Researchers have been able to regrow hair on bald patches by injecting the heads of follicular-challenged volunteers with a solution from their own blood.
The new treatment stimulates new stem cells below the skin which can assist regrowth, say specialists.
Injections of “platelet-rich plasma” (PRP) which have been extracted from the blood, are already used to combat ageing on the face and hands, reported the Sunday Telegraph.
In the latest research by scientists at the International Hair Research Foundation, the University of Brescia in Italy and the Hebrew University Medical Centre in Israel, used 45 volunteers with alopecia areata, affecting 2% of the population.
PRP injection stimulates new stem cells below the skin which can assist hair regrowth
The patients had injections on one half of their head. Some were given the PRP, some traditional steroid cream, while others received a placebo.
Three treatments were given every month. Hair growth was checked by measuring the area where new hairs grew on the bald scalp.
Results showed the plasma injections led to significant hair regrowth in the bald patches, compared with the placebo and the steroid treatment.
Following the publication of the study in the British Journal of Dermatology, the scientists are hoping to develop a cream, so needles won’t need to be used.
Dr. Fabio Rinaldi told the Sunday Telegraph the new treatment could also help those suffering more common hair problems like male-pattern baldness.
He said: “We think it can help to regrow hair on people with androgenic alopecia. We believe it is the best treatment available, apart from surgery.”
L’Oreal has launched hair loss and baldness treatment Kérastase Densifique, which has been hailed as a “major breakthrough” as it stimulates the scalp to wake up dormant follicles.
Scientists have found that many of those suffering from hair loss or balding have skin tissue in the scalp that has an oxygen deficiency – a condition called hypoxia.
They have developed a molecule called stemoxydine that targets this condition by attempting to increase oxygen levels in the scalp.
The increase aims to help follicles to produce thicker hair and stimulate hair growth in areas where the follicles have shut down.
The Kérastase Densifique cream, which costs $450 for a three-month treatment, is applied to the hair daily.
Kérastase Densifique, which has been hailed as a major breakthrough, stimulates the scalp to wake up dormant follicles
It is put into damp or dry hair using an applicator and then massaged into the scalp.
L’Oreal, which developed the hair treatment in its hair laboratory in Paris, claims that it is clinically proven to be effective for both men and women.
In a study, 101 people who used the product once a day for three months found a 4% increase in the number of hairs they had, which represent an average of 1,700 new hairs.
Patricia Pineau, head of scientific affairs at L’Oréal, said: “We’ve known for 100 years that hair grows and falls out. We haven’t known what makes hair regenerate until now.
“It is all about hair stem cell environment. In 2000, we have published the existence of two stem cell reservoirs in the hair and, more recently, we have both identified the optimal environment and designed a molecule able to favor it.
“Kérastase Densifique is a result of this discovery that happens not very often. We have been able to develop a cosmetic product that respects the natural way hair regenerates.
“A clinical trial has proven its efficacy on hair density – number and diameter. Kérastase Densifique will really help people who are experiencing thinning hair and less volume.”