We all accept the reality that one day we’ll grow old and our hair will turn grey and most likely start falling off. This has been an unavoidable part of life since the dawn of humanity. However that doesn’t stop many of us from trying to mask the change by using hair products, hair dye and wigs and toupees.
But these solutions may soon become obsolete as scientists have just found the single cell responsible for grey hair and baldness and can now use this discovery to develop more effective ways to change the harsh reality of old age.
- The discovery happened by total accident. The research team was working on a different study that aimed at better understanding the reason for the formation of certain types of tumours. And while looking at different brain cells they wound up stumbling on one of the most important scientific discoveries of the last era, i.e the cell that is directly behind the rise of grey hair in older people.
- During the research, the team looked at the bottom of hair follicles and specifically at the little organic ball from which the hair stems. In there they found a protein called KROX20 that is the first cause of cells turning into hair manufacturers, aka the organic ball at the base of each hair. This protein then starts interacting with the cells that it created to make them produce yet another protein called SCF that gives hair its color and healthy composition.
- Once they started working on KROX20, they found that taking out a single protein from the two protein combo results in either baldness or discoloration. The results were therefore quite conclusive but nonetheless, they have only been conducted on mice. The next step for the research team is going to be testing the presence and workings of the two proteins in human subjects with grey and thinning hair.
The ultimate objective for the scientific community would be to understand why such changes happen and hopefully find a way that could reverse them.