New studies reveal how this process can be stopped
The British Journal of Dermatology has recently revealed the results of new studies on the methods to be used to restore color to white hair. It has already been scientifically proven that our hair and our skin are colored by a pigment called melanin. These new researches, taking place at the University of Manchester and in Germany, have discovered that the amount of color (melanin) in the hair follicle can also be stimulated by a peptide called K(D)PT, which, in turn, can be synthetically produced.
When the body undergoes great stress, or in the case of severe illnesses, hair loss becomes an ever-present issue. As the hair follicles grow back, the color pigment is almost gone and the hair is white. Usually, the presence of melanin should be stimulated by a group of peptide hormones, known as MSH (the melanocyte stimulating hormone). This latest research comes to prove that, in such cases when MSH is lacking, it can be replaced by K(D)PT.
For their studies, the team of specialists took hair follicles from six women, aged 45 to 65, and treated them separately with different amounts of K(D)PT. Some of the test subjects had previously been given IFN-y, which caused a sort of inflammation similar to that produced by some hair disorders, and that is usually followed by the occurrence of white hair.
The researchers then took into consideration treatment with K(D)PT or IFN-y alone, or with combinations of the two – first IFN-y and then K(D)PT, and the other way around. A control group was also established and its members were administered nothing but distilled water.
The amazing result was that K(D)PT significantly increased the amount of melanin in the hair follicle, if succeeding IFN-y. When used alone, the color differences were not noticeable. The experts have concluded that K(D)PT has receptors that haven't been discovered so far, and that they only react to IFN-y inflammations.
“It’s important to note that this is laboratory research and not yet ready for use on patients. However, while the research is still at a very early stage, these findings could potentially pave the way for new therapies that restore color to white hair. At the moment, this research only applies to people whose hair has turned white following illness, but this is an important step for such patients,” stated Nina Gould, member of the British Association of Dermatologists.