Researchers find pattern to pluck hair to regenerate growth

The treatment for hair loss may be through plucking hairs in a specific pattern and density, found researchers at the University of Southern California.

This counterintuitive approach uses the principle of "quorum sensing," which defines how a system responds to stimuli that affect some, but not all members.

For their study, the USC team started with the work of visiting scholar and first author Chih-Chiang Chen of National Yang-Ming University and Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan. The dermatologist created a technique where 200 hair follicles were individually plucked in different configurations on the back of a mouse.

Researchers found that no hairs regenerated when they were plucked in a low-density pattern from an area exceeding six millimeters in diameter. However, when hairs were plucked in a high-density pattern from circular areas between three and five millimeters, it triggered regeneration of between 450 and 1,300 hairs, including ones outside the plucked region.

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