A groundbreaking baldness therapy where someone's hair follicles are frozen for use later in life has been approved by the British authorities.
The government's Human Tissue Authority has authorized biotechnology company HairClone to bank customer hair samples.
Each customer has taken about 100 follicles in a sample while they still have healthy hair, and then stored in a storage facility below zero.
As they age and lose their hair, cells from these follicles can be multiplied in a laboratory and injected back into the scalp to try to regain the locks of their youth.
The technology is the first of its kind in the UK and is described by the makers as a & # 39; insurance policy & # 39; to protect against aging.
Hair follicles are removed from the scalp and stored in cryopreservation. Later, cells multiplied in the laboratory can be re-injected into the scalp
Hair repair surgeon and HairClone medical director, Dr. Bessam Farjo, said: “Now that the permit is in effect, we are ready to bank her for patients. Consultation can really start.
& # 39; We are contacted every day by people who are concerned about hair loss and who ask when the banking system is ready. & # 39;
The banking service, whereby a small piece of meat is taken from the back of the customer's head in a short procedure, is accessible to all adults over the age of 18.
It costs around £ 2,000, with the injection procedures performed later for an additional fee.
The follicles are then carefully cryopreserved to keep them intact before being stored at -180 ° C (-292 ° F) until needed.
Dr. Farjo MailOnline told in January: & # 39; The purpose of these treatments is to rejuvenate thinning hair and ultimately regenerate as much hair as we need.
& # 39; The purpose of hair cloning is to make as many hairs as we need at any time, without worrying that we will run out in the future.
& # 39; Many may see this as an insurance for later life. & # 39;
The leading British hair transplant surgeon Dr. Bessam Farjo said the unique method is an & # 39; insurance policy for later life & # 39; is for anyone with a family history of hair loss
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS?
Hair loss is common, according to the American Hair Loss Association, about 25 percent of men start bald by the time they turn 25.
An estimated eight million women in the UK are currently suffering from a certain amount of hair loss, according to a study of 2,000 women by cosmetics giant L & Oreal.
The most common type of hair loss can be caused by life-changing events such as moving, mourning, or pregnancy, leading to overall thinning hair.
Yo-yo diet, birth control pill, stress, eating disorders, medicines, chemicals in water and modern pesticides in food have also been linked to hair loss.
With most of these, hair loss is temporary and can be helped.
Nutritionists could say that if the amount of nutrients is low, this is expressed by the hair. Hair follicles rooted in the scalp should be surrounded by a rich supply of blood to ensure that they are adequately nourished.
Dermatologists suggest that faddy diets usually lead to iron deficiency, such as avoiding red meat. Vegetarians or vegans who are low in vitamin B12 and zinc can be susceptible to hair loss.
Research shows that thinning hair is also linked to progestagens – the synthetic form of progesterone that occurs in pill and hormone replacement therapy.
According to HairClone, there is no other system of its kind in which hair follicles are harvested and stored.
They said: & # 39; Other groups have tried this, but it has been found that when human follicle cells are grown, they quickly lose their functionality.
& # 39; Recent scientific breakthroughs, however, indicate how culture multiplication systems can be developed. That is why we have now created HairClone Inc. & # 39;
Patients who become bald may already have transplants where hair follicles are injected into the scalp from another area.
But the HairClone procedure is different because it multiplies the hair by unique cells in follicles called dermal papilla or DP.
The DP sits at the base of a hair follicle and works along skin surface cells to control the formation of the hair shaft.
During the gradual process of hair loss, cells are lost from the DP, making the follicle smaller and the hair thinner and shorter.
HairClone adds DP cells to these miniaturizing follicles and rejuvenates them, returning them to their original dimensions.
When the patient begins to notice hair loss, the frozen hair can be thawed and the DP can be multiplied many times in the laboratory.
The patient's own multiplied DP cells would then be injected back into their scalp.
The follicle removal can occur when a customer decides that they want the hair repair in the future.
Dr. Farjo recommends that people do this as soon as they notice hair loss, which for some may be in their thirties, twenties or even late teenagers, because they may be able to retain a full bundle of hair.
He also said it is best done at a young age, especially if the patient has early balding time in family history – because the follicles are in their best condition.
There are costs associated with the service – HairClone plans to charge customers £ 2,500 for the initial procedure and £ 100 per year to store the follicles.
British scientists create & # 39; the world's first & # 39; bank & # 39; for hair follicles for the treatment of baldness
The process involves removing hair follicles from a patient's scalp and injecting them again at a later time. The intention is to rejuvenate thinning hair and even create brand new hair in areas with complete hair loss, the surgeons said
At the start of the process, about 100 hairs will be removed from the patient's scalp in a small procedure that includes a & # 39; follicle excision & # 39; is called
Dr. Farjo added that patients must repeat treatment at constant intervals – possibly every three to five years – to maintain results.
Dr. Farjo said that cloning her can offer a unique alternative to hair transplant surgery, a market that is expected to reach nearly £ 20 billion ($ 24 billion) by 2023, a sharp increase of £ 3 billion ($ 4 billion) in 2016, according to forecasts.
He said: & # 39; The main limitation of hair transplant surgery is the amount of hair that you can donate from your own head.
& # 39; The more hair loss you experience, the larger the bald area, the fewer hairs are available. There comes a time when you just don't have the hair you need. & # 39;
Dr. Farjo says he has not yet performed the treatment on a patient, but said: & # 39; HairClone is developing the legal approvals needed to offer us both follicle banking and cell expansion services. & # 39;
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