Treating baldness has become a reality. New studies show how to regrow lost hair due to balding

balding bald head men

Can hair loss due to balding regrow? According to new studies, science shows that we can regrow lost hair due to balding.

What causes baldness in men? 

Men mostly go bald because of hereditary peculiarities known as androgenetic alopecia, commonly called male pattern baldness.

The American hair loss Association confirms that this condition causes 95 percent of hair loss in men, called androgenetic alopecia. The genetic trait causing the hairline receding is a by-product of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone of DHT. The process by which this bye product causes hair loss is when hair follicles sensitive to DHT tend to become smaller in size. As the strand affected gets smaller, the lifespan of each hair becomes shorter; consequently, the follicles involved stop growing and producing hair.

The primary pattern of baldness happens in men in two ways. First, the hair starts to thin on top of the head and around the temples leaving a “horseshoe” of hair around the sides and back of the hair. Secondly, the hair starts to recede from the front of the hairline and pushes the hairline backward.

Before proceeding in this article, if you are bald, the Naijateck team itemized some of the advantages of being bald; you may take a look at it and see why you should also be proud of this condition.

When do Men start balding in life?

If you notice that your hair is thinner than it used to be, you can draw some comfort from the fact that you’re not alone. Male pattern baldness affects most men at some stage in their lives. According to the American Hair Loss Association: 25 percent of men with hereditary male pattern baldness start losing their hair before age 21. By the age of 35, approximately 66 percent of men will have experienced some degree of hair loss; by the age of 50, roughly 85 percent of men will have significantly thinner hair.

Science and the end of baldness? The Chemical Controlling Life and Death in Hair Follicles Identified.

Researchers discovered how the TGF-beta protein controls the process by which hair follicles, including stem cells, divide and form new cells or orchestrate apoptosis. The findings could provide new treatment options for baldness and therapies to speed up wound healing.

A single chemical is key to controlling when hair follicle cells divide and when they die. This discovery could not only treat baldness but ultimately speed wound healing because follicles are a source of stem cells.

Most cells in the human body have a specific form and function determined during embryonic development that does not change. For example, a blood cell cannot turn into a nerve cell or vice versa. Stem cells are like the blank tiles in a game of Scrabble; they can turn into other types of cells. 

Their adaptability makes them helpful in repairing damaged tissue or organs. 

“In science fiction, when characters heal quickly from injuries, the idea is that stem cells allowed it,” said UC Riverside mathematical biologist and study co-author Qixuan Wang. 

“In real life, our new research gets us closer to understanding stem cell behavior so that we can control it and promote wound healing,” Wang said. This research is detailed in a recent Biophysical Journal article.

The liver and stomach regenerate themselves in response to wounds. However, Wang’s team studied hair follicles because they’re the only organ in humans that regenerates automatically and periodically, even without injury. 

The researchers determined how a type of protein, TGF-beta, controls how cells in hair follicles, including stem cells, divide and form new cells or orchestrate their death — eventually leading to the end of the whole hair follicle. 

New research into factors that control the life and death of hair follicle cells could help people with baldness and wound healing. Credit: Helpaeatcontu.

“TGF-beta has two opposite roles. It helps activate some hair follicle cells to produce new life, and later, it helps orchestrate apoptosis, the process of cell death,” Wang said. 

As with many chemicals, it is the amount that makes the difference. If the cell produces a certain quantity of TGF-beta, it activates cell division. Too much of it causes apoptosis. 

No one is entirely sure why follicles kill themselves. Some hypotheses suggest it is an inherited trait from animals shedding fur to survive hot summer temperatures or trying to camouflage. 

“Even when a hair follicle kills itself, it never kills its stem cell reservoir. When the surviving stem cells receive the signal to regenerate, they divide, make new cells, and develop into a new follicle,” Wang said. 

Suppose scientists can more precisely determine how TGF-beta activates cell division and how the chemical communicates with other essential genes. In that case, it might be possible to activate follicle stem cells and stimulate hair growth. 

Because many animals, including humans, possess skin covered with hair, perfect wound healing would require the regeneration of hair follicles. They can control levels of TGF-beta more precisely and could one day cure baldness, which bothers millions of people worldwide.  

“Potentially, our work could offer something to help people suffering from various problems,” Wang said. 

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