Angela Christiano is dead fucking serious about hair. After having suffered from alopecia areata, she was compelled to study baldness. And she may have just discovered a cure for it, using the discarded foreskins from circumcised babies.
For her most recent study, Dr. Christiano, a hair geneticist and dermatology professor at Columbia University Medical Center, focused on dermal papillae, the cells at the base of hair follicles that make the follicles rise. Papillae have the ability to "reprogram" surrounding skin cells to form new follicles.
The researchers took papilla cells from seven men who were undergoing hair transplants, cultured them in hanging drops and then injected them into human skin grafted onto mice. Not just any human skin: to put their ideas to a rigorous test, the researchers made the grafts from a type of skin that is normally 100 percent hairless — foreskins from circumcised infants. A technique that can grow hair on a foreskin has a pretty good chance of growing it on a person’s head, they reasoned.
And they were correct! So with this method, instead of transplanting hair from the back of the head to the front, new hair is being created, making it more effective than drugs or hair transplants.