Skip to main content

Baldness-banishing baseball cap will zap your head until your hair grows again

Plenty of bald or balding people wear hats for vanity or warmth reasons. But in the not too distant future, they might wear hats because it helps their hair to grow back.

At least that’s the dream of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who have developed a baldness-banishing electric patch that could help reverse the effects or balding in men when fitted into a custom-designed baseball cap. The millimeter-thin patch adheres to the scalp and then zaps it with very mild electric pulses generated using the body’s own kinetic energy.

“It is a device that automatically [converts random] head movements into regular electric pulses to stimulate hair follicles to grow hairs,” Professor Xudong Wang told Digital Trends. “It is a device called [a] nanogenerator, based on [the] piezoelectric or triboelectric effect, that converts displacements into electrical potential.”

Alex Holloway IV

So far, the researchers have demonstrated how the patch could be used to regrow hair in rats, both shaved rats and those that are hairless due to a genetic deficiency. In both cases, the electric pulses prompted hair beyond that which was achieved with minoxidil lotion and an inert saline solution. The rats grew hair more quickly and thickly while wearing the patch. Under a microscope, the researchers found that the patch appears to work by stimulating natural chemicals that trigger hair growth, including keratinocyte growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor.

The patch was then tested by Wang on his father, who found similar results. Prompted by this, the researchers have now designed a baseball cap that incorporates the patch. They are currently attempting to get it approved in order to carry out clinical trials.

“A hat will certainly be one convenient form,” Wang said. “Because our device is a wearable system, I think one ideal form is a wearable cap that can be fitted into any hat. People can [then] wear it with their favorable headwear and stimulate hair growth unnoticeably in their daily life.”

A paper describing the work, titled “Self-Activated Electrical Stimulation for Effective Hair Regeneration via a Wearable Omnidirectional Pulse Generator,” was recently published in the journal ACS Nano.

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Don’t buy the Meta Quest Pro for gaming. It’s a metaverse headset first
Meta Quest Pro enables 3D modeling in mixed reality.

Last week’s Meta Connect started off promising on the gaming front. Viewers got release dates for Iron Man VR, an upcoming Quest game that was previously a PS VR exclusive, as well as Among Us VR. Meta, which owns Facebook, also announced that it was acquiring three major VR game studios -- Armature Studio, Camouflaj Team, and Twisted Pixel -- although we don’t know what they’re working on just yet.

Unfortunately, that’s where the Meta Connect's gaming section mostly ended. Besides tiny glimpses and a look into fitness, video games were not the show's focus. Instead, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanted to focus on what seemed to be his company’s real vision of VR's future, which involves a lot of legs and a lot of work with the Quest Pro, a mixed reality headset that'll cost a whopping $1,500.

Read more
Meet the game-changing pitching robot that can perfectly mimic any human throw
baseball hitter swings and misses

Who’s your favorite baseball pitcher? Shane McClanahan? Sandy Alcantara? Justin Verlander? Whoever you said, two of the top sports-tech companies in the U.S. -- Rapsodo and Trajekt Sports -- have teamed up to build a robot version of them, and the results are reportedly uncannily accurate.

Okay, so we’re not talking about walking-talking-pitching standalone robots, as great a sci-fi-tinged MLB ad as that would be. However, Rapsodo and Trajekt have combined their considerable powers to throw a slew of different technologies at the problem of building a machine that's able to accurately simulate the pitching style of whichever player you want to practice batting against -- and they may just have pulled it off, too.

Read more
The best portable power stations
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Affordable and efficient portable power is a necessity these days, keeping our electronic devices operational while on the go. But there are literally dozens of options to choose from, making it abundantly difficult to decide which mobile charging solution is best for you. We've sorted through countless portable power options and came up with six of the best portable power stations to keep your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets functioning while living off the grid.
The best overall: Jackery Explorer 1000

Jackery has been a mainstay in the portable power market for several years, and today, the company continues to set the standard. With three AC outlets, two USB-A, and two USB-C plugs, you'll have plenty of options for keeping your gadgets charged.

Read more