Finding a hair loss cure is something of a holy grail that's eluded pharmaceutical giants throughout the 20th century. However, a few years into the new millennium and things look set to change. Hope comes in the form of hair cloning, and with newly cloned animals sealing newspaper headlines with increasing regularity; it's difficult to imagine that it will be long before someone develops an effective method of hair cloning.
One thing is for sure and that's that any universal hair loss cure won't be medicinal. Almost by definition no medicine can work for everybody (similarly there will always be someone who shows side effects) and as hair loss is known to be caused by a number of different factors, the chances of finding a single medicinal cure are slim. Cloning could provide the answer.
One of the most obvious benefits of cloning is that it will enable many people who were previously unable to undergo hair restoration surgery to have a full head of hair. Hair transplants require 'donor hair' to be removed from the sides or back of the head, however not everyone's scalp in a wealthy enough position to make such a donation.
Cloning would enable a single hair follicle to be replicated outside the body, theoretically producing a limitless supply of new follicles. Removal of a single follicle would greatly cut down on the overall surgery, and it's already thought that it may be possible to implant donor stem cells using a syringe. Cloning also opens up the possibility of using follicles taken and cloned form other people (as they are much less likely to be rejected by the recipient's scalp if grown outside the body).
On the downside hair cloning currently remains in the realms of science fiction. There's no doubt that it will become a reality, but it's impossible to say when (although the odds are that it will be sooner rather than later). Whenever cloning arrives it's unlikely to come cheap, so while the future is looking bright, in the meantime it's wise to tread one of the tried and tested paths.