Ever glanced at a hairy mole and thought it might be the key to reversing hair loss? Probably not, but scientists have! In a groundbreaking study, researchers have identified a unique process within hairy moles that might just hold the answer to stimulating hair growth in those grappling with male or female pattern hair loss.
While these initial insights stem from studies conducted on mice, they potentially herald a new frontier in hair restoration techniques. Here, we’ll look at these recent discoveries and explore how they could revolutionise treatments for hair loss.
Study Finds Aged Cells Can Kickstart Hair Growth
In the recent study, researchers examined mice with pigmented skin spots that displayed rapid hair growth. These growth patterns closely mirror those seen in human hairy moles.
Through detailed analysis, the team unearthed the pivotal role of certain signalling molecules on hair stem cells.
It was discovered the aged pigment cells, termed as senescent cells, produced significant amounts of a molecule named osteopontin. This molecule interacted with CD44; a receptor molecule found in the hair stem cells of these mice.
The subsequent interaction activated the hair stem cells, sparking hair growth. In contrast, mice that lacked either the signalling molecule or the receptor molecules, exhibited slower hair growth, reinforcing osteopontin’s crucial role, which has also been observed in human hairy mole samples.
Findings Could Lead to New Injectable Hair Loss Treatments
Conventional wisdom suggests that senescent cells might induce tissue aging. Yet, paradoxically, hair sprouting from mole skin is often dense, long, and youthful. This contradiction challenges the age-old belief, suggesting that senescent cells can, in fact, rejuvenate hair growth.
Notably, these aged cells release signalling molecules, which influence the behaviour of other cells. However, before you get excited about a potential hair growth lotion, there’s a catch.
Osteopontin, being a large protein, can’t seep through the skin via regular topical application. Instead, treatments may require micro-delivery to a depth of about 1 mm, possibly through microneedling methods. This could open the door to effective, minimally invasive treatments for hair loss.
Unravel the Mystery of Your Hair Loss
Hair loss can occur for many different reasons. The good news is there are plenty of treatments currently available that can help to slow down or halt hair loss completely. Some can even encourage hair regrowth.
Before treatment can commence, it’s crucial to understand what is driving your hair loss. This is because different causes require different treatments.
A dermatologist specialising in hair loss can provide diagnosis and management of hair loss.