Reliably regrowing hair is one of those advances that’s proving trickier than you might imagine, but scientists have plenty of leads to follow. Now, researchers from North Carolina State University have identified a particular microRNA molecule that appears to regulate hair regeneration, which could be a new drug target for a shortcut treatment that doesn’t involve growing and administering entire new cells.
“Cell therapy with the 3D cells could be an effective treatment for baldness, but you have to grow, expand, preserve and inject those cells into the area,” says Cheng. “MiRNAs, on the other hand, can be utilized in small molecule-based drugs. So potentially you could create a cream or lotion that has a similar effect with many fewer problems. Future studies will focus on using just this miRNA to promote hair growth.”