Scientists have developed a baseball cap that zaps your scalp and could reverse male balding. Experts first created a wireless patch that can stimulate the scalp with electric pulses to encourage hair growth. The 0.4-inch-thick plastic patch contains layers of differently charged materials that produce electricity when they come into contact and separate again.
Its a phenomenon known as the triboelectric effect and can result in faster hair re-growth than being hooked up to a machine for several hours a day. The team, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tested it out on the backs of shaved lab rats and found that when they moved it caused the flexible patch to bend and stretch. They found that this movement activated the triboelectric effect and noted faster growth than in rats who had been given minoxidil lotion a common hair loss treatment.
Next the team, led by Xudong Wang, tested the patch on mice that were hairless because of a genetic deficiency. They found that after nine days, 2-mm-long fur had grown on their skin under the patch. The density of the hair was also three times greater for the patch-treated areas.
Wang also tested the patch on his dad, who has been going bald for the past few years. It helped him to grow a lot of new hairs after one month, he said. His team has now designed a baseball cap that encases the whole scalp in triboelectric materials.