Exosomes are administered via injection, so it’s a low-pain option, and patients will likely require maintenance injections once or twice a year. But many are hopeful it could be a good solution. Wasserbauer says, “Everyone in the hair medicine community is anxious to see results of the scientific trials.”
New (and Potentially Better) Topicals
There are two innovations getting buzz on the cusp of finishing clinical trials overseas. First, there’s a drug called FOL-005 that’s being developed for men by the biotech company Follicum. It features osteopontin, a protein in hair which may stimulate or inhibit hair growth, depending on the derivative (Follicum claims to have isolated a stimulating one). It has been studied in injections and is now being looked at in topical form. Linkov calls it “promising for now, but time will tell its safety and effectiveness in humans as their clinical trials proceed.”
Another topical with growing buzz, thanks to its ability in trials to antagonize DHT without serious adverse effects, is Breezula, an anti-androgen made by the pharmaceutical company Cassiopea. Explains Halaas, “Because it works on DHT locally, we are hoping we will see good results without the side effects of Propecia.” So far its trials have been done on men but the company is currently studying its use for women.
Better Low-Level Light Therapy
While this therapy is currently not considered a go-to treatment — in fact, Shaver predicted a slow turn away from laser therapy, calling it “underwhelming” for most patients — some of the experts we spoke with see the potential for big advances in this area.
The thinking here is that as devices (used both at-home and in-offices) get better and deliver the type of light that provides results, the before/afters will become more dramatic. Wasserbauer’s take: “Low-level light therapy has been dosed improperly for decades.” The idea that the optimal number of photons of the right wavelength, direction, strength, as well as the correct time on the head will be found — and can be delivered at home — is exciting because “it’s drug-free and boosts the efficacy of other hair loss treatments, even exosomes presumably,” she says.
The Bottom Line
Cloning, robots, mRNA technology, and suped-up laser caps — they all show promise. In reality, whatever technologies may come, patients will likely mix and match them to find their perfect regime. That means hair rejuvenation may end up looking like something out of a sci-fi movie. Can’t say we didn’t see that coming.
Read more from The Truth About Hair Loss:
Embracing the Beauty of Being Bald
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