The end of gray hairs?
Between the so-called ‘vampire treatment’ for balding and now a new approach to dealing with gray hair, a key component of midlife crises may become a thing of the past.
Research published in the experimental-biology publication FASEB Journal described a treatment to counteract the natural build up of hydrogen peroxide in hair follicles, which is what causes age-related graying.
Hair follicles produce hydrogen peroxide all the time, but younger people have an enzyme called catalase that breaks down the hydrogen peroxide into water before it causes oxidative stress to the hair. As people age, however, they have lower levels of catalase, which means that has less protection against oxidative damage and eventually turns gray.
For the study, researchers analyzed 2,411 people with a disease called vitiligo, a condition that causes the skin to lose its pigmentation for the same reason that hair turns gray–oxidative stress. They found that treating the skin and eyelashes of people with vitiligo with a topical substance called PC-KUS successfully reversed the pigmentation damage.
But think twice before reversing gray hair for good—some studies have shown that gray hair indicates good health in some species.