Hair loss is an unpleasant fact of life for the four in five men who will lose at least some of their hair by the age of 70. However, there could soon be a permanent cure for hair loss within the next two years.
Researchers at Pennsylvania University examined over 250 genes implicated in hair loss and were able to identify a single enzyme called prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) that stopped hair follicles from producing new growth.
Further implicating PGD2 is another study that found significantly higher levels of this enzyme in areas where men’s hair was thinner compared to where there was no thinning. The researchers are already in contact with pharmaceutical companies in hopes that they will be able to produce a treatment that will stop hair loss, and possibly even reverse it.
Original photo by Mike Burns
While it usually takes much longer than 2 years for a new drug to be developed and approved, the process for PGD2 could possibly be expedited because substances that inhibit this enzyme are already in use in some asthma drugs; so it has already been proven safe for human use. What is needed, however, are trials that show that blocking the PGD2 enzyme actually works to prevent hair loss, and in what doses.
Original photo by UrbaneWomenMag
If it works, this new treatment will be a significant step forward in preventing hair loss. Current treatments are able to make hair appear fuller, and there are drugs that prevent further hair loss in some men; but this would be the first that would allow a majority of men to keep their hair from thinning, with the possibility to also regrow some of the hair that has been lost already. Keeping a full head of hair could be as easy as filling a prescription!
Original photo by Thirteen of Clubs