Happy New Year everyone! The year 2020 is finally here and we hope that a hair loss cure is close. It is worth scrolling through my hair loss research around the world post for background information to this post.
Will a Hair Loss Cure Come in 2020?
When I started this blog in 2013, I forecast that a hair loss cure would likely be realized by the end of 2020. At the very least, I predicted that we would have a treatment that prevented any further permanent hair loss. In effect, this would imply that no-one in future would go bald if that was their desire.
When making the prediction, I was focusing on androgenetic alopecia (AGA or male pattern hair loss) and female pattern hair loss. Later on, I also covered other much less common forms of hair loss such as alopecia areata (AA). The latter mentioned may in fact now be curable in many people via the use of JAK inhibitors. See my past posts on that subject.
- A few years after I made the prediction, renowned Japanese scientist Dr. Takashi Tsuji (in partnership with RIKEN, Organ Technologies and Kyocera) announced that his hair loss cure would be realized by year-end 2020! Even more amazing, around 2015, the Japanese government changed regulations to allow for faster clinical trial completion. Mostly for autologous and regenerative medicine type medical and cosmetic treatments. Often entailing stem cells.
- The latest 2019 update from Dr. Tsuji remains encouraging, albeit a very expensive solution initially. Note that Dr. Tsuji is funded by both the private sector and by the Japanese government. His lab is also working on cures for teeth regeneration and salivary gland regeneration.
Others Working on a Hair Loss Treatment
- A few other companies (Cassiopea via Breezula, Follica, Follicum and Samumed) are close to coming out with significantly better hair loss treatments during the 2020-2022 period. Or, at the very least, finishing Phase 3 clinical trials. In the past, I have written at least 10 posts covering each of those four companies. To date, only Finasteride and Minoxidil have been approved to treat male pattern hair loss by the US FDA. And nothing new in the past several decades. Therefore, any new effective treatments for androgenetic alopecia would be a miracle.
- A Japanese cosmetics behemoth named Shiseido could also surprise us (after resolving partnership issues with Canada’s Replicel). In fact, I consider Shiseido to be the second best prospect (after Tsuji). The company has access to its own technology as well as to Replicel’s groundbreaking technology. And absolutely no problems with fundraising.
- Newer entrants I covered last year such as Stemson Therapeutics, TissUse (plus J. Hewitt), Rapunzel (Dr. Angela Christiano), Pelage Pharmaceuticals and Exicure all hold significant potential. However, none of these are likely to come out with a working treatment prior to 2023 in my estimation.
- The biggest unexpected bolt from the blue is exosome treatment for hair loss. There was tremendous excitement about this during the second half of 2019. Several prominent hair transplant surgeons have highly recommended this new treatment to me.
- Also of interest in 2020 will be further improvements in: 3D-printed hair via bioprinting; skin printing with working hair follicles a la PolarityTE; allogeneic hair transplants; CXXC5 targeting PTD-DBM; and WNT signaling related treatments.
- Even surprising new recent discoveries in areas ranging from: quorum sensing related plucking; to scalp electrocution caps; to senolytics; to cancer research related hair growth findings could all ultimately regrow our hair.
- In the long term, CRISPR or other genetic modification related cures for hair loss will likely be a reality.
Aclaris Therapeutics and Histogen have been major disappointments after much hype for years. I largely avoided covering them in 2019 on purpose. Allergan’s Bimatoprost and Setipiprant have also not panned out as expected.
Shaving or Buzzing Your Head like Ricki Lake
I have mentioned many times in the past that the best solution to hair loss for men is shaving your head. That is, if you can accept that option and finally set yourself free. It is rare for women to go for this drastic measure, but there are always exceptions and trendsetters such as the below.
The biggest hair loss news story to start 2020 entails famous US talk show host Ricki Lake buzzing her head. Apparently, she has been suffering from hair loss and related depression for 30 years and finally decided to shave it off. CNN, BBC and numerous other major publications covered this story today. Below is Ms. Lake’s Instagram post detailing her interesting story: