Electric Hat Could Help Regrow Hair in Balding People

Few things in the world cause more anxiety in people’s hearts than hair loss. But in the near future, thanks to a safe and inexpensive technology developed by engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, curing hair loss will be as easy as wearing a hat.

Bald Man

Bald Man

It will be a very practical solution for hair regeneration according to Xudong Wang, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UW-Madison. Wang and his colleagues have published a description of the technology in ACS Nano magazine.

Based on devices that extract energy from the body’s daily movements, hair growth technology stimulates the skin with gentle, low-frequency electrical impulses that activate resting follicles to stimulate hair production.

The devices do not cause the hair follicle to grow on smooth skin. Instead, they restore the structures that produce hair that no longer works. This means that they can be used to treat people in the early stages of baldness, but they would not work for persons that have been totally bald for years.

As the devices are powered by the user’s movements, they do not require a large battery or advanced electronics. In fact, they are so discreet that they can be worn discreetly under the crown of a regular baseball cap.

Wang is a global expert in the design and development of energy recovery systems. He is a pioneer in the development of electrical bandages to stimulate wound healing and a weight loss implant that fills the stomach with mild electricity.

The technology for hair growth is based on so-called nanogenerators that passively collect energy from daily movements and send low-frequency electrical impulses to the skin. This gentle electrical stimulation awakens the sleeping follicles.

Because the electrical impulses are incredibly gentle and do not penetrate deeper than the outer layers of the scalp, the devices do not cause unpleasant side effects. This is an important advantage over other hair loss options like Propecia, which can cause impotence, anxiety and depression.

Compared to currently available hair loss treatments, the devices were just as effective when used on bald mice.

It is an automatically activated system that is very easy and uncomplicated to use, explains Wang and the energy used is very low, so side effects are minimal.

Researchers have patented this concept in collaboration with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Fund and hope to be able to conduct human studies soon.

References

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