The New York Times reports that scientists may have identified a new method of hair growth to replace the traditional hair transplantation method. A study published in PNAS found that growing removed dermal papillae cells, found at the base of hair follicles and known to induce their growth, could be cultured in a specific way to increase their numbers. Scientists used the “hanging drop” method, one which involves culturing cells removed from humans on the lid of a petri dish and then inverting the lid to cause the cells to grow in clumps, allowing them to touch in 3D to encourage signaling. The cells were then implanted on a human skin graft taken from the foreskin of a newborn. Scientists believed that if the cells could generate hair follicles on the foreskin, they could easily generate them on the scalp or elsewhere. New follicles grew on 5 out of the 7 human grafts in mice. The results suggest an attractive alternative to traditional hair transplant methods which can leave scarring and don’t actually act to increase the amount of hair.