35 million men and 21 million woman are suffering from hair loss in the US alone. There is currently 811,363 hair loss sufferers worldwide that are actively seeking treatment and millions more hiding in the shadows trying to cope with the loss of their hair, image, and confidence. Many of these are suffering from male and female pattern baldness, more commonly known as Alopecia Areata – an autoimmune disease in which your immune system mistakes your healthy cells for bacteria and attacks them leaving your hair roots inflamed and damaged. Curiosity Causes Cures Up until now, there’s been a lack of a real cure other than surgical transplants for hair loss and if you’re like us, it’s been getting you down. Fortunately for us all, researchers at the University of Newcastle’s Institute of Genetic Medicine have used hair follicles to stimulate the growth of cells that help repair damaged nerves. The discovery has also revealed the potential for new treatments for nerve damage which would not require a transplant. Who’d of thought our hair follicles, the very ones that often betray us and enter the dreaded shedding phase – also known as Telogen Effluvium – can also be the very things that save our hair. The research – led by Professor Maya Sieber-Blum – was carried out by treating the stem cells taken from hair follicles with a variety of chemicals so that they would turn into Schwann Cells – specialised cells integral for nerve damage repair. Profession Sieber-Blum explained that they observed that the bulge – a region within hair follicles - contains skin stem cells that are intermixed with cells derived from the neural crest – a tissue known to give rise to Schwann cells. She added that they then used pertinent small molecules to either enhance or inhibit pathways that are active or inactive in the embryo during Schwann cell differentiation. Whilst current treatments for peripheral nerve injuries – which involve taking a graft to bridge damaged areas – risks causing further damage, Professor Sieber-Blum believes that their research can develop treatments that will reduce the risk of further damage rather than increasing it. In the meantime… This is a moment of celebration for millions upon millions suffering from various degrees of nerve damage, but for many of us, it is the beginning of a new chapter. Autoimmune diseases are a very common form of nerve damage, and Alopecia Areata is one of them. The research conducted by the University of Newcastle has landed themselves on the pathway to a potential cure for Alopecia Areata, for which a cure currently does not exist. Whilst you’re waiting for the cure to be created, don’t let your thinning hair get you down! HIS Hair are the world’s leading practitioners in Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) and are here to help! SMP is a non-surgical treatment which involves the insertion of specially designed pigments to create the illusion of a full head of hair. Feel free to contact HIS Hair and book a consultation today!