Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 21 Sep 2019 Baldness: Electric h ...

Baldness: Electric hats can trigger hair growth

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | Edited by : DRISHTI VANJANI
Published Sep 21, 2019, 1:40 pm IST
Updated Sep 21, 2019, 1:40 pm IST
Gentle on human skin, the technology uses energy from body movement to work.
The hat can be a trendy, effective way to deal with baldness. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)
 The hat can be a trendy, effective way to deal with baldness. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

It looks like the Mad Hatter is at work again. While hats have been often viewed as popular summer accessories, they have also signified cultural abundance. And now, they’re being welcomed by science.

Scientists have figured out a new way to reverse balding. They have tested a new, cheap technology on mice that can help stimulate hair growth. And the non-invasive discovery is as easy as wearing a hat. The technology makes use of devices that collect energy from our body’s daily movement.

 

The working

The device works by forcing hair follicles to re-grow hair. This is done by stimulating the skin gently using low-frequency electric pulses. Xudong Wang, a professor at the University of Winsconsin-Madison, US, feels that it’s a practical solution for hair growth.

Another key thing that the researchers pointed out is that skin stimulation doesn’t cause new hair to grow. Rather, it reactivates the follicles that have become non-functional. It can turn out to be a breakthrough discovery for people experiencing early baldness patterns. But, the technology might not work for people who have been “as bald as a billiard ball” for years, the researchers warned.

The good of it all

One of the best advantages of the technology is that it doesn’t need heavy batteries or complex electronic products, because it functions on the basis of people’s movement. Also, the technology can be worn under baseball caps and can blend well with everyday attire, so it doesn’t stand out. The sleepy hair follicles tend to “wake up” when motion generates energy. This is done by nanogenrators that transmit low-frequency electricity pulses to the skin.

"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,” said Wang.

According to PTI, there are no unpleasant side effects because the technology is not harsh on the skin. It only penetrates into the outer skin layers of the scalp. On the other hand, other baldness treatments, for instance Propecia (a medicine) might have side effects like depression, anxiety and sexual dysfunction, the researchers said.

Tests conducted on mice showed that the technology activated hair growth in hairless mice. "It's a self-activated system, very simple and easy to use. The energy is very low so it will cause minimal side effects," said Wang.

 

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