If you’re going bald or expect to go bald as you age, we have sort of good news; by the time you go full-on Bruce Willis, science might have a cure for baldness.
The bad news is, it might be too late for you by then, but your children and their children will have lush heads of hair… unless we’re all swallowed by a huge iceberg that is running away from its less-frozen-than-ideal home first.
As it turns out, because science, hair talks to other hair in the same region of the body as well as hair on other body parts, according to a study from the University of California, Irvine.
If you have a classic Jason Alexander or Larry David (bald on top with a laurel-wreath-esque band of hair hugging your skull), you hair regions just stopped chatting. Scientists are trying to figure out how to mend fences, get all your hairy bits to be friends again so “hair growth signals can then start spreading across the entire head skin, preventing regional baldness," study co-leader Maksim Plikus said.
"In analogy with languages spoken in two neighboring countries, it was unclear how the back skin 'talks' with the belly skin to coordinate the tasks of growing hairs," Plikus said. "We showed that although different signaling 'dialects' may exist between belly and back skin, for instance, all hairs can understand one another through the use of similar 'words' and 'sentences.'"
The study was conducted on mice, ergo the human results are some ways off, but the potential for drugs to hack into the communications system is clear. Not only can you grow hair where you want, you can stop growing hair where you don’t want it.
Pilkus said the science is just a “roadmap” right now, but tweezers and wax strips, you’re on notice.