10th World Congress for Hair Research

The annual World Congress for Hair Research is the most important conference of the year when it comes to hair loss related research. While some of the presentations at this conference always cover existing treatments (such as finasteride, hair transplants and wigs), the majority cover more futuristic technologies and research. Some presentations also entail entirely new takes upon existing technologies and research.

Previously I covered both the 8th World Congress for Hair Research in 2014 and the 9th World Congress for Hair Research in 2015. For some reason, there was no conference in 2016. However, the 10th World Congress for Hair Research is scheduled to take place in Kyoto, Japan from October 31st 2017 through November 3rd 2017.

Moreover, just as in 2015, “Hellouser” is attending the conference and has e-mailed me that he will be posting his videos on youtube, but still needs to raise some more funds. You can donate towards his trip here. He is regularly posting updates in this thread on HLT.

Key Presentations of Interest

As is always the case at this Congress, a who’s who of the hair loss research world is presenting. Asia based researchers are especially well represented this time around. Readers can go through the oral presentation list and see which items interest them. Poster presentation list is here.

It is hard to try to compile a list of just 10 or so items of interest as I have done in the past, since around one-third of the presentations look highly interesting. Some initial thoughts:

  • While it seems like locally based Dr. Takashi Tsuji from RIKEN is not presenting in person, another researcher (Dr. Koh-ei Toyoshima) who collaborates with Dr. Tsuji is presenting: “Basic study to clinical phase, a fully functional organ regenerative therapy for the hair follicle”.
  • Also from RIKEN, Dr. Hironobu Fujiwara will discuss “Reciprocal interactions between epidermal stem cells and their environment”.
  • The other renowned locally headquartered entity of interest, Shiseido, is very much present. Several of the company’s researchers are participating, including the respected Dr. Jiro Kishimoto.
  • Dr. Mayumi Ito will discuss something that all of us have discussed on here a lot lately: “Wound healing and hair follicle regeneration”.
  • Dr. George Cotsarelis discusses prostaglandins.
  • Dr. Bessam Farjo is one of many keynote speakers, and his lecture is titled: “A new approach to hair cell therapy: Combining medical and scientific innovation in hair ‘cloning'”.
  • Most of the topics in the “Stem Cells and the Niche” and “Tissue Engineering using Hair Follicle Cells” sections are of major relevance to this blog’s subject matter. Six of the ten presentations in these two sections are by Japanese researchers (!); three are by Korean researchers (!); and one by Germany’s Dr. Gerd Lindner who seemed to have disappeared in recent years. His presentation is titled “Bioengineering human hair follicle anlagen within a full thickness skin equivalent”.
  • Dr. Antonella Tosti has an interesting presentation titled: “A new topical WNT/beta-catenin activator in the treatment of men with male pattern hair loss”. What could that topical be?
  • A significant number of presentations concern natural products (aloe, botanicals, ginseng, green tea, Korean native plants), lasers and PRP. All these treatments are somewhat controversial, at least insofar as regrowing hair on totally bald regions of the scalp goes.
  • “Alopecia areata” and “female hair loss” are both well covered subjects, especially the former.
  • Surprisingly, while more than five presentations cover Finasteride, none covers Dutasteride, even though the latter is approved as a hair loss treatment in Japan and South Korea.

Microneedling, Follica and Other Brief Items

Thanks to commentator “Karl” for posting a link to a new study from China regarding electrodynamic microneedling in the comments to my Indian microneedling post from August.

Microneedling and Follica

Yet again, microneedling seems to lead to significantly increased hair growth when used in conjunction with Minoxidil versus when using just Minoxidil by itself.

However, even more interesting, microneedling by itself led to more hair growth than Minoxidil by itself in this study. Totally crazy that wounding works better than one of the only two ever FDA approved hair loss treatments. The other being Finasteride. Of course more such results need to be emulated before this becomes believable.

Follica has for a long time claimed that skin disruption in and of itself leads to new de novo hair follicle growth. In the India microneedling post, “Karl” made an interesting lengthy comment related to the above study, and it is worth a read in its entirety. I will paste part of it related to needling depth here:

“Personal observation: that difference of 1.5mm to 2.5mm might seem small, but if you’ve ever done it, you know that it’s HUGE. 1.5mm hurts a lot already, and for some people is borderline unbearable. 2.5mm is getting into torture level lol. Pity they weren’t more specific about their procedure. The question of depth, wounding, and scarring seems an open question in research afaik and is discussed frequently on forums”.

Other Hair Loss News this Month

— In August, I covered groundbreaking new research related to successful hair regeneration in mice. The work was led by scientists from USC (in particular, Dr. Mingxing Lei and Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong). For some reason, a new CNBC article on this now relatively old news appeared in October and became the most widely covered hair related story this month. Three different people posted the exact same CNBC link in the comments to the last post. To be fair, even people on Reddit Futurology seemed to think that this was a new development.

— Samumed added a new page on its site regarding the status of each of its clinical trials.

— Replicel’s hair loss work covered in Forbes magazine.

Fecal matter transplant regrows hair in two alopecia areata patients.

— Dr. David Saceda has been responding to questions by “Tim” in my messotherapy with dutasteride post.