While there are some devices and medications out there to help slow hair loss and regrow hair, they’re bulky, uncomfortable, or have substantial side effects.
Low-frequency electric stimulation, delivered in pulses and over extended time periods, has a great deal of potential as an effective way to promote hair growth. The problem is that it currently requires batteries, electronics, electrodes, and accompanying components to work, making it impractical to implement in a hat.
Now, engineers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a device that is small enough to be placed under a baseball cap, and which harvests energy from natural movements of the head and converts this into electric pulses that stimulate hair to start growing again.
There are no batteries to recharge and the device can remain hidden while the user wears it throughout the day under a hat.
Though bald men will probably find no use from this technology, those whose hair follicles have become dormant may benefit significantly. So far this has been tried in lab mice, and the technology was shown to be as effective as two anti-baldness medications. Human trials are expected to be planned soon.
Since the electric current delivered is quite small and is designed to only delve deep enough into the skin to stimulate hair follicles, the researchers haven’t detected and don’t expect any side effects.
Here are some details about the results from the study of the technology in journal ACS Nano:
Significantly facilitated hair regeneration results were obtained from Sprague–Dawley rats and nude mice. Higher hair follicle density and longer hair shaft length were observed on Sprague–Dawley rats when the device was employed compared to conventional pharmacological treatments. The device can also improve the secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor and keratinocyte growth factor and thereby alleviate hair keratin disorder, increase the number of hair follicles, and promote hair regeneration on genetically defective nude mice.