Abstract: A series of experimental bioassays has shown that the dermal papilla of the adult rodent vibrissa hair follicle retains unique inductive properties. In view of the many phenotypic and functional differences between specific hair follicle types, and the growing interest in hair follicle biology and disease, it remains important to establish that the human hair follicle dermal papilla has equivalent capabilities. In this study we tested the ability of human hair follicle papillae to induce hair growth when implanted into transected, athymic mouse vibrissa follicles. The implanted papillae that interacted with mouse follicle epithelium created new fibre-producing follicle end bulbs. The origin of the papillae in the recombinant structures was confirmed using laser capture microdissection and human specific gender determination by PCR. The demonstration that intact adult human dermal papillae can induce hair growth has implications for molecular analysis of basic hair growth mechanisms, particularly since the study involved common epithelial–mesenchymal signalling and recognition properties across species. It also improves the prospects for a cell-based clinical approach to hair follicle disorders.