Bald men – your prayers might just have been answered. A revolutionary baldness therapy that involves freezing hair follicles so they can be re-used later in life has been given the green light by UK authorities.
Biotechnology company HairClone has been given the go-ahead to start freezing customer’s hair samples by the Government’s Human Tissue Authority.
Basically, each client has 100 follicles taken for a sample before they lose their hair. Then they’re kept in a sub-zero facility until the client needs them.
Once the men get older and their hair starts to fall out, HairClone will take the hair out of the cold storage and multiply the follicles in a lab before injecting them back into the client’s scalp in an attempt to regain the full and lustrous locks they once had.
Well, until they started cutting samples out of it, anyway.
Dr Bessam Farjo. Credit: HairClone
The technology is the first of its kind to be allowed in the UK and has been described as an ‘insurance policy’ against ageing, though it is still pending further approvals.
Dr Bessam Farjo, the medical director at HairClone and one of the company’s hair restoration surgeons, said: “Now that the licence is in place we’re ready to bank hair for patients. Consultations can begin in earnest.
“We are contacted every day by people concerned about hair loss, and who are asking when the banking system will be ready.”
If you’re interested in this service, it’s going to be available to anyone over the age of 18 and involves only a small procedure during which a bit of flesh will be taken from the back of the scalp.
The follicles are stored at -180°C. Credit: HairClone
It’s not that cheap, though. The initial procedure costs around £2,500 ($3,000) and then any implanting back will run up further costs.
Once the piece of scalp is removed they’ll store it at -180°C until the time comes. That’s £100 ($120) per year of cold storage.
Earlier this year, Dr Farjo told MailOnline: “The point of these treatments is to rejuvenate thinning hairs and eventually to regenerate as many hairs as we need.
“The point of hair cloning is to create as many hairs as we need, at any point in time, without worrying we’re going to run out in the future.
“Many may see this as an insurance policy for later life.”
The hair follicles are taken from the back of the scalp. Credit: HairClone
HairClone claim theirs is the only system available that works like this. They said: “Other groups have tried this but it has been found that when human follicle cells are cultured, they rapidly lose their functionality.
“Recent scientific breakthroughs however indicate how culture multiplication systems could be developed, which is why we have created HairClone Inc. now.”
If you’re already bald, or significantly balding, you could be too late. The company suggests that you have the procedure as soon as you notice hair loss. That means at a young age, if necessary.
Oh, and they’ve not actually performed the treatment on a patient just yet, although they remain confident.
Dr Farjo continued: “HairClone is developing the regulatory approvals needed to enable them to provide us with both follicle banking and cell expansion services.”