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New Research Finds Way To Restore Colour To White Hair

Bigmac

Bigmac

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New research finds way to restore colour to white hair following illness

Scientists have discovered a way to potentially restore colour to white hair, new research in the British Journal of Dermatology reveals this month.

A number of skin disorders cause the hair to fall out, and when it re-grows, it is often white. For many patients, this is almost as distressing as the initial hair loss.

Melanin, the pigment in skin and hair, is stimulated by a group of peptide hormones collectively known as ‘melanocyte stimulating hormone’ or MSH.

Researchers at The University of Manchester and in Germany therefore examined whether a peptide called K(D)PT, which can be synthetically produced in the laboratory and is related to MSH, might have the same pigmentation stimulating effects as the naturally occurring MSH, and whether this could be used to restore colour to white hair after illness.

The team treated normal, isolated hair follicles from six women aged between 46 and 65 with different concentrations of K(D)PT. The research was carried out in the laboratory as it is not yet ready for direct use on patients.

In some of the test groups, the follicles were first treated with ‘Interferon type II’, commonly known as IFN-y, a proinflammatory stimulus that is linked to certain autoimmune disorders. The purpose of this was to mimic the sort of inflammation that is present in disorders that cause the hair to fall out, including ‘alopecia areata’, a skin disease that causes hair loss, and ‘telogen effluvium’, a disorder that causes thinning of the hair, often after an accident, illness or extreme stress on the body.

Hair frequently loses colour after this sort of inflammation, so that when the hair returns, it is often white, regardless of its colour prior to hair loss.

The test groups were either pre-treated with IFN-y then given K(D)PT, pre-treated with K(D)PT then IFN-y, treated with K(D)PT alone, treated with IFN-y alone, or in the case of the control group, treated with distilled water.

The study found that K(D)PT increased the amount of melanin (pigment) in the hair follicle significantly when administered after pre-treatment with IFN-y.

This pre-treatment with a proinflammatory stimulus appeared to be necessary for the pigment effect to occur, as it was absent in the group where K(D)PT was administered first and IFN-y second. Likewise, IFN-y alone inhibited rather than stimulated pigment production, and K(D)PT used alone did not significantly alter the hair pigmentation. It is thought that as yet unknown receptors for K(D)PT are elevated or present only in tissue inflamed by substantial IFN-y activity.

As the purpose of pre-treating with IFN-y was to mimic the sort of inflammatory changes that may contribute to hair turning white, to then see whether K(D)PT could restore the hair colour, these findings are of particular use to the treatment of hair that has turned white following illness.

The study’s senior author Dr Ralf Paus, of the University of Lübeck, Germany, and the School of Translational Medicine at the University of Manchester, said: “Since this tripeptide displays interesting hair pigmentation-stimulatory activities under proinflammatory conditions, clinically, K(D)PT deserves to be explored as an innovative new anti-greying agent.

“Specifically, topical application of K(D)PT may become exploitable for the treatment of postinflammatory hair whitening that is often seen during the recovery phase of alopecia areata.”

Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists said: “It’s important to note that this is laboratory research and not yet ready for use on patients. However, while the research is still at a very early stage, these findings could potentially pave the way for new therapies that restore colour to white hair. At the moment, this research only applies to people whose hair has turned white following illness, but this is an important step for such patients.”

At this early preclinical stage, it is not possible to say for definite if it would restore hair to its full, original colour, although this is thought to be a reasonable possibility. However, there may indeed be patients whose hair follicle pigmentary system has been damaged beyond repair, who might not profit at all from such a treatment. Most likely, treatment would have to be re-administered, as long as the pro-inflammatory stimulus that caused hair whitening persists.

 
Shang

Shang

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Interesting read BM, a bit over my head in places c;;9, i'm only used to reading text with pictures usually. I would rather these academics concentrate their efforts on growing new hair rather than changing it's colour, surly 'Just for Men' is an adequate solution for turning hair from white to any other colour or am i missing something here.*nl
 
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Bigmac

Bigmac

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#3
Just for men is good but does not last long and turns your hair different shades.Some people are allergic to the chemicals that it contains also.

These academics are two to a penny and will look into anything to make money.
 
janna

janna

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#4
Coloring hair is such a pain in the ass. Whoever makes this happen will be rolling in it.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

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#5
Interesting article i found.

Wash away your gray? Maybe.

A team of European scientists have finally solved a mystery that has perplexed humans throughout the ages: why we turn gray. Despite the notion that gray hair is a sign of wisdom, these researchers show that wisdom has nothing to do with it.


Going gray is caused by a massive build up of hydrogen peroxide due to wear and tear of our hair follicles. The peroxide winds up blocking the normal synthesis of melanin, our hair's natural pigment.

"Not only blondes change their hair color with hydrogen peroxide," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "All of our hair cells make a tiny bit of hydrogen peroxide, but as we get older, this little bit becomes a lot. We bleach our hair pigment from within, and our hair turns gray and then white. This research, however, is an important first step to get at the root of the problem, so to speak."

The researchers made this discovery by examining cell cultures of human hair follicles. They found that the build up of hydrogen peroxide was caused by a reduction of an enzyme that breaks up hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen (catalase). They also discovered that hair follicles could not repair the damage caused by the hydrogen peroxide because of low levels of enzymes that normally serve this function (MSR A and B). Further complicating matters, the high levels of hydrogen peroxide and low levels of MSR A and B, disrupt the formation of an enzyme (tyrosinase) that leads to the production of melanin in hair follicles. Melanin is the pigment responsible for hair color, skin color, and eye color. The researchers speculate that a similar breakdown in the skin could be the root cause of vitiligo.

"As any blue-haired lady will attest, sometimes hair dyes don't quite work as anticipated," Weissmann added. "This study is a prime example of how basic research in biology can benefit us in ways never imagined."








 
Shang

Shang

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#6
Philip scofield may be interested in this research, although he does look good with grey hair, not that I fancy him or anything. I have a new mystery for these researchers to solve: why we go bald: why do we grow something to loose it again. I surpose any research they do which envolves hair is good, as the more we know the greater the possibility of a cure.




 
Peachy

Peachy

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#7
Sod Philip Scofield, I'm interested coz I'm getting grey as a badgers arse....lol! ;;D