In a series of experiments, they have identified a protein called 'wnt' found to be vital to the production of color in hairs.
The breakthrough raises the prospects of drugs, lotions or shampoos that raise levels of wnt – and restore white or grey hair to its natural colour...
...The U.S. researchers describe a series of experiments which reveal wnt to be key to hair retaining its color.A bonus - a cure for baldness too?
Writing in the journal Cell, they show that the protein kick-starts a chain of reactions which lead to stem or 'mother' cells in the scalp maturing and producing the pigment that gives hair its colour.
A similar chain of reactions takes place in the human scalp, but the researchers, from New York University's Langone Medical Centre, have yet to prove that faults in the system turn people's hair grey.
Wnt is also vital for hair growth, suggesting that a treatment that keeps hair dark would have the added advantage of also stopping it from thinning.
Previous research showed that wnt is also responsible for the production of new hair follicles.
One blessing of dirty blond hair is that it's hard to see the gray...
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