At the Physicians’ Hair Restoration Center in Houston, we understand that one of the biggest challenges for those who face hair loss is the lack of available donor hair follicles. Many patients have a small fringe of donor area, which is not enough to provide total coverage through hair transplantation. For years, hair transplant professionals within our field of study have been trying to learn how to expand the available donor area of patients.
The Science Behind Hair Cloning
Although doctors once believed that bald individuals lacked hair follicles, it was later discovered that early in the process of losing hair their follicles were simply dormant. Once these cells become completely dormant, it is impossible to restore them. However, balding individuals typically have existing, healthy follicles elsewhere on their heads. These follicles can be relocated with hair transplantation, making them more functional in the process of hair growth. Alternatively, these follicles may be used as seeding cells for a tissue culture, giving us the ability to “clone” additional, identical cells.
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While this process is generally referred to as “hair cloning,” the correct scientific term is actually tissue culturing. Instead of dealing with sperm cells as you would during a cloning process, tissue culturing targets special stem cells called dermal papillae. These cells are present at the base of the hair follicle, and they can be cultured or multiplied with various methods. Previously, cloned dermal papillae had a tendency to “dedifferentiate” into new structures. In other words, they stopped producing hair. However, researchers have recently discovered that the key is to keep these stem cells together in a teardrop shape, which encourages them to continue to differentiate into hair follicles.
The current evidence suggests that these dermal papilla stem cells can be injected back into the scalp around the site of dormant hair follicles, converting these dormant follicles into actively growing follicles. The exact methodology needed to consistently achieve this post-injection result is currently under investigation. Numerous trials on both animals and humans suggest that this method shows promise.
The Future of Hair Cloning
Dr. Puig is at the forefront of new developments within the world of hair tissue culturing, and he is part of a team of physicians trying to perfect this process. While other clinics may be trying to catch up with this rapidly-advancing technology, Dr. Puig is one of the key figures who is leading the charge.
Benefits of Hair Cloning
One of the key benefits of hair tissue culturing for the average patient is the fact that a completely new head of hair will be generated from only a few hundred hair follicles or less. This will potentially provide a limitless amount of new hair growth after extracting a relatively minuscule number of dermal papillae. In this way, hair tissue culturing (or “cloning” as it’s commonly known) can replace existing transplanting methods as the most reliable permanent solution to hair loss.
Your Next Steps
If you’re interested in hair cloning, reach out to our Physicians’ Hair Restoration Center team today to schedule a 100% confidential hair cloning consultation. We specialize in medical hair restoration, hair loss treatment, and hair transplant surgery in Houston, Texas.