It’s time for the follically-challenged to rejoice as scientists may have just found a simple cure for baldness.
Half of men will experience a form of male pattern baldness before they reach the age of 50 and for many, this begins during their twenties.
However, researchers from the University of California claim they have found a simple treatment to help those suffering from hair loss.
According to research published in the Nature Cell Biology journal, the study demonstrated hair growth could be stimulated by activating stem cells in the hair follicle.
Co-author and Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Heather Christofk, explained:
Our observations about hair follicle stem cell metabolism prompted us to examine whether genetically diminishing the entry of pyruvate into the mitochondria would force hair follicle stem cells to make more lactate, and if that would activate the cells and grow hair more quickly.
After testing out the process by increasing lactate in mice, the researchers found it did indeed work.
William Lowry, Professor of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, and co-author, added:
Before this, no one knew that increasing or decreasing the lactate would have an effect on hair follicle stem cells.
Once we saw how altering lactate production in the mice influenced hair growth, it led us to look for potential drugs that could be applied to the skin and have the same effect.
Two potential drugs that could stimulate hair growth have now been identified but have not yet been tested on humans.
The best news is not only will this research help both men and women with pattern baldness, but it will also help millions of people who suffer from alopecia.
The autoimmune disease that creates baldness affects around two people in ever 1,000 in the UK.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.