Cells That Cause Hair Growth Accidentally Discovered


Remember the time when you had hair? No, you don’t really ask yourself that question, but every time you stand there in front of the mirror all set to go out and have fun, you often think as to where all that hair you used to flaunt back in your college days have gone in the past years. Right? And while there are several medical options that are made available, regrowth is possible. But, why does one lose out on all the hair on their head? And is there a natural way that the body tries to keep the biological process? There seems to be, as pointed by a team researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who have discovered hair progenitor cells that usually do the job of regrowing hair.



During a study on Neurofibromatosis Type 1, a rare form of genetic cancer, which is known to be the reason for the growth of the tumor on nerves, a group of research scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center in quite the weirdest way discovered the hair progenitor cells that are the cells that cause hair to grow. And this discovery could lead us to something extra ordinary as, now, natural hair regrowth could be artificially coded, so to speak, into our human body mechanism. This could hence help us understand and in time give us solutions to manage hair growth problems, which could be shedding, discoloration or any other problems.


Yes. It no more remains a mystery and now there’s possibly an explanation as to why our hair grays as time passes, and information regarding shedding could also be explained. : “With this knowledge, we hope in the future to create a topical compound or to safely deliver the necessary gene to hair follicles to correct these cosmetic problems”, said Dr. Lu Le, Associate Professor of Dermatology and one of the researchers from he UT Southwestern Medical Center.

It was earlier already learned that the skin cells located on the bottom of the hair were responsible, directly or indirectly, in the growth process of hair. Earlier, a solution towards stimulation and the manipulation for hair growth was unknown, which this discovery seems to have resolved, so to speak.

As per the research, a protein that separates the skin stem cells from the already available cells was discovered. The protein, which goes by the name KROX20, according to the researchers, earlier, was previously known to be a close association with nerve development. This protein was later tested on mice, where it was discovered that the KROX20 protein gets activated in the skin cells, which would over a period of time shift form, i.e. to hair shafts that cause hair growth.

However, this very protein that is responsible for natural hair growth, when activated on the skin cell, reportedly caused the production of SCF, which would then escalate to the base of the hair follicle, followed by the interaction with the melanocyte cells (pigment producing cells), which through the end of the process would result in healthy and colored hair. A pretty easy process, indeed.

During the test, as explained earlier, when the cells that produce the KROX20 protein were removed, the mice didn’t grow hair and ended up becoming bald. But with the removal of SCF, the mice were seen producing gray-colored hair, which over time turned to the natural color, white.

The results from the tests done on mice, like many others, will pave way for understanding better in the natural hair growth process in humans and the reason why hair goes grey.

So if you thought that aging was the only explanation, you clearly now understand that there’s much more to it than meets the eye (quite literally).


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