Suffering from hair loss problems? Well, here’s a piece of good news for you –you might soon be able to reactivate hair growth in your scalp. Thanks to a new non-invasive and low-cost hair-growth-stimulating technology, reversing baldness may be as simple as wearing a hat in the near future. Sounds great, isn’t it?
Engineers and researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have recently developed a wearable electric patch which stimulates hair growth for reversing baldness. The patch will gather energy from daily movements as well as stimulate the skin with low-frequency and gentle pulses which prompt dormant follicles to reactivate the growth of hair. Though the technology has only been tested on mice so far, the researchers are now seeking approval for testing the device clinically.
Xudong Wang – study author from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes that this will be a great practical solution to hair regeneration. Currently, men suffering from male-pattern baldness have two options only – hair transplantation or medications. But, the medications aren’t effective always and can affect fertility and libido. On the other hand, surgery is quite painful and expensive.
The Tribo-electric effect
To tackle the problem of hair loss, Wang and his colleagues designed a wireless plastic patch of 1mm thickness which after being placed on the scalp can harness energy from random movements of the body for producing electric pulses. These pulses stimulate the release of naturally-occurring chemicals which encourage the growth of hair and hence Reversing Baldness.
The device is made up of various layers of differently charged materials which generate electricity after they come in contact with each other and separate once again. This phenomenon is referred to as the triboelectric effect.
When researchers placed the device on the rats’ backs, the animals’ movements made it bend as well as stretch. This triggered the triboelectric effect, resulting in the generation of electric pulses. What’s more, among the rats which had been shaved, pulses prompted quicker hair growth in comparison to that of a medication.
A Practical Solution With No Side Effects
Unlike most of the other baldness treatments which carry the risks of sexual dysfunction, anxiety and depression, these devices do not seem to have any kind of side effects. This is because electric pulses cannot penetrate deeper than the scalps’ outermost layers. And yet, the mice tests revealed that these devices stimulated hair growth as effectively as two very different compounds found in baldness medications.
Technology Encased In A Baseball Cap
The researchers have recently designed a baseball cap which covers the whole scalp in the tribo-electric materials and are trying to seek approval for testing the cap clinically. Wang and his team are confident that the electric baseball cap will be very effective. This is because; the hairless mice, on which they tested this technology on, are considered as good models of male-pattern baldness. And, with the electric pulses generated being so gentle, men shouldn’t find the device uncomfortable.
However, this electric hat will be effective only among people who have recently become bald or are experiencing baldness. Wondering why? Well, after several years of being bald, the skin loses its ability of producing new hair follicles. The study author has further claimed that wearing the hat even for a few hours will enough to achieve the desired effect means it is very effective for Reversing Baldness.
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