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Potential Solution to Male-Pattern Baldness Found

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By Maria Cendejas and editing by Stacey Sexton

Male-pattern baldness may involve the same science as animals shedding their coats at a certain time of the year, according to ABC News.

Researchers at the University of Southern California found that hair loss is caused by the hormones not only in hair follicles, but also in the tissue surrounding the follicles. It’s similar to the everyday occurrence triggered by the bodies of animals that causes them to shed their coats.

“The hair-follicle stem cell is not only listening to the voice in the stem cell, but also a voice from the outside,” said Cheng-Ming Chuong of the University of Southern California, lead author of the study.

The research proposes that new treatment should concentrate on the tissue around the hair follicles instead of just the follicles themselves.

Stem cell treatment has been at the center of baldness development. In January, researchers found the potential secret to growing stem cells in the scalp: secondary cells are responsible for hair growth. Scientists need those cells to produce more hair.

An estimated 50 million Americans are affected by baldness. About $3.5 billion is spent each year by people who use hair growth products like Rogaine.

There are two different treatments: Finasteride and Minoxidil can be used to slow down the hair-loss process, or men can get hair transplant surgery.

“To deal with the hair growth, you not only try to help the stem cell [in the follicle], but you can improve the ‘soil.’ If you put a tulip bulb in nicer soil, you will grow nicer hair,” said Chuong.

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