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  • Writer's pictureSinead Mackintosh


Could we cure balding?

It is estimated that over 80% of men and 50% of women will experience hair loss during their lifetime. Many things can contribute to hair loss, such as stress, diet, smoking, hormones, and genetics.

Balding is so common that the anti-hair loss industry (medication, shampoos etc.) was thought to be worth over 23 million USD in 2021 and is expected to increase to over 31 mill USD by 2028! So, we can see why there is money in “fixing” the problem…

And it seems like scientists may have found an interesting way of approaching this problem. Through “caveman” genes! We share a lot of our genes with other primates, such as chimpanzees, and they have hair to spare. So, what is the key difference?

These scientists from the University of Pittsburgh have tried to unravel that question by comparing the genetics of 62 different animals and found that humans still possess the genes for a full coat of body hair (ew?). But these genes have been “turned off” (except for maybe BigFoot?) throughout evolution from the ancestor we shared with chimps. This could have been to help us in ways that used to be advantageous, like maintaining a lower body temperature and helping us move through water.

The hope is that scientists can study how these hairy genes work and see what happens when we try to turn them back on. This could be revolutionary for people suffering from hair loss, whether from chemotherapy, age, or inherited genes. But, it is unlikely to be on the shelves any time soon, and as always, if you are concerned about your hair loss, speak to your healthcare provider.

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