Reversing baldness in the future may be as simple as wearing a hat, thanks to a new noninvasive, low-cost hair-growth-stimulating technology tested successfully on mice, scientists say.
Based on devices that gather energy from a body’s day-to-day motion, the hair-growth technology, described in the journal ACS Nano, stimulates the skin with gentle, low-frequency electric pulses, which coax dormant follicles to reactivate hair production.
“I think this will be a very practical solution to hair regeneration,” said Xudong Wang, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.
The devices don’t cause hair follicles to sprout anew in smooth skin. Instead they reactivate hair-producing structures that have gone dormant, researchers said.
The technology can be used as an intervention for people in the early stages of pattern baldness, but it would not bestow tresses to someone who has been bald for several years,they said.
Researchers noted that because the devices are powered by the movement of the wearer, they don’t require a bulky battery pack or complicated electronics.
Small devices called nanogenerators passively gather energy from day-to-day movements and transmit low-frequency pulses of electricity to the skin. That gentle electric stimulation causes dormant follicles to “wake up,” the researchers said.