Did you happen to hear the story about the man who regrew his finger (which he had accidentally chopped off) after sprinkling pixie dust on it? You may be confused as to why I, a dermatologist and hair restoration expert, am discussing “pixie dust” in my hair loss blog. The hope is that if this “pixie dust” can help regenerate soft tissues and skin cells, it should also (eventually) be able to regenerate hair growth.
Let’s take a walk back to high school science. Remember learning about animals that can regenerate body parts? Take lizards for example; if they lose a tail, their body with naturally repair the tendons and grow a new tail. Mammals (including humans) cannot do this. We do, however, regularly regenerate hair and skin cells, and the liver can regenerate itself to a point. Dr. Stephen Badylak of the University of Pittsburgh developed the pixie dust in an effort to help the bodies of wounded soldiers heal themselves and reduce the need for amputations. The “pixie dust” is derived from a pig’s bladder: concentrated with proteins and connective tissue. Scientists believe this mixture provides the right “matrix” or framework to stimulate regeneration. While this product is still very much in the testing phase, there are cases (like the aforementioned man’s finger) that show incredible promise.