Don't cancel your hair salon appointment just yet, but a recent study published in The FASEB Journal may have figured out to how 'reverse' gray hair. As in…permanently.
According to researchers from Germany's Germany's Institute for Pigmentary Disorders at E.M. Arndt University of Greifswald and the UK's Centre for Skin Sciences at the University of Bradford, a topical treatment could restore gray hair to its natural color by converting hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. Gray hairs are caused by oxidative stress that lead to a buildup of hydrogen peroxide in the follicle, which causes hair to turn white.
Similarly, vitiligo, the skin condition which causes white patches as a result of pigment loss, may also benefit from the treatment.
The scientists are calling the treatment PC-KUS—a modified pseudocatalase, which the researchers describe as a topical, ultraviolet B-activated burst of sunlight to the hair follicles.
"For generations, numerous remedies have been concocted to hide gray hair," saidDr. Gerald Weissmann, the editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, "but now, for the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed. While this is exciting news, what's even more exciting is that this also works for vitiligo. This condition, while technically cosmetic, can have serious socio-emotional effects of people. Developing an effective treatment for this condition has the potential to radically improve many people's lives."
While there's no news yet as to if or when gray hair treatments could become available to the public, you can probably bet a few more gray hairs that it's just a matter of time.
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Image: Thomas Leuthard