Born to be bald?
RESEARCH We are in an era when it is fashionable to be bald. The aged, fed up with receding hairlines, are not the only ones making weekly pilgrimages to the barber shop or daily coating their heads with shaving cream. So, are the biotech efforts of the American Hair Loss Association to reactivate non-productive hair follicles misguided?
Though baldness is more commonplace, a large percentage is unwanted. Scaring alopecia, congenital hypotrichosis, effluviums or hair shaft defects, from an emotional standpoint, can feel disfiguring. Chemotherapy and premature hair loss enlists unwilling victims into a servitude to cosmetic pencils or tattoos. When pursuing lush territory north of the eyebrows, the arsenal of expensive preemptive and offensive weapons can go far beyond cosmetics.
The American Hair Loss Association states: "Cosmetic treatments for hair loss are by definition impermanent and reversible... Surgical treatments available today are limited in effectiveness because no new hair is added. Current surgical methods simply cannot produce a full head of thicker hair. The art of surgical hair restoration is rearranging the patient's existing DHT-resistant hair follicles for an appearance that looks fuller...
"Future hair loss treatments address many of the limitations of the cosmetic, medical, and surgical treatment methods currently in use, and will include some entirely new treatment methods such as hair follicle cloning and gene therapy, both of which are methods that have the potential to actually "cure" inherited pattern baldness permanently...
"If scientists can already clone an entire sheep, why isn't human hair follicle cloning a commercial reality? The answer... requires some explanation of cell biology, genetics, cell replication, and then a review of some of the different types of cloning that may apply in the future to mass duplication of human hair follicles."
Read more at American Hair Loss Association. amercanhairloss.org