If the fear of going bald is a major issue for you, there may be some hope that could put your anxieties to rest. Korean scientists claim to have developed a new treatment that not only prevents hair loss, but also boosts the growth of new hair follicles. The researchers say that they have found the protein responsible for causing hair loss in androgenetic alopecia – pattern baldness – which is the most common type of hair loss experienced by men and women.
A team of researchers, led by professor Choi Kang-yeol of Yonsei University, found that a protein, the CXXC-type zinc finger protein 5 (CXXC5), blocks the natural process of hair regeneration and wound healing. The reserchers found that when CXXC5 combines with another protein called Dishevelled, it prevents hair regrowth, ScienceAlert reported.
However, the team developed a new biomaterial that hinders the CXXC5 and the Dishevelled proteins from merging. The scientists tested the biomaterial, called PTD-DBM, on bald mice. The team applied it to the naked skin of the mice for 28 days, only to discover that new follicles developed in the area.
"We have found a protein that controls the hair growth and developed a new substance that promotes hair regeneration by controlling the function of the protein," Kang-yeol said, Business Korea reported. "We expect that the newly developed substance will contribute to the development of a drug that not only treats hair loss but also regenerate damaged skin tissues."
However, the treatment is not yet ready to be made available to humans. The scientists are currently reportedly testing the toxicity of biomaterial before going ahead with human trials.
The research has been published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.