By age 60, 80% of women experience noticeable hair loss, while 85% of men have significantly thinning hair at 50
McDonald’s french fries have a hair-raising chemical — literally.
A new study discovered a chemical found in french fires could be used to grow hair follicles on mice, researchers at Japan’s Yokohama National University report.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Biomaterials, found that the chemical dimethylpolysiloxane, found in silicone and also added to oil to cook fries at McDonald’s, could mass produce hair follicles that can grow hair when transplanted into mice. The chemical is commonly used at fast food restaurants for cooking food items like cheesy breadsticks at Domino’s. The initial test suggested that this same method could apparently be used to treat human hair loss.
Using this chemical, scientists were able to generate up to 5,000 hair follicle germs simultaneously, which is “one of the more challenging obstacles to hair regenerative medicine,” according to the press release. The research team used the prepared hair follicle germs to plant onto the mouse’s body; within days, black hairs sprouted up on the mice.
The outcome of the experiment with mice could lead to a potential strategy for human hair growth, researchers say. “This simple method is very robust and promising,” Professor Junji Fukuda, of Yokohama National University, said. “We hope that this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia.”
And that could mean big money for the U.S. hair loss treatment industry — which includes companies that make restorative hair products along with topical and oral treatments — which was worth $6 billion. By age 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss, and by the age of fifty approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair, according to the American Hair Loss Association. And by age 60, 80% of women experience noticeable hair loss.
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