Bald is not an option for many men, but new evidence suggests strongly that stem cells could reverse hair loss and stimulate new growth. Yale University researchers have studied hair growth in mice and determined that stem cells in the fatty layer under the skin signal hair growth. If that proves true for humans, the discovery could create new treatments for baldness.
"If we can get these fat cells in the skin to talk to the dormant stem cells at the base of hair follicles, we might be able to get hair to grow again", said Valerie Horsley, assistant professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale. Without the jump start signals, the basic cells that generate hair remain dormant. However, they are still present in the skin, even in men with male pattern baldness, said the researchers. Reactivating them to provide the entire growth cycle is possible now and could lead to a variety of safe treatments in the next decade.
Graphic: Bald man, by, yes, Da Vinci; Wikimedia Commons