Plucking hairs could help treat baldness, study finds..
Researchers found plucking 200 hairs from a 3-5 mm region of a mouse’s back led to the growth of 450-1,300 new hairs.
Led by Prof. Cheng-Ming Chuong, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, the study reveals how individually plucking 200 hairs from the back of a mouse in a specific pattern led to the regeneration of up to 1,300 hairs.
Male pattern baldness accounts for around 95% of hair loss in men, according to the Indian Hair Loss Association. By the age of 35, around two thirds of men in the India will have experienced some level of hair loss.
Common causes of hair loss in women – who account for 40% of all hair loss sufferers – include female pattern baldness and traction alopecia, which is hair loss caused by trauma to the hair follicles – skin organs that grow hair.
According to Prof. Chuong and colleagues, it is well established that damage to hair follicles can influence hair regeneration in the surrounding areas. As such, they hypothesized that hair follicle stimulation through hair plucking may lead to new hair growth, and they set out to test this theory.
One by one, the team plucked 200 hairs from the back of a mouse in a number of different patterns.
They found that plucking the hairs from an area more than 6 mm in diameter failed to regenerate new hairs. Plucking hairs from a region 3-5 mm in diameter, however, led to the regeneration of 450-1,300 new hairs, and these new hairs even grew outside of the plucked area.
Commenting on their findings, Prof. Chuong says:
"It is a good example of how basic research can lead to work with potential translational value. The work leads to potential new targets for treating alopecia, a form of hair loss."