Instead of wearing hats and caps to conceal their baldness, men may soon doff those chapeaus to show off their new full heads of hair.

This encouraging news comes from the materials and science engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Xudong Wang recently published a paper in the journal ACS Nano that will inspire hope in the millions of men who suffer from male pattern baldness and hair loss. It is estimated that more than fifty percent of all men over the age of fifty have such partial to near-total baldness. Although genetics is the central culprit, this technology overrides that genetic tendency.

According to the professor, newly developed technology will provide a simple, affordable, and effective way to regenerate hair. The process works to reactivate and energize dormant hair follicles and encourage new hair growth. Low-frequency electric pulses are used in the approach to target those follicles and spur the start of the regeneration.

Making the approach even more practical is the way in which it uses normal body motion to create electrical impulses. This eliminates the need for the use of expensive body packs or other electronics. The device itself is extremely small and allows discrete use and concealment under the brim of a traditional ball cap or other hat types.

The additional advantage of the newly announced technology is a lack of side effects. Popular medicines such as Propecia can slow down hair loss, but not regenerate it, and have various side effects. This use of low-power currents avoids those effects and does not seem to contribute to anxiety or depression. It also eliminates the risk of sexual dysfunction that is sometimes present with Propecia.

Scientists have thus far used the approach on test rats with encouraging results. Aside from the very low level of self-activating energy, the simplicity of the device only has that energy penetrate the very top layers of skin and is almost undetectable to the user. The study indicates that approval for human testing of the technology is expected soon.

Working with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the researchers have been granted patents to facilitate the commercial development of the breakthrough after further testing and final approval.

Men who dream of again running their fingers (or their partner doing so) through their hair are saying “hats off” to what they view as exciting news.