The cause of grey hair, and a treatment for the condition, has been uncovered by European researchers.
It’s been known for a while that hair turns silver because of a natural build-up of hydrogen peroxide in hair follicles, which causes oxidative stress and greying.
In younger people, an enzyme called catalase breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. But lower levels of this enzyme, combined with lower levels of enzymes called MSR A and B that repair hydrogen peroxide damage, cause hair to turn grey as people age.
The researchers, whose findings are published in the FASEB Journal, analysed 2,411 people with a vitiligo – a condition that causes depigmentation of sections of skin.
However, while finding a new method to treat vitiligo, researchers stumbled upon the the pseudo-catalase’s ability to halt the process of graying, too, the Huffington Post reported.
They found that by applying a topical treatment called PC-KUS, the researchers treated the discolored skin and eyelashes of people with vitiligo.
“For generations, numerous remedies have been concocted to hide grey hair,” Dr Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of FASEB Journal, said in a statement.
“But now, for the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed.”
There’s no word yet on if the treatment will be made public.
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