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A hair regeneration hat

Image credit: Chu et al. 2019 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09402-8)

Jamila Dec 01, 2020
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Could we develop a hair regeneration hat for humans?

The idea is to create a hat that will use mechanical force to stimulate hair growth on the scalp.

A study has mentioned using a device that stretches the skin to grow hair. In the study, the researchers found that using mechanical stimulation for a week allowed hair regeneration in mice. They found that this method recruited hair stem cells and increased IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) and HGF (hepatocyte growth factor) secretion by the macrophages. Furthermore, the WNT pathway that has been associated with hair regeneration previously was highly active when the stretching device was used.

Further questions:
  1. The research study was conducted on young mice. Would we get the same results for older mice?
  2. Would prolonged mechanical stimulation on the human scalp induce hair regeneration?
  3. How much pressure would be required to stimulate hair growth in humans? Would the amount of pressure be tolerable/safe?
What do you think of the idea?

[1]Chu, Szu-Ying, et al. "Mechanical stretch induces hair regeneration through the alternative activation of macrophages." Nature communications 10.1 (2019): 1-11.

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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
If I remember correctly, the results from this treatment are temporary. The hat-treatment would therefore have to be repeated periodically. Unless a person wants to lose all hair in between treatments the hat would need to somehow stretch patches of skin without pulling out the existing hair.
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Jamila 3 years ago
Darko Savic, you mention very interesting points.
I can't see anything in the study about the treatment being temporary. If that is the case, then the treatment would definitely need to be done regularly. In Chu's study, the mice were made completely hairless (using waxing) before the stretching treatment. [1] Having to be completely bald before each hat treatment would be an inconvenience.

Perhaps the hair regeneration hat could facilitate selective skin stretching somehow. Maybe the head could be divided into different sections. Then the person selects which part of their head they want the stretching to happen. That way, the existing hair won't be pulled out. 🙂

1. Chu, Szu-Ying, et al. "Mechanical stretch induces hair regeneration through the alternative activation of macrophages." Nature communications 10.1 (2019): 1-11.

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