Hair Loss Genes Discovered, What Does This Mean For Us?

Has science finally found the Holy Grail for the follically challenged? Probably not, but it does appear that we are getting closer.

Two articles published in Nature Genetics may help to better explain the genetic predisposition to male pattern hair loss, and to one day give scientists the ability to grow DHT resistant hair follicles for use in hair restoration.

The first article was published by researchers at McGill University, King’s College London and GlaxoSmithKline Inc. These researchers identified two genetic variants in men that together produce an increased incidence of male pattern hair loss that is seven times greater than those without these variants.

The second article was by researchers led by Viljar Jaks of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, who conducted experiments that examined the hair follicles of mice who had experienced rapid hair growth. What they found was that these mice carried a protein called Lgr5, on the surface of active stem cells in the hair cells of these mice. Cells bearing the Lgr5 marker were surprisingly capable of maintaining hair follicles for as long as 14 months. The researchers were able isolate these cells and then were able to turn just a few into a functioning hair follicle.

What does this mean for us? Well, probably not much today, but these findings may very well be used to develop more effective treatments for many forms of hair loss, including common male and female pattern hair loss.

Stay tuned!

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