How developmental programs reactivate in regeneration is a fundamental question in biology. We addressed this question through the study of Wound Induced Hair follicle Neogenesis (WIHN), an adult organogenesis model where stem cells regenerate de novo hair follicles following deep wounding. The exact mechanism is uncertain. Here we show that self-noncoding dsRNA activates the anti-viral receptor toll like receptor 3 (TLR3) to induce intrinsic retinoic acid (RA) synthesis in a pattern that predicts new hair follicle formation after wounding in mice. Additionally, in humans, rejuvenation lasers induce gene expression signatures for dsRNA and RA, with measurable increases in intrinsic RA synthesis. These results demonstrate a potent stimulus for RA synthesis by non-coding dsRNA, relevant to their broad functions in development and immunity.