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Scientists Have Found a Way to Use Stem Cells to Grow New Hair

The technology won't be commercially available anytime soon, though.

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Scientists Have Found a Way to Grow New Hair
Axel Bueckert / Getty

A new hair-raising discovery may give hope to the follically-challenged.

Scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys recently discovered a way to use stem cells to create natural-looking hair that grows through the skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the hair loss of 80 million American men and women is due to genetics—other causes include stress, diseases and medical treatments.

Stemson Therapeutics, a newly formed company, has licensed the technology to use stem cells to reverse hair loss.  

“Now we have a robust, highly controlled method for generating natural-looking hair that grows through the skin using an unlimited source of human iPSC-derived dermal papilla cells,” Alexey Terskikh, an associate professor in Sanford Burnham Prebys’s Development, Aging and Regeneration Program and the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Stemson Therapeutics, said in a statement.

So how does it work? There is a type of cell in your hair follicle called dermal papilla, which controls hair growth, thickness, length, and growth cycle. The scientists combined mouse epithelial cells with a biodegradable scaffold to help strengthen the human dermal papilla. The scaffold controls the direction of hair growth and integrates the stem cells into the skin.

So when will you be able to take advantage of this groundbreaking discovery? Not anytime soon, but Stemson Therapeutics is exploring how to commercialize it. In the meantime, you can learn more by visiting stemsontx.com

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