgenetic alopecia have a family history of this condition.
Many other women, though, start noticing thinning hair on top of their heads. Doctors say the defining sign is a widening of the part. The hairline itself is usually intact, but the hair becomes less dense behind it. Doctors will often run a battery of tests to make sure there are no treatable medical conditions, such as anemia, thyroid problems, tumors, or hormonal problems. "Ninety percent of the time, it's normal," Patel said.