Genetics And Gray Hair
Added: (Sat Jul 21 2007)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
If you have been looking for a permanent solution for your gray hair or something better than dyeing, your wait is about to get over. Geneticists have made the introductory discovery in the field of gray hair treatment. They have been successful in changing gray hair into black by carrying out specific changes in the genetic make up.
It all started with bringing some changes in the scalp genes in an albino mouse about four years ago. This led to prevention of onset of graying. Gray hair treatment has been undergoing a revolution ever since. Soon you would be able to take a pill that would prevent your crowning glory from going gray!
Chris Gummer believes a single strand of hair can be devastating. �One gray fiber is enough to shatter a life," said Gummer, a senior research fellow at Procter & Gamble labs in London, U.K. "Even if someone has 20 million dark hairs on his/her head, this single strand can create a tremendous cascade of grief."
The ongoing experiments to prevent gray hair have been very forthcoming. Kyonggeun Yoon and Vitaly Alexeev of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia created DNA molecules and allowed it to mutate with DNA within the albino mouse's hair follicles. He was successful in correcting the mutation and restored pigment in its hair. If the melanin pigment remains in the hair it will never grow gray. They had thus succeeded in correcting the mutation process in an albino mouse.
Another exciting aspect of the experiment was its effectiveness in treating painful genetic skin disorders such as epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that creates open sores and blisters on the skin's surface. Used as a localized treatment, it might be helpful in lessening the pain and perhaps ease the very painful disease.
It has given a new meaning to the science of cosmetics. Its potential has further intensified. If the gene therapy could make the white hair of an albino mouse turn black, it should also help banish gray hair and that too without dyes. It is a challenge and scientists are working hard to come out with a new form of gray hair treatment that would prevent gray hair and give a run to dyes. In fact, most agree there are some formidable hurdles yet ahead since the target is a complex one.
About 85 to 90 percent of a person's some 110,000 hairs are actively growing while the remaining is dormant. Each strand grows for three to five years and then falls out after about four months. Each strand of hair is made of the protein keratin and grows out of a follicle in the scalp's skin that has cells filled with melanin. As a strand grows, these cells donate a little colour to the hair cells in the form of tiny granules of melanin. One form of melanin, called pheomelanin which creates blondes and redheads, while another, eumelanin gives brown or black colour to the hair.
The problem starts around the age of 30 in men and a little later in women when these pigment cells gradually stop producing melanin and without the chemical, our hair turns white or gray. Some studies have shown that poor health, anemia, thyroid problems and possibly smoking can cause hair to go gray sooner.
It is these pigment cells that are required to be activated again to prevent grey hair. The process is a complex one as it will involve many adjoining skin cells which can cause a huge damage to the skin if altered. Also, melanin is important in protecting the skin from sun damage. So scientists need to be careful in letting the nearby cells remain undisturbed. There�s also the initiation process to ensure that the pigment cells, if turned back on, continues to stay on.
As the end of your wait for a permanent solution draws close, it will be ideal to go for the treatment after the geneticist and dermatologist have verified it. However, one thing that remains certain is that dyeing will not remain as the only solution for gray hair treatment for very long.
The author gives good advice on hair loss solutions. He has treated many patients with problems of alopecia and male pattern baldness. He is an expert in laser hair removal treatment.