With hair loss being such a prevalent issue for men and women all over the world it is something scientists have studied and tried to crack for many years. Recently, two studies have linked hair loss to mutations in our stem cells as a cause for thinning hair.
The studies discovered that as we age our regular, hair growing stem cells begin to mutate causing hair follicles to shrink and as a result they grow thinner hair. This exciting discovery could potentially allow scientists to study our genes and discover a way to prevent hair loss.
An assistant professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Hiroyuki Matsumura, tested his theory on mice and on humans. Studying hair follicle stem cells, he noticed that the self renewing cells inside the hair follicle, the hair follicle stem cells, were changing over time. They started to have genetic errors which in turn led them to be unable to renew any longer. This change caused the hair follicles to shrink. When hair follicles shrink they produce thin strands of hair which results in an appearance of overall loss of volume.
Interestingly, the scientists found one gene that was successful at reversing hair loss. Testing on mice that were genetically modified to make the extra protein, Col17A1, they found that their hair follicles did not undergo the shutdown of rejuvenation and they didn’t shrink or lose as much hair.
This theory has also been tested on women, ages 20-70 and published in Science journal. The fact remains that when stem cells are gone, they’re gone. There is no way to get them back as is the case with hair loss. Once the process of hair loss is begun, the cycle continues without a way to stop it. This study offers hope that there may be a way to intervene in the future, saving the stem cells before they stop renewing.
Science and medicine are moving quickly and hopefully someday they will have a cure for the physically and emotionally traumatic issue of hair loss. If you are dealing with thinning hair or hair loss, Images International has a solution for you. Call us today at (248) 540-0900 to get your hair back.