Wonderful Engineering

New Electric Hat Is Capable Of Regenerating Your Hair

A team of engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has come up with a new hair-growth-stimulating technique that could one day reverse baldness by wearing a hat. Yes, we are heading towards hair regeneration. The latest technique is also non-invasive and cost-effective.

Xudong Wang, a professor materials science and engineering at UW-Madison, said, ‘I think this will be a very practical solution to hair regeneration.’ The hair regeneration technology works by stimulating the skin using gentle and low-frequency electric pulses. These pulses force the dormant follicles to reactivate hair production.

Hair-producing structures that have become dormant are what need to be wakened up if you want hair regeneration to take place. That is exactly what this technique is aimed at. However, this also implies that the technique will work for those who are in the early phases of pattern baldness but will not prove useful for those who have been bald for a number of years.

The best thing about this hair regeneration breakthrough is that the device gets its power from the movement of the user. This particular feature of the hair regeneration device implies that it doesn’t come with a bulky battery pack or any intricate electronics. The hair regeneration devices have been named nanogenerators.

These nanogenerators passively collect energy from daily movements. In the next phase, they transmit low-frequency pulses of electricity to the skin that results in the reawakening of the dormant follicles. Wang said, ‘Electric stimulations can help many different body functions. But before our work, there was no really good solution for low-profile devices that provide gentle but effective stimulations.’ Other baldness treatments come with the potential risk of sexual dysfunction, anxiety, and depression. However, this particular technique doesn’t have any side effects.

Why is that so? The hair regeneration nanogenerators only deliver electric pulses that are unable to go any deeper than the outermost layers of your scalp. Mice tests have shown that the devices are actually capable of stimulating hair growth on par with as two different compounds that are found in baldness medicines. Wang said, ‘It’s a self-activated system, very simple and easy to use. The energy is very low, so it will cause minimal side effects.’

A description of this breakthrough has been published in the journal ACS Nano, and the team is hopeful that it will soon be able to move forward towards human trials.