There are several researchers working on ways to clone hair
or to take a single hair and make several copies of it. The
application of this technique would be used in the form of hair
transplantation. Currently existing techniques of transplantation
involve taking a fixed amount of donor hair from the back of
the person's head and redistributing it to the balding areas.
The problem with this technique is that the limited donor hair
can never replace the amount of hair that was lost, and results
never achieve a substantial amount of density. Hair cloning
promises to over come this problem by having hair grown in a
laboratory from an individuals hair and then implanted into
the scalp. Since the amount of hair is unlimited, results should
be able to match the existing density of the rest of the person
These techniques however are very difficult and many hurdles
have not yet been overcome. The
main hurdles are: Is the hair permanent and does it grow and
cycle normally? Is it safe or is there any sign of abnormal
cellular activity? Does the regenerated hair have the same cosmetic
characteristics as the original hair?
some of the scientists currently researching hair cloning technology.
Working in the Netherlands, doctor-researcher Dr Coen Gho has
developed a method to 'clone' or multiply hair. He has patented
a technique to take hairs, extract some of the hair growing
cells, grow them in a laboratory and then inject them into the
scalp where they will develop into a hair producing follicles.
more about Dr Gho here
more about Dr Jahoda here
Dr Jahoda and his research team gained worldwide attention
in November 1999 by announcing that they had successfully completed
the first ever transplant of scalp cells from one person to
another and, for the first time ever, grew new hair on a human
without the use of drugs.
Jerry Cooley/Dr James Vogel
Dr. Jerry Cooley is a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic
surgeon in Charlotte, North Carolina and has a practice performing
hair transplantation surgery. It is believed that Dr Cooley
is working with internationally recognized plastic surgeon James
Vogel, M.D., on hair cloning technology similar to the research
conducted by British biologist, Dr Colin Jahoda.
more about Dr Cooley here
Dr Walter Unger is Toronto-based dermatologist who specializes
in hair transplantation. Dr Unger is also a professor at the
University of Toronto Medical School where he is currently conducting
research on culturing Hair Matrix Cells to produce unlimited
amounts of donor hair.
more about Dr Unger