Thanks to a non-invasive, low cost, hair growth stimulating technology, baldness can soon become a rare condition and reversing it – easy as a pie.
Researchers at University of Wisconsin- Madison have developed a device that can stimulate hair growth without breaching the human body. A description of the advancement was published in the journal ACS Nano by Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering at the university, and his colleagues.
According to Wang, “I think this will be a very practical solution to hair regeneration”. The professor is a world expert in designing and creating energy harvesting devices. He has previously made electric bandages – that stimulate would healing, and a weight-loss device – that gives gentle electric shocks, giving the sense of a full stomach.
The hair growth tech incorporates a similar idea. The device gathers energy from the day to day activity of the user, stimulating the skin with low intensity electric pulses. The shocks trigger dormant follicles, causing them to start hair production again.
The device doesn’t cause the formation of new hair follicles in the skin but revolves around the main idea of reactivating the dormant ones. Using it in the early stages of pattern baldness may prove more effective as compared to using it in the later stages, when the cells have become used to being inactive.
One of the salient features of the device is its small size. Since it’s powered by the movement and daily activity of the user, it does not require a bulky battery pack, wires or other complicated circuits, and can be worn easily under a cap, without being noticed.
The gadget contains small nanogenerators – that convert the energy gathered form the movements of the user to electrical pulses, which are then utilized to trigger the follicles into “waking up”. As per professor Wang, “Electric stimulations can help many different body functions, but before our work there was no really good solution for low-profile devices that provide gentle but effective stimulations”.
The new technology can drastically reduce the side effects of the medicines used for hair regeneration and almost completely diminish the practice of a hair transplant surgery. As the electric pulses are very gentle, they can only penetrate the outermost layer of the scalp, preventing any damage to the brain, nerves and the blood vessels underneath.
Medicines like Propecia, used for treating baldness, can lead to an increased risk of sexual dysfunction, depression and anxiety – side effects that are unknown to the hair regenerating device made by Wang and his team. Hence, the use of the new gadget wouldn’t only be more effective, but healthier for the users as well. “It’s a self-activated system, very simple and easy to use. The energy is very low so it will cause minimal side effects”.
Although, the widget isn’t ready for human testing, it showed positive results when used on mice. Tests on hairless rodents showed that the device stimulated hair growth just as effectively as two compounds used in baldness medicine. Researchers believe there is a high probability of the device being successful on humans too.