Androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as “baldness”, is a phenomenon related to the aging of the body that mainly affects men. It can be a real source of stress for some, who no longer hesitate to pay astronomical sums to remedy their hair loss.
Researchers from the University of California at Riverside have discovered a chemical that could “not only treating baldness, but ultimately accelerating wound healing”as reported by The Independent.
Qixuan Wang, one of the authors of the study published in the Biophysical Journalhas explained: “In science fiction, when characters quickly heal wounds, the idea is that stem cells made it possible. In real life, our new research gives us a better understanding of stem cell behavior, so we can control it and promote wound healing.”
By examining hair follicles, the only human organ capable of regularly and automatically regenerating themselves, the scientific team discovered that a type of protein called TGF-beta controls not only how hair follicle stem cells divide, but also how some may die and cause hair loss.
The TGF-beta protein “has two opposing roles, explained Qixuan Wang. It helps to activate certain cells in the hair follicle to produce new life, but it also helps to initiate the process of cell death.”
However, scientists have discovered that when a hair follicle dies, the reservoir of stem cells remains. “When surviving stem cells are signaled to regenerate, they divide, make new cells and grow into a new follicle,” added the scientist.
As the team of scientists explains, it would therefore be possible to stimulate hair growth by activating follicular stem cells. Further research should be conducted on the subject, however, they point out.
Seemingly innocuous, hair loss can lead to real psychological suffering for those who experience it, not to mention the possible social and professional consequences. Among all the more or less expensive solutions that exist, none is yet reimbursable in France.