The Effect of Damaged Skin on Hair Follicle Growth

9th June 2013

When an adult endures an injury or a wound, the hair follicle growth is blocked and the skin heals with a scar. Therefore, the hair follicle is unable to generate regrowth. For a deep cut on your leg, this isn't too much of a concern if future hair growth is limited. However, what if you experience a serious scalp wound and face permanent hair loss on your head?

Research into Re-Development of New Hair Follicles

Dr George Cotsarelis Director of the University of Pennsylvania Hair and Scalp Clinic conducted research to find a way to regenerate damaged hair follicles. Previously, it was thought that you were stuck with the amount of hair follicles you were born with and if they died during the ageing process, they couldn't be revived.

Unfortunately, the experiment of hair growth in wounded humans is difficult to tackle as it inflicts pain on the participants. Dr Cotsarelis looked into a study on the cell regrowth of mice and found that something in their healing process reprogrammed stem cells to create new follicles. The wounds that appear to cause the hair regrowth in the mice are similar to the common skin treatment known as dermabrasion, Cotsarelis said, “In dermabrasion, layers of skin are scraped off and healing begins.”

No Pleasing Everyone!

The relationship between skin and hair follicles seems a common one, as the skin treatment laser hair removal deliberately targets hair follicles purposely to damage them and reduce hair growth. It generally is quite an achievement how far we have advanced with technology in the realms of permanent hair growth and hair removal.

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