FOLLICULR NEOGENESIS: Humans are born with 100,000 hairs, making more is NOT possible

Humans are born with 100,000 hairs, making more is NOT possible

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Follicular "neogenesis" refers to the generation of brand new follicles in areas where follicles did not exist before.

Humans are born with 100,000-120,000 follicles but no new follicles develop after birth. The only possibility is replacement of follicles that get shed. In other words, follicular neogenesis does not appear to occur in humans at the present time. Existing follicles can shed and regrow but no new ones can be produced.

The hope is that someday follicular neogenesis might occur in humans someday as research in the area advances. In mice, brand new follicles can be made after birth. A landmark study was published in 2007 by Ito et al which showed that mice that are wounded can develop brand new hairs in the area surrounding the wound. These were not just hairs that replaced previous ones but were completely new. This study provided hope that follicular neogenesis might someday occur in humans.


Ito M et al, Wnt-dependent de novo hair follicle regeneration in adult mouse skin after wounding.  Nature. 2007.

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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