British researchers have found that it is possible to transplant hair from one person to another without using anti-rejection drugs, a discovery that could eventually make hair transplants routine. But the finding involves only one patient and only a few hairs, so much more work needs to be done.
Biologist Colin A.B. Jahoda of Durham University and his colleagues report in today's Nature that they took biopsy samples from his scalp, removed the hair follicles, and transplanted the underlying tissue into the arm of his wife. The tissue formed new follicles and five hairs grew. No immune-suppressing drugs were used. Jahoda says it should be possible to grow the tissue in the lab to produce larger quantities before implanting it.