Researchers Found A Hint To Reverse Hair Loss & Graying

Will They Cure Hair Loss/Graying?

This is a question for all the men out there who are balding, have gone bald, or have grey hair. If you could go back to having a fuller head of hair that wasn’t grey, would you?

This is a question that you might have to ask yourselves more seriously in a couple of years. That’s because, it seems that a research team has accidentally come across a potential fix for balding and graying hairlines.

Dr. Lu Le has been conducting research on cancer for 10 years. His focus was specifically on the effects cancer showed on nervous tissue. But, then something amazing happened.

“We accidentally, serendipitously, discovered the cell that directly gives rise to hair. That was new,” said Le, who’s an associate professor in the department of dermatology with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Lu Le of UT Southwestern Medical Center discovered a chemical and biological process that could explain gray hair and balding in people. Members of his team are (from left) Yong Wang, Tracey Shipman, Chung-Ping Liao, Jonathan Cooper, Juan Mo, Zhiguo Chen and Jean-Philippe Broadway. (Ron Baselice/Dallasnews Staff Photographer)

What happened was that while researching the effects of proteins, Dr. Le’s team discovered the effect a particular protein had on the body.

As the Dallasnews reports:

That’s when Le discovered the role a protein called KROX20 plays not just in nerve development but in hair color and growth.

The KROX20 protein turns on in skin cells that develop into shafts of hair. These cells then produce a protein called stem cell factor (SCF) that is essential for hair color. When that SCF protein was deleted from mice in KROX20 cells, their hair turned gray and then white. And when the scientists  deleted the KROX20 cells, the mice turned bald.

“The mice turned gray and then completely white. That was unexpected,” Le said.

More: Bald Men Perceived Smarter, More Dominant, and Dateable (Study)

Illustration by Michael Hogue

So, while he originally started out working on research towards treatment of cancer, Dr. Le has now turned his attention towards treatment of hair loss and graying hair.

There is no guarantee that Dr. Le will find a full-proof solution to reversing hair loss and graying, but this is a hint towards the right direction. So now, finding a solution is not guaranteed, but it is now a possibility.

“That’s within the realm of possibility,” Le said, “and we’re working in the lab to do that for that next step.”