Having a bad hair day would be a welcome "issue" for both men and women suffering common pattern baldness, otherwise known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA).
There are a number of ways people and researchers have looked into solving the issue, such as this electric hat, but now scientists may have found a solid solution.
Scientists from Pusan National University in South Korea have been working on getting to the root of the problem — so to speak — and have discovered a topical solution made up of stem cells that leads to regrowth of hair for people with AGA.
Their study was published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
Effective growth area
AGA affects approximately 50% of males and a similar percentage of females around the world. In men, as they age they experience hair loss, whereas the more common pattern in women with AGA is thinning of the hair. Hopefully, the main reason isn't due to women's fears of parasites.
There are only a small number of approved hair growth treatments out there, so emerging research on the topic is pertinent. One such research was led by scientists in South Korea, who discovered that using stem cells, in particular adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs), facilitate hair regrowth.
"Recent studies have shown that ADSCs promote hair growth in both men and women with alopecia. However, no randomized, placebo-controlled trial in humans has explored the effects and safety of adipose-derived stem cell constituent extract (ADSC-CE) in AGA," said Sang Yeoup Lee of the Family Medicine Clinic and Research Institute of Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital.
"We aimed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of ADSC-CE in middle-aged patients with AGA in our study, hypothesizing that it is an effective and safe treatment agent."
The clinical trial
The research team's trial involved 38 participants, including 29 men and nine women between the ages of 18 and 59 years old. Half received the ADSC-CE topical solution and half received a placebo, and the entire group was given the instruction to apply the solution to the scalp twice a day over 16 weeks.
After 16 weeks, the researchers found that hair density in the ADSC-CE group had increased by 28.1 percent, whereas the placebo one only went up by 7.1 percent. Mean hair thickness increased by 14.2 percent for the active solution users and only 6.3 percent for the placebo ones.
The results speak for themselves. This trial shows that the ADSC-CE solution works as well as invasive ones, but without adverse side effects or discomfort.
Lee concluded, "The next step should be to conduct similar studies with large and diverse populations in order to confirm the beneficial effects of ADSC-CE on hair growth and elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the action of ADSC-CE in humans."