News that the world’s first hair bank has opened here in the UK, with the avowed aim to make ‘hair loss a thing of the past’ is certainly exciting but Dr David Fenton’s advice is to approach this new concept with some caution.
It’s thought that over six million men in the UK are suffering from androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern hair loss. This genetic, progressive form of hair loss can be devastating to a man’s self-confidence, so it’s no wonder that so many men are searching for a solution.
The solution to male pattern hair loss?
Now, a Manchester hair loss expert has launched the world’s first ‘hair bank’. Men can pay £2,500 to freeze a sample of their hair. One hundred hairs, including the roots, are removed from the back of the scalp in a quick procedure performed under local anaesthetic. Then, later in life, if they start to see the signs of a rapidly-receding hairline or fast-growing bald patch on the top of the scalp, dermal papillae found in the hair roots can be cloned in the lab from your hair sample and injected back into their scalps. The dermal papillae cells contain the ‘instructions’ the body requires for growing new hair.
The hope is that this will be an effective alternative to hair transplants or medication, without any of the downsides. However, Dr David Fenton, of the British Association of Dermatologists, does sound a note of caution when asked by the Daily Mail to comment on the story: ‘The science is interesting and the research has been slowly progressing for many years,’ he says. ‘But, while it’s exciting from a research point of view, it is not yet a proven, safe and replicable therapy.’
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