Researchers in the UK stumbled upon a possible cure for baldness and graying during cancer research.
While trying to understand the way tumors form and interact with nerve cells, they discovered a protein called KROX20. The protein is commonly associated with nerve development and is present in skin cells that are programmed to become hair follicles and hair shafts.
These pre-hair follicle cells produce a stem cell factor (SCF) essential for hair growth and pigmentation. In mice studies, deleting this stem cell gene turned mice’ hair white. Deleting the KROX20 protein resulted in an absence of hair growth and eventually, bald mice.
While scientists were aware that KROX20 and SCF were factors in hair growth and pigmentation, they were not fully aware to what extent and the degree of importance.
The newly discovered connections are promising news in the hair loss community, as there is currently no cure for this ailment that effects over 80% of the US men and 50% of US women throughout their lifespan.
Future research will continue and hopefully answer questions regarding the effects of KROX20 and SCF in humans. Further, scientists are hopeful that down the road, the research will offer implications and insight into human aging as a whole.
While the potential KROX20 and SCF cure for baldness and graying is still a ways-away, there are some current scientifically-proven options for those experiencing hair loss. Stem cells have been helpful in reversing recent hair loss and preventing future hair loss through PRP (platelet rich plasma therapy). And laser-light therapy has shown great results in male and female patients alike.
If you’d like to learn more about your up-to-date scientific hair loss options, give us a call for a medical management of hair loss consultation.