Cloning has been a topic of hair restoration and /or hair transplants for quite sometime. In fact for years the topic of cloning has become a significant lecture in the International Society of Hair Restorations (ISHRS.org) conferences. However year after year the same the same predictions are made… “We will see cloning by the next 5-10 years.” Then the next year the same prediction would be made, ” “We will see cloning by the next 5-10 years.” Well the first time I myself heard the first prediction was in 2002.
It’s now 2015 and where is cloning? There really hasn’t been any further progress with the exception of the breakthrough of one company that grew human hair from a culture on a mouse’s back (pictured below). Unfortunately the process was unable to be reproduced in humans and after many attempts to work around that limitations, funding became scarce and Intercytex became bankrupt and closed.
Intercytex did however stimulate a greater interest in hair cloning by several other companies and colleges around the world. To date cloning has still not occurred and still remains the question why not? Why cannot we humans clone our hair??? We can clone a cow or an entire goat but why not hair?
Hair follicles are extremely specialized. They are practically several individualized systems in one. And with that fact comes the plethora of biochemical signalling processes that must occur in succession in order for strands of hair to be grown. Not to mention the “soil” it grows in… that being the area of the body… i.e. eye brows, chest, legs, scalp, back, etc. One single component taken out of this complex process and you are led to what so many companies have arrived at… failure.
Well to date there is not even the notion that the cloning of hair will be within the next 5 to 10 years. In fact, one researcher at the ishrs.org yearly conference in 2009 when point blank asked where cloning was… he just threw up his hands and stated, “We just don’t know at this time”.