Is a Baldness Cure on the Horizon?
Those years of dealing with spray on hair in a can, wacky toupees, and expensive hair transplant procedures may come to an end. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation asserts that faulty stem cells may be the cause of male baldness.
The BBC reports:
Using men undergoing hair transplants as guinea pigs, the University of Pennsylvania team compared hair follicles in bald patches and hairy areas of the scalp.
Although bald areas had the same number of hair-making stem cells as normal scalp, there were fewer of a more mature type, called the progenitor cell.
This difference means that hair follicles in bald patches shrink rather than disappear and the new hairs made are microscopic compared to normal hair.
Dr. George Cotsarelis, lead author of the study, told the BBC, "The fact that there are normal numbers of stem cells in bald scalp gives us hope for reactivating those stem cells."
As a result of the discovery, researchers hope that a baldness cure is on the horizon, and will once and for all prevent years of low self-esteem and embarrassment for men. In search for a cure, scientists will need to find a way to restore normal function of these faulty stem cells.