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Hair loss: can baldness be avoided by plucking hair?
On average, a person loses up to 100 hairs every day. If these do not grow back again, there is talk of permanent hair loss. Numerous shampoos, tinctures and pills for hair loss are available on the market - but usually do not work. Researchers have now found that pulling out hair can help address the problem.
Avoid balding by hair removal. On average, a person loses between 70 and 100 hairs per day. If these do not grow back again, one speaks of permanent hair loss. The most common forms include circular hair loss (alopecia areata). Women are affected less frequently than men. The causes of hair loss are many. For example, it can be caused by an iron deficiency or an overactive thyroid. Metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or Crohn's disease, bulimia and anorexia can also result in hair loss. The offer, which should help against hair loss, ranges from shampoos to tinctures and pills. Often, however, the products bring nothing or only help with a certain form of hair loss. Now, as scientists have found, plucking hair can help prevent baldness.
Hair pulled out in certain patterns The "Welt" reports in a current article about the study of the researchers around Cheng-Ming Chuong of the University of California. For the examination, they tore out 200 hairs from the back skin of mice in certain patterns. The scientists write in the journal "Cell" that, as expected, the spots did not remain bald, but hair grew back. However, not only the 200 hair grew back, but up to 1,200 hair. The plucking apparently causes the hair follicles to produce more supplies than would have been necessary.
New hair loss treatment conceivable "It is a good example of how basic research can produce results that can be very quickly transferred to therapeutic use," said Chuong. "This work shows a potential new target for the treatment of alopezia, a form of hair loss." The scientist had been thinking about it a few years ago with his colleague Chih-Chiang Chen, a dermatologist at the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan , which causes hair follicles that are injured to affect their neighboring cells. They wanted to find out how the cells do this and whether this behavior can possibly be used to treat hair loss.
Hair follicles send out stress signals The researchers plucked the hair from the back of the mice in certain patterns. It turned out that when they plucked 200 hairs from an area six millimeters in diameter, nothing unusual happened and the hair grew back normally. However, as soon as the region in which they were plucked shrank, the hair suddenly began to sprout. At the molecular level, the scientists were able to show that the hair follicles send out stress signals by emitting inflammatory proteins that cause the body's immune cells to migrate to the plucked region. There they release other messenger substances, such as the tumor necrosis factor alpha, which stimulates the hair follicles to let new hair grow.
Research could also play a role in other areas. Biologists call this type of communication “quorum sensing”. This term actually comes from microbiology: if bacteria or unicellular organisms, for example, have a certain population size, that is to say they come into a kind of population stress, they emit corresponding chemical signals that prevent further population growth, the "world" explained. Chuong, one of the top scientists in the field of follicle research, sees other areas beyond the treatment of hair loss, for which his research could play a role: "The same could also happen with physiological or pathogenic processes in other organs," said the expert. "However, it is often not as easy to observe as the regeneration of hair." (Ad)
> Image: duxschulz / pixelio.de