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Home > Articles > New Skin Cell Research Could Hold Key to Regrowing Hair

New Skin Cell Research Could Hold Key to Regrowing Hair

by April Maguire

Hair loss is among the most common problems in the world, and amazingly it's one that scientists are yet to be able to cure. Just in the United States, more than 60 million men and women suffer from a noticeable degree of thinning and loss. Even though there are a number of treatments to deal with this issue, from over-the-counter medications to follicle transplantation surgeries, the vast majority of hair loss sufferers are still without a surefire remedy.

In recent years, however, scientists have changed the way they're looking at treating hair loss, and they're starting to research cures that impact follicles on genetic and cellular levels. One promising new approach recently came out of the University of Southern California, where researchers there may have found a way to re-activate hair growth in mice, even after the follicles had stopped producing new hairs.

The key to this novel approach lies in clusters of cells called organoids. Rather than viewing skin cells or follicle cells as individual entities, the USC team looked at them in clusters to get a better idea of how they create new hairs. To begin with, the team examined the formation and growth of organoid clusters as they matured into fully functioning cells. Ultimately, the team was able to identify six stages of development: dissociated progenitor cells, aggregated cells, polarized cysts, coalesced cysts, layered skin; and finally skin with follicles.

Surprisingly, the USC team found that organoids in adult mice didn't go through all six stages. In fact, many of the clusters stalled out during the second or third stage of development, meaning that new hairs could not be grown. By diving deeper into the growth process, the researchers found that, at each development stage along the way, the cells were performing specific functions, such as creating insulin or producing collagen. When those processes were interrupted or not fully completed, that's when organoid development stopped.

Therefore, according to the researchers, the key the curbing hair loss may lie in pushing adult organoids through all six stages of development. In order to do that, the team used the normal growth process of newborn mice organoids as a road map. That way, the team was able to coax adult cell clusters into behaving the way that they needed to in order to activate the follicle and create new hairs.

Unfortunately, this research is still in the beginning stages and will need to be further explored in order to create a meaningful hair loss solution. Still, understanding how hair loss happens at a cellular level will help scientists for years to come as they attempt to find a cure for this problem.

If you or anyone you know would like more information about hair loss, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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