One alternative being offered is cloning hair follicles. While waiting for the results of experiments on humans, the technique is at least successful in experiments on mice. At that time, researchers embed the hair follicles on the soles of the feet of mice.
The results of this research has been a major challenge for scientists at the University of Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospital, Technical University of Berlin, and the British company Intercytex to increase the amount of scalp hair follicles that can be duplicated.
Currently, one hair generally produce one or two clones. “We must find a way of improving the ‘harvest’,” said Lead researcher at St. Vincent, Prof Rod Sinclair, as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald. “We must find a way to double to 1,000 hair one hair.”
Sinclair said that cloning is difficult because each strand of hair, including the follicle, is a complete organs such as kidneys or liver. “Human stem cells are actually quite weak and that’s one of the problems we have,” he said.
To clone hair, scientists extract stem cells from hair follicles, multiplying them in a container, then implanting them to the scalp. “They have to produce a thick hair, length, and a certain level of curliness,” said Sinclair.