Balding sucks. As you get older, you’ll start to notice thinning hair and a receding hairline. Unfortunately, while there are many reasons for it, you can’t stop hair loss due to age. Father Time always wins out, after all. That’s what the general consensus is. But science might be able to rescue your hairline.
While current solutions like hair transplants exist, even being used by celebrities like Wayne Rooney, we all know that it’s not a long-term solution since it won’t get to the root of the problem. However, this new discovery might actually do so.
New research published in ScienceDirect has shown promise. South Korean researchers studying hair follicles of hair loss patients found an interesting trend. Patients who were balding had a lot more CXXC5 protein on their skin than those who were not. When combined with dishevelled protein, it blocks these follicles from growing more hair.
“We have found a protein that controls the hair growth and developed a new substance that promotes hair regeneration by controlling the function of the protein,” Team leader Choi Kang-yeol told Business Korea. “We expect that the newly developed substance will contribute to the development of a drug that not only treats hair loss but also regenerates damaged skin tissues.”
The substance they developed is called PTD-DMB, which ironically enough, blocks the proteins that block hair growth. This substance was first tested on lab mice with smashing success. Over 28 days, dead hair follicles and new follicles grew. While you might be salivating about this new breakthrough, it is unfortunately still in development and not a viable hair loss treatment just yet.
There have also been other new discoveries that might be useful in the future, such as research published in the journal PLOS Biology. Researchers have discovered that a drug previously intended to treat osteoporosis might be the key to treating hair loss. This drug contains a compound that also stops this protein that blocks follicles from growing hair. It also stimulates the follicles to grow.
According to a report in the BBC, Dr Hawkshaw said the treatment could “make a real difference to people who suffer from hair loss”. He also told them that clinical trials were needed to see if the treatment was effective and safe in people.
“For individuals with hair loss, treatments can be very hit and miss. There isn’t one which is universally effective,” A British Association of Dermatologists spokesman told the BBC, “For that reason new treatments are exciting as they give people more treatment options that may be effective.”
According to Channel News Asia, balding is a big issue worldwide and does not discriminate. It affects both genders, with 35 million men and 21 million women across the globe being affected. While this seems like an issue only older guys face, younger guys face the issue too. The Belgravia centre, a hair loss clinic in the UK, there have been patients as young as 16. At that age, it is even more likely to affect your self-esteem and self-consciousness. It was also reported that nearly half of men have hair loss issues by age 35. After that, the rate goes up sharply with age.
While it is impossible to prevent hair loss from age, we should always be cautious and take care of our hair and scalp to ensure that we do not run into more issues with hair loss.