Light years away from flaky research attempting to prop up the claims of some new hair loss product, we bring you science news out of Harvard University that makes for encouraging reading for hair loss sufferers everywhere.
A team at this world-renowned seat of learning has been researching goose-bumps, and it turns out this familiar sensation is an extremely interesting one, who knew!? For starters, it turns out that they play a key role in hair follicle regeneration.
A team led by researcher Ya-Chieh Hsu from Harvard, working alongside researchers at National Taiwan University have been looking at goosebumps because the nerves and muscles involved in it also stimulate stem cells in the skin to form hair follicles. Unlike most nerves, the ones involved in goosebumps are not wrapped in myelin, a protective coating. Akin to naked electrical wires that are stripped at the end meaning they can directly contact those hair follicle stem cells.
The nerves next to the hair follicles secrete norepinephrine, a hormone responsible for stimulating heart rate and blood pressure as well as releasing glucose when required. But Hsu’s team discovered that norepinephrine is also necessary for hair growth.
A Possible Cure?
While this line of research is at it’s earliest stages there are some encouraging signs, itis noted that in the wild animals that live in cold climates grow thicker fur when they experience goosebumps… translating that into a meaningful cure for humans might seem some way off but Hsu explained that people with androgenetic alopecia, typical pattern hair loss, lack arrector pill muscles in their scalp and predicted that, if the nerves and muscles were restored, the hair could grow back.
HIS Hair Clinic
Hsu’s research offers an explanation as to why beta-blockers are associated with hair loss… since they block the action of norepinephrine. It adds weight to the conclusions and gives us at HIS HQ another interesting thread of inquiry to keep tabs on. We are encouraged that the quality of this research will see the learnings from it picked up and run with, hopefully by someone with deep enough pockets to make rapid advances.
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