- (Photo: Reuters/ Lucas Jackson)
A cure for gray hair could be coming in the near future, according to reports. European scientists have discovered the cause for gray hairs and how a specific enzyme could help reverse the process altogether.
The cure for gray hair was discovered while researchers were studying 2,411 people with two different types of vitiligo: strictly segmental vitiligo and non-segmental vitiligo. Their results found that oxidative stress was causing the pigmentation issue, and that an ultraviolet-activated pseudo-catalase called PC-KUS was able to treat discolored skin and eyelashes.
Gray hair is caused by caused by the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the roots of hair follicles. In young people, the buildup is usually abated by the catalase enzyme, which is responsible for relieving oxidative stress. Older folks usually have lower levels of those enzymes, combined with less MSR A and B enzymes, which results in gray hair.
Since the vitiligo patients were successfully with a cream containing the same enzyme, researchers believe the cream can be applied to gray hair with similar results. Gray hair could be eliminated along with the various types of hair dye many currently use to cover the common sign of aging.
"For generations, numerous remedies have been concocted to hide gray hair," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, which published the study. "But now, for the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed."
Professor Weissmann said that the condition, which may seem small to some, "can have serious socio-emotional effects on people." This could extend to more confidence for older men, some of which have exhibited the effects of aging with the proverbial mid-life crisis.
"The improvement of life after total and even partially successful repigmentation has been documented," Professor Karin Schallreuter, who led the vitiligo study, told The Mirror U.K.
There is no word on if and when the treatment will be made publicly available.