September 06, 2011
Fat Stem Cells Key To Reversing Hair Loss?

If you are losing your hair then maybe your scalp is just not fat enough.

Yale researchers have discovered the source of signals that trigger hair growth, an insight that may lead to new treatments for baldness.

The researchers identified stem cells within the skin's fatty layer and showed that molecular signals from these cells were necessary to spur hair growth in mice, according to research published in the Sept. 2 issue of the journal Cell.

"If we can get these fat cells in the skin to talk to the dormant stem cells at the base of hair follicles, we might be able to get hair to grow again," said Valerie Horsley, assistant professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology and senior author of the paper.

Injections of adipocyte precursor cells caused mice to grow hair.

The team tested an injection of the precursor cells on mice who were unable to produce these fat cells. Before the injection, the follicles of the mice were unable to produce both hair and the fat tissue.

But two weeks after injection, the study found that hair follicles had begun to grow.

Imagine methods to isolate adipocyte precursor cells and grow large numbers for injection. Would they bring back lost hair? Or would chemical signals in their environment prevent them from forming a supporting fat layer for hair follicles? Millions of men would be willing guinea pigs in experiments to find out.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 September 06 09:46 PM  Biotech Skin Improvement


Comments
Fat Man said at September 6, 2011 10:01 PM:

They can experiment on me.

Phillep Harding said at September 7, 2011 8:18 AM:

This might be worth fur farmers experimenting with, if they can find the difference between the fur and the guard hairs.

Don Wilkins said at September 7, 2011 11:12 AM:

Ummm, does this mean folks with full heads of hair are fat heads?

Don Wilkins said at September 7, 2011 11:12 AM:

Ummm, does this mean folks with full heads of hair are fat heads?

jon said at September 7, 2011 10:13 PM:

For reasons not entirely clear, I have experienced spontaneous reversal of pattern baldness. It's not total, and not particularly striking but very real. The only changes in the past two years were: moderate paleo diet (minimal sugars, limited cereals, all else, including dairy, without any limitations), moderate supplementation with vitamin D (5,000 units capsule twice a week), fish oils (two grams daily) and niacin (twice 0.5 g daily, Slo-Niacin). Not that I care that much about balding but I find it very curious that a "natural" reversal is possible. The standard line is that it is simply age+genetics and there is nothing one can do besides band-aids like finasteride. Maybe not!

Jerome said at September 9, 2011 10:22 AM:

Put me down as a fat cell donor. I have plenty.

Red said at September 9, 2011 1:06 PM:

Fascinating. My pattern of hair loss exactly matches the areas of my skull with little to no body fat. The fatter areas have plenty of hair left.

Rlynh said at September 9, 2011 1:20 PM:

Forget the men! There are plenty of women who would kill to be able to regrow thinning hair (like me, for instance).

TTT said at September 9, 2011 5:56 PM:

OK, so how do I make myself a fathead?

I am worried about stem cells though. Everything I read about them seems to indicate that they could very quickly spiral into some rapidly-spreading form of cancer.

peter jackson said at September 9, 2011 9:13 PM:

So let's see: I can be balding miserably and be 100lbs. overweight, or I can have a beautiful luxurious mane and be 300lbs overweight. That's a toughee.

hggh2 said at September 23, 2011 9:27 PM:

Sometimes I like to soak dry hair with Redken 'All Soft' conditioner (it dries like a hair gel or wax and contains avocado oil, olive, palm and bunch of chemicals including paraben -slight estrogen mimic-) for 30 minutes and I rinse in shower afterward -- it feels so soft afterward it's amazing (and the 30 minutes is much more amazing then just using it daily in shower for a few seconds and rinsing). I notice coconut oil is not good for scalp (dries it out, but it is a good underarm deodorant).

I really dislike their Redken 'For Men' and 'Finish up' line (dries scalp, brittle dry hair) I wonder if there are any studies on particular oils regenerating or keeping hair long term. I usually buy on ebay the 1 gallon bottle for big savings, but I gave 1 gallon to my mom once and she never used it and 2 yrs later it smelled toxic like ammonia after that, so smaller bottles may be better to keep things fresh (but they may have changed their ingredients since then, maybe for the worse/cheaper -- I will check when I get a newer bottle). I ask hair dressers why Redken (and 'all soft') is so great and they say there's a lot of Research and development by Redken. Been using 'All Soft' daily (just regular in shower, but I may start that 30 minute dry soak more often and maybe daily or weekly) since ~2005 and I think it's good for hair health and scalp (just have immediate dry problems w/ 'For Men's' shampoo line if I use for 2 days and do not recommend -- I can tell the ingredients are worse).

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