A recent news story from a national newspaper emerged claiming “scientists studying cancer stumble on ‘breakthrough’ in search for baldness cure”. The report goes on to cite that “a cream or ointment may soon cure baldness or stop hair turning grey, as well as explaining why we age, one day”.
No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but here at RESTRAND, we can confirm that these claims are falling short of their assertions (at this moment in time).
Looking into the research project a little further, it actually saw scientists conducting a study in mice, whereby they were looking into a rare genetic condition known as neurofibromatosis; a condition that causes tumours to grow along the nerves. During their research, they discovered the part a protein called KROX20 plays in our natural hair colour.
What is KROX20?
The KROX20 protein is created in specific cells within each and every single hair follicle. The KROX20 protein is also responsible for the production of another protein called SCF. It is the SCF protein that needs to be present to support the mature pigment-producing cells in the hair follicle. When it wasn’t produced, the mice lost their hair colour, ultimately becoming white. Furthermore, if the mice had little or no KROX20-producing cells, they were unable to create any new hair, which led to balding.
This is yet to be confirmed in humans cells, but the initial biology of cells in different mammals is quite precise in its similarity, so there’s every chance this could apply to us too.
As we mentioned, these new findings don’t automatically mean that the cure for greying hair and baldness is on the horizon.
The University of Texas was behind the research, with funding secured via a range of grants from the National Institutes of Health, in the United States.
The researchers were initially exploring neurofibromatosis; a condition that causes benign tumours, or neurofibromas, to develop in the sheath of nerves.
During the research, they stumbled across the fact that one strain of mice they’d genetically engineered to study this condition developed grey fur early in life. Once they had realised this interesting development, they carried out more experiments to look at why this could be, while also furthering their knowledge of the hair greying process we see in humans.
There is a long way to go, following their early findings, but it is thought that further studies will take place to decipher what can be found.
The research recognised a group of cells in the hair follicles of mice, and those cells play an essential role in forming the hair shaft to allow hair growth, as well as also aiding the maintenance of hair colour.
So far, this research has only been carried out in mice, although, as we mentioned earlier, the rudimentary biology of cells in mammals is very comparable, so it appears possible that the findings might also apply to humans.
So, we will all have to wait and see what the findings in the future will bring, which could be years in the waiting. For now, though, if you are coming to terms with changes to your appearance and are looking for a hair loss treatment you can trust, why not take a look at the products RESTRAND provide which can help you overcome those issues?