Scientists researching the reasons behind hair loss may be a step closer to finding a cure.
While baldness is known to have a genetic connection, hair loss such as alopecia in both sexes has a variety of causes including stress and anxiety.
However there may be another specific reason. A dermatologist from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. George Cotsarelis has determined that in some bald people, there are reduced numbers of certain stem cells which tell the hair to grow. This can result in tiny follicles which are so small they are invisible.
Traditionally, it is believed that baldness occurs because of destruction of the follicles by testosterone. This new research may turn this belief on its head. Rather than destruction of the hair follicles it may be due to an apparent lack of particular types of stem cells that cause hair shrinkage.
The testosterone theory has spawned treatments that try to reduce the amount of the hormone being produced. One such drug is Procepia. And while this does appear to work in men, it has no effect on women’s baldness.
If this new research finds that stimulating stem cells is the way to force hair to grow, then scientists believe they could be a step closer to finding a cure. Creams and pills could then be developed.
However before you jump up for joy, this could also be many years in the future.