Millions of people around the world suffer from hair loss. The condition can affect the person psychologically because it affects one’s self image.
Scientists have been trying to find a cure for baldness since forever and although there are a few being tested, those with hair loss problems will have to wait a bit until one is made official.
However, researchers announced that they are currently testing a somewhat painful new cure for baldness: pulling out the remaining hair in order to grow back again multiplied.
The scientists involved in the study said that they have managed to provoke the regeneration of mouse fur by plucking the hairs out in a certain concentration and pattern.
According to the scientists, the hairs not only grew back, but they stimulated new hairs to grow nearby.
Cheng-Ming Chuong, an expert in stem cells at the University of Southern California and one of the lead authors of the study, explained that the research can lead to possible new ways of treating a form of hair loss known as alopecia.
According to the experts, the hairs grew back only when many of them were pulled from an area that is smaller in diameter than a pencil eraser.
The researchers wrote in their study that by pulling out 200 hairs, almost 1,200 new hairs grew back.
Chuong said that this surprising hair growth was probably caused by a process known as “quorum sensing”, which occurs when cells communicate with each other chemically, alerting one another of the damage done and asking for help.
The researchers believe that this hair plucking process could be one of the examples revealing the collective behavior of the cells in response to pathological of physiological stimuli.
The scientists added that “the quorum sensing behavior principle is likely to be present in the regeneration of tissue and organs beyond the skin.”
In order to determine what happens when the hairs are plucked, the scientists used molecular and genetic analysis.
When the hairs are being plucked, the follicles release some inflammatory proteins, known as cytokines. These proteins alert the immune system in case of wound and the immune system responds by sending macrophages to the damaged area.
The macrophages are white blood cells that destroy the pathogens and release cytokines that cause the cells to proliferate.
The scientists noticed that when they pulled hairs from an area of 3-5 mm across, the plucked hairs started to grow back and also new hairs sprouted in the nearby region.
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