Could specific bacteria be applied to the scalp to induce hair regeneration and out-compete any “bad bacteria”?
There are microbial communities surrounding hair follicles, interestingly, the hair microbiome differs from the skin microbiota. This is a fairly new area of research, but recently this area of research has really started kicking off. In one study, the healthy controls had lower levels of m. globosa and m.restricta when compared to patients with androgenetic alopecia. In another study, elderly mice that had probiotics with Lactobacillus reuteri had shiny and thick fur which was also accompanied by faster hair regeneration compared to the controls. These are a few studies that suggest that the hair microbiome has an important role in hair growth, but there are more questions yet to be answered.
The key questions that need to be answered:
Are there patterns in regards to the abundance and diversity of bacterial species in individuals with hair and without hair?
Are there any "bad" bacterial species that drive hair loss?
Are there any "good" bacterial species that maintain hair growth?
Are there differences in the hair microbiome depending on geographical location, gender, age (centenarians), and ethnicity?
How does the hair microbiome mediate its effects on the hair follicles and on hair growth?
This information can help us find out which specific microbial species promote hair regeneration. These beneficial species could then be selected for a cream that can be applied to the scalp for hair growth.
Lousada, M. B., et al. "Exploring the human hair follicle microbiome." British Journal of Dermatology.
Huang, Jinghong, et al. "Investigation on Microecology of Hair Root Fungi in Androgenetic Alopecia Patients." Mycopathologia 184.4 (2019): 505-515.
Levkovich, Tatiana, et al. "Probiotic bacteria induce a ‘glow of health’." PloS one 8.1 (2013): e53867