According to Beverly Hills hair-restoration physician Craig Ziering, DO, hair-follice cloning-also known as hair multiplication or follicular neogenesis-is poised to make hair restoration surgery a viable option to patients who have not been candidates before. At present, 20,000 hairs is the maximum amount that can be discreetly taken from a donor site, but some patients may require as many as 60,000 hairs to restore natural density.
With follicle cloning, numerous hairs could be created from just one donor hair. This means there could potentially be an unlimited supply of donor hair, making restoration an option for patients who may not have enough hair for a transplant.
A sample is harvested from the donor, and then the follicle-inducing cells are isolated. They are then multiplied in a lab and subsequently re-implanted into the patient’s thinning or balding areas.
As with any new technology, there are potential downsides and questions. This process may cost-prohibitive for the consumer. And while researchers have successfully cloned hairs in the lab, getting them to survive for more than one growth cycle has been a challenge.
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