TODAY   |  October 22, 2013

New research shows progress toward curing baldness

NBC News’ chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports that scientists in the U.S. and Britain have made huge leaps toward finding a cure for baldness by generating new hair follicles that can grow human hair.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back now at 7:43. few things represent duty in our society like a full head of hair. at least for some people. for the 50% of people that suffer thinning hair even the hint of a cure is big news. now new research is providing what could be the best clue yet. dr. nancy snyderman , good morning to you.

>> hi, matt.

>> the research comes from columbia university .

>> credible.

>> they have found a way to clone human hair cells which create human hair follicles and create new cells. big news.

>> that's the difference when you take one follicle to one hair or use topical medicines. they took human skin , put it on mice and found that if you go into these little cells, you can get multiple hairs growing out of one little spot. so that means, especially for the over 60 crowd where you really start to see your hair thinning and especially for women where hair transplantation is not a very good option. you can suddenly think about growing hair in ways you couldn't before. you take one hair follicle and you get 100.

>> so this sounds like it's a ways off. because at the moment it happens in a lab dish and then it goes to the mice and unless you want to put the mouse on top of your head, this is going to be awhile.

>> this isn't going to be in your doctor's office tomorrow but it's a game changer in the fact that you can get multiple hairs out of one little spot. it's a mouse study but opens up a door in science.

>> this isn't just for vanity reasons. you people that suffered burns and maybe there's vanity in this but people that suffer from alopesha.

>> it's for women that lose hair too. there's no viable option.

>> 80% of women suffer thinning hair by the time they're 65.

>> hat's exactly right and the option is a wig. not only burn patients, a lot of times children start to lose hair in their teens and there's no viable option. is this coming to a doctor's office near you? yes but not tomorrow. it's cool stuff.

>> thank you very much. appreciate