HairClone has launched the world’s first hair follicle bank in the UK, where men and women can store frozen hair follicles
It’s something that many people dread as the years go by, but hair loss could be a thing of the past thanks to a new biotech start-up.
HairClone has launched the world’s first hair follicle bank in the UK, where men and women can store frozen hair follicles.
If the technique is deemed suitable, around 100 hair follicles will be removed from the back of the patient’s head using a basic surgical procedure.
These follicles are then cryopreserved and held in a storage facility at -180°C.
Dr Paul Kemp, CEO of HairClone, explained: “Hair is a naturally regenerating mini-organ. It goes through periods of growth, then resting, shedding and regeneration.
“This process is controlled by a specific group of very specialised cells at the base of the hair follicle called Dermal Papilla cells and they determine the thickness and length of the hair shaft that is produced.
“HairClone aims to replace the dermal papilla cells and rebuild these miniaturising follicles back to their original thickness and length.
“By multiplying these cells from a patient’s own banked follicles our hope is that we will be able to rebuild thousands of miniaturising hairs from a few banked follicles. Our goal is to maintain a patient’s hair density while also preventing these treated hairs from miniaturisation in the future.”
The hair follicle bank will be open to all adults, and will cost around £2,000.
In comparison, a hair transplant in the UK can cost anywhere between £1,000 and £30,000, depending on the extent of hair loss, according to the NHS.
This could help patients who don’t have enough hair to be banked and rebuilt.
Dr Kemp added: “Creating brand new hairs generates a lot of interest, but it will be easier and probably more cosmetically suitable to rebuild a patient’s own natural hairs that are just miniaturising, rather than generating new ones.”