According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hereditary hair loss affects about 30 million women and 50 million men in the U.S. While there are many treatments for the condition currently available from topical solutions and supplements to dermatologic surgeries, Yale researchers may have uncovered yet another.
For some time, scientists have known that stem cells in the follicle roots of bald areas have lost their ability to stimulate hair regeneration and need cues from within the skin to begin growing hair again. Until now the source for those signals has been unknown. Published in a recent issue of Cell, the researchers identified signals within the stem cells of the fatty layer of skin needed to encourage hair growth in mice. This trigger for hair growth could possibly reactivate the dormant stem cells in balding area hair follicles, which could inspire new treatments for hair loss. It’s too soon to tell whether these same signals can help regenerate human hair, but more research is underway.
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