Scientist have some good news for everyone suffering from baldness or other types of hair loss.
Science Daily reported that researchers at UCLA in the US had discovered a new way to activate stem cells in hair follicles to make hair grow again.
The researchers, who published their work in the Nature Cell Biology journal, said that the discovery could lead to new drugs that help people with baldness or alopecia linked to hormonal imbalance, stress, ageing and chemotherapy regrow their hair.
They identified two drugs that, when applied to the skin, caused a metabolite called lactate to be produced. In short, lactate speeds hair the activation of hair follicle stem cells, causing new hair to grow. It’s inactive hair follicle stem cells that cause hair loss.
“The idea of using drugs to stimulate hair growth through hair follicle stem cells is very promising given how many millions of people, both men and women, deal with hair loss,” one of the lead scientists Aimee Flores, told Science Daily.
There are some caveats to the discovery. So far, the research has only been conducted on mince, and the experimental drugs used haven’t been tested on humans or approved for human use.
But Flores is hopeful. “I think we’ve only just begun to understand the critical role metabolism plays in hair growth and stem cells in general. I’m looking forward to the potential application of these new findings for hair loss and beyond,” she said.