Wnt Protein Can Help Fight Gray Hair

A new study has pinpointed a protein called ‘wnt’ that may help restore gray hair to its natural color. Since ‘wnt’ aids in the production of pigment in hair, researchers wonder if drugs, lotions or shampoos that raise levels of wnt may help bring hair back to its original color.

What could this mean? Possibly a lot fewer trips to the hair salon to touch up your graying roots.

Researchers at New York University's Langone Medical Center performed a series of experiments to reveal why wnt is so vital in helping hair retaining its color. They discovered that the specific protein helps jump start a chain reaction which leads to “mother” cells in the scalp maturing and producing the pigment that gives hair its color. While a similar reaction occurs on the human scalp, the research team is still yet to prove that a “fault in the system” is what causes hair to go gray.

In addition, past research shows that wnt promotes hair growth and the production of new hair follicles, which suggests that a treatment that helps keep hair dark would also stop it from thinning.

However, wnt may not be the only thing to blame for graying hair. A British research team from Bradford University thinks too much bleach may play a role. The study found that dangerously high levels of hydrogen peroxide building up in your hair’s roots blocks pigment production.

The researchers say that young women who use hydrogen peroxide-based dyes to lighten their hair color shouldn’t necessarily worry. But in older women, going blonde may actually make you go gray faster underneath the color.

What else contributes to your tresses turning gray? Research points to genetics, but also says that stress, alcohol, smoking and poor diet can speed up the process.

 

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