From Surgery to Pharmacology to Gene Therapy

    October 2010 in “Annals of Plastic Surgery
    Shareef Jandali, David W. Low
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    TLDR Hair restoration has evolved from surgery to drugs to potential gene therapy, with improved results and ongoing research driven by high demand.
    The document reviewed the progression of hair restoration techniques over time, detailing the shift from surgical methods like scalp reduction and hair-bearing flaps to hair transplantation, which has become more refined with the use of follicular unit extraction (FUE) for natural-looking results. It also covered pharmacological treatments, specifically minoxidil and finasteride, which are FDA-approved and have been effective in treating androgenetic alopecia, with combination therapy proving more beneficial than individual use. The potential of gene therapy was also discussed, with a focus on reactivating or creating hair follicles by targeting genes such as WNT and SHH, though safety remains a critical concern. The document highlighted the financial drive behind hair restoration research due to the demand for a baldness cure.
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