The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists (www.CanadianHair.ca), a Toronto-based organization offering hair loss treatment for over 25 years, is commenting on new research that has found a major cause of balding and hair loss.
In a new multi-national study, researchers found evidence that DNA ageing is responsible for balding. The researchers found that both humans and mice experiencing baldness have less of a specific gene in their hair follicles, which can be the result of age-related DNA damage. (Source: Lewis, K., “Baldness and thinning hair are due to ageing DNA, study finds,” The Independent web site, February 9, 2016; https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/baldness-and-thinning-hair-are-due-to-aging-dna-study-finds-a6863226.html.)
“We already know that ageing is associated with hair loss, but this new study helps explain why this might happen,” says Ken Robson, founder of the Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists. “There’s a lot that we still don’t know about hair loss, so these findings are very significant. This could pave the way for new treatments.”
Hair loss is increasingly common for both older men and women. Roughly half of men will have hair loss by the time they are 50 years old while thinning hair is commonly experienced by women after menopause.
“Hair loss is often attributed to hormonal changes,” says Robson. “They certainly do play a role in age-related hair loss, which is why you see a lot of post-menopausal women suffering from sudden hair loss. However, the findings of this study suggest that there’s a lot more than just hormones at play.”
In the study, a gene that’s found in the hair follicles, Collagen 17A1, was discovered to have a direct association with hair growth. A reduced amount of the gene resulted in thinner hair while hair follicles that did not have any amount of the gene stopped growing hair.
“Ageing seems to essentially shut off hair follicles by reducing this gene,” says Robson. “As we age, our DNA can become damaged, which is what causes things like wrinkles. More research will have to be done to confirm these results, but it seems like age-related DNA damage is also a major cause of hair loss.”
Researchers are hoping that these findings will lead to new treatments, cures, and protocols for hair loss. It is possible that these findings could be used to stop hair loss before it progresses or even reverse balding, although any possible treatments are a long way away.
“Current treatments are actually very effective for dealing with hair loss,” notes Robson. “Hair transplants can basically give people a full head of natural, growing hair. People who are balding should be optimistic about this study, but they shouldn’t wait to get their hair loss cured or expect new treatments any time soon. There are a lot of options available now that can effectively cure hair loss.”
The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists is the leading provider of treatment for hair loss in men and women. They offer clients a number of options, ranging from hair transplant surgery to realistic hair systems.