Hair cloning or hair multiplication is a new promising concept proposed as a solution to hair loss. It relies on extracting healthy hair follicles, duplicating them in vitro and implanting the new follicles back into areas affected by hair loss. It has the potential of creating an endless supply of hair follicles to be implanted in affected areas. This treatment is still in the experimental phase as of now.
Hair cloning and hair multiplication are novel technologies currently being researched for the treatment of common genetic hair loss or androgenetic alopecia.
The concept of cloning hair is to extract healthy hair follicle cells from a patient and cultivate multiple copies of them in vitro. The multiplied cells are then placed them back into the balding scalp, where they resume their normal growth thus, new permanent hair.
The concept behind hair multiplication using plucked hair is that it is an easy, non-invasive method of obtaining germinative cells. Hairs are plucked from the scalp or beard and then implanted into the bald part of the scalp. The idea is that some germinative cells at the base of the hair follicle will be pulled out along with the hair.
Once the hair is re-implanted, these cells would be able to regenerate a new follicle. The procedure is called “hair multiplication” since the plucked follicles would regrow a new hair, potentially giving an unlimited supply.
Hair cloning is likely to be preferable to all of hair loss treatments methods, in that:
Many private companies and universities have had their own hair multiplication/cloning research program over the past 15 years. Yet despite of this we have been a few years away for cloning/multiplication.
Follicle banking involves the cryopreservation of young, healthy, robust follicles for future use. This is needed because hair cell quality decreases with age. To take full advantage of hair cloning as a future technology, the cryopreservation of one’s young, robust follicular units is recommended.