Attention all mice and humans interested in growing a lush(er) coat of hair: Scientists have developed an intriguing new technique to enzymatically and mechanically-stimulate hair growth.
Why it matters: It doesn’t. Unless you’ve noticed hair loss and you’re interested in alternatives to minoxidil (Rogaine), finasteride (Propecia), or hair transplant to stimulate hair growth.
Okay, so what’s going on? Hair loss results from poor blood flow and free radical damage to cells that grow hair. Researchers at the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Zhejiang University created a dissolvable microneedle patch containing ceria, a compound previously shown to decrease free radical damage. The study compared bald spots on male mice treated with ceria-containing patches versus those treated with minoxidil. Mice treated with the microneedle patch required less frequent application and showed faster hair regrowth compared to those treated with minoxidil.
Uhm. Are the microneedles painful? They’re not. The microneedle patch is a mixture of hyaluronic acid (a substance that grows naturally in the skin) and ceria-containing nanoparticles, delivered to a region under the skin with no pain receptors.
Great. Where can I get the microneedle patch? Not so fast, humans. This technology has only been tried on mice. Mice: inquire about a microneedle patch lab near you to satisfy all your pompadour ambitions.