Hair Rejuvenation versus Hair Cloning

A very interesting article that explores the difference between hair rejuvenation and hair cloning (or hair multiplication) was published yesterday. The interview itself took place “a little while ago”.

The article author interviewed Dr. Bessam Farjo (highly optimistic), Dr. Sara Wasserbauer (optimistic) and Dr. Antonella Tosti (more cautious). Both Dr. Farjo and Dr. Wasserbauer are associated with HairClone (UK), who I have covered on this blog since 2016. This company is scheduled to begin its “cell expansion services” in 2022.

See the below video for CEO Dr. Paul Kemp’s last update from 2021. I will likely be interviewing him later this year for a second time.

Edit: A 2009 paper from Intercytex scientists was titled: “Hair follicle neogenesis induced by cultured human scalp dermal papilla cells“. It has Dr. Kemp as a co-author since he was the CEO of Intercytex at the time.

Currently, HairClone is only banking your hair follicles for future cell cloning. If you are in the US, you can check out Dr. Wasserbauer’s site for more details on the follicle banking services.

Hair Rejuvenation of Dermal Papilla Cells versus Hair Cloning

What I find interesting in this article is that for the first time that I can recall, a  clear distinction is made between hair cloning and hair rejuvenation. The latter is undertaken via the “hair cloning” of dermal papillae and injection into thinning scalps.

According to Dr. Sara Wasserbauer, actual hair cloning (i.e. making a brand new follicle in the lab that then regenerates itself in a regular hair cycle) is still 10-20 year away. However:

“What is imminent is the cloning of dermal papillae cells, which serves to thicken existing thinning hair.”

Dr. Wasserbauer is discussing Hairclone’s technology here. Some would still call the replication of dermal papilla cells in the lab to be hair cloning or hair multiplication. However, in this article, they imply a better phrase to be “hair rejuvenation” or even “hair regeneration”.

  • Dr. Farjo (UK) thinks that HairClone’s procedure could be available to patients as early as the end of 2022/beginning of 2023.
  • Dr. Wasserbauer (US) thinks 2025/2026 is more likely, “barring any further Covid-related delays”.

However, Dr. Tosti seems skeptical:

Some experts, however, doubt the imminence of this technology. “The idea is there — to introduce stem cells into the follicle to increase the population of dermal papillae in order to grow thicker hair — but this is not happening right now,” says Dr. Tosti. “The published papers didn’t show that. It’s far from being close in clinical studies.”

One caveat is that the UK has favorable regulations that I have mentioned several times in the past. So this autologous cell injection procedure can be tested on patients in clinical settings under doctor supervision. With no published papers or clinical trials necessary.

According to the article, the most suitable candidates will be those who have not gone completely bald yet. It seems like even if you have some remaining hair in the permanent donor area, the procedure might be the wrong choice if you are completely bald in the rest of your scalp.

In general, you can expect significant thickening of existing thinning hair if HairClone’s procedure works. Perhaps they can improve on the results with more experience and also help Norwood 6 level bald men down the road?

Repeat Cell Injection Treatments Required

Note that HairClone’s procedure may be necessary up to three times over the course of a 10-year period. This is because male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss are both progressive conditions.

Because this procedure is not yet US FDA approved, the stem cell injections will initially have to take place in the UK. The FDA will possibly grant approval to store tissue at US storage facilities sometime in 2022.

The combined cost for banking, storage and injection will likely be on par with that of a hair transplant.

20 thoughts on “Hair Rejuvenation versus Hair Cloning”

  1. According to Kemp‘s interview they are starting in „early 2022“ – so we should know within a couple of months if it works. I don’t know, am I the only one who is excited? The Intercytex-results from over 10 years ago (!) were pretty good imho.

    If they just improve the outcome slightly due to the Higgins-research and possible multiple treatments, that would be immense!

    I suspect the technology is legit: it went through (successful) human testing and 2 Korean companies are following a very similar approach – also this year.

    Haircloning as per the article of course is further away but I doubt it’s 10 years. Stemson and TrichoSeeds will be starting right after the Rejuvenation-guys.

    Keep in mind: no technology is guaranteed to succeed.

    1. You are dropping the bar very low if you say intercytex had good results …. How pathetic the result were for a hair cloning treatment.

      Best

  2. Yeah, Tricho Seeds are planning start human clinical trial next year and launch market within 5 to 9 years according to their recent interview in 2021.

  3. Promising, but from a practical point of view it is still a long way off.
    I keep hoping on the discovery of a new drug.

  4. Forthcoming hair loss treatments should be viewed more like a battleship than a speedboat. In my view, which may or may not be the reality, we can hope for better treatments that improve upon fin, dut, minox in the next few years. Makes sense that “hair rejuvenation” by means other than drug would be the next step. These should offer real results vs the current PRP, exosomes, etc. treatments which are a money grab by Docs with marketing budgets and a good story to tell. Hoping to see hair cloning in my lifetime, I’m pushing 60 boys.

    1. Interesting Bryan.

      I also remember that Tsuji used piezoelectricity through Kyocera‘s devices to induce cell activity.

      Fukuda also refers to Tsuji‘s research in his papers and their approach seems very similar.

      By the way it’s been already over a year since Tsuji asked for the 4,8 million USD for his trial.

  5. I am not sure I understand how hair rejuvenation is working, and why it would not work on bald people ?
    Can you explain ?

  6. Okay I just read the articles…i guess even if i have let’s say lost Ina diffuse way 30 percent of my hair, since I lost those 30% 18 years ago and not lost more hair ever since thanks to the bcpill, i guess I don’t have currently thinning hair. My hair is either on my scalp or dead .so hair rejuvenation wouldn’t do anything for me right now.

  7. @Ben

    Fukuda Lab is top player in hair cloning field. Couple of months ago they opened company „TrichoSeeds Co“ to start translate their science into clinical human trials.

  8. Minor updates from Pelage Pharmaceuticals…patent granted in January: https://patents.justia.com/patent/11213513

    If we get an update like that every 2 years, there might be something coming from Pelage by the year 2054!

    Jokes aside, seems as if they are still alive. I always liked the thought behind Pelage: just activate stem cells responsible for hair growth. The mouse pictures (yes I know…) were great.

    1. I liked this approach as well Ben…………….but for something that is simplistic and seems so promising, they barely seem to be moving forward. I believe Pelage licensed the technology from UCLA back in early 2019. And I believe the molecules were discovered/created back in 2017.

  9. More than cloning and other procedures that I still see very far away, I hope for a molecule capable of reactivating what we already have

  10. I have more hope for verteporfin…if there is a way to use it without entailing cancerous cell to multiply. But u’it could give way to almost infinite donor area or new hair through wounding.

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