A cure for baldness might be on the way
Hair loss can be a big strain on anyone’s confidence, but sadly, years of research have failed to find a successful cure for baldness.
But that could all be about to change.
Scientists believe they have discovered how to reverse the process of gradually going bald by successfully regrowing hair on wounded skin.
The research, by the New York School of Medicine and published in the journal Nature Communications, examined damaged skin in laboratory mice, focusing on cells called fibroblasts that secrete collagen.
The research team activated a pathway in the brain, called the sonic hedgehog, which is used by cells to communicate with each other.
The pathway is known to be very active in the womb, when hair follicles are typically formed, but is otherwise stalled in wounded skin of healthy adults.
By sparking the communication between these cells, hair regrowth was seen within four weeks in the mice, while hair roots and shaft structures started to appear after nine weeks.
Previously scientists have assumed scarring and collagen build-up in damaged skin was behind its inability to regrow hair. But this evidence may suggest otherwise.
The lead study author Dr Mayumi Ito explained that the research is not only an advance for wounded skin, but the evidence is promising for improving hair growth in older skin.
And may ultimately help in the search for improved treatments to restore hair growth.
“Now we know it’s a signalling issue in cells that are very active as we develop in the womb, but less so in mature skin cells as we age,” she told Daily Mail.
“Our results show stimulating fibroblasts through the sonic hedgehog pathway can trigger hair growth not previously seen in wound healing.”
Cures for baldness have been hinted at previously
This isn’t the first time a potential cure for baldness has hit headlines. Earlier this year researchers revealed they could be on the cusp of finding a treatment for balding, and it’s all down to sandalwood.
Sandalore, the artificial scent made to smell like sandalwood, a scent used in many of our perfumes and soaps, has been found to stimulate hair growth by increasing keratin levels in the scalp.
Researchers from the University of Manchester who led the research, found that sandalwood can stimulate hair growth after six days.
According to recent statistics, 40% of men are likely to have experienced hair loss by the age of 35.
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