Non-surgical hair loss restoration? Maybe…someday.

There’s more good news in the world of research when it comes to non-surgical hair loss restoration. For a few years now, scientists have know that dermal papilla cells on mice could be used to create new hair follicles on the rodents. When the same procedure was tried on humans, however the papilla cells refused to clump—something that is necessary for hair growth to occur.

Now researchers have figured out how to culture dermal papilla so they clump which will let them communicate and interact with each other–a process that eventually causes the skin to form new hair follicles. Doctors have verified their success by transplanting human skin with dermal papilla onto the backs of mice. The new skin grew hair that was genetically determined to be human.

It’s a long way from the back of a mouse to the top of a head, but this latest research was a big step toward finding a non-surgical hair loss restoration for baldness, treatment of scalp burns and diseases such as alopecia. Researchers say human trials are three to five years away.

Today, the only permanent cure for baldness is with surgical intervention by a hair restoration surgeon.