Scientists Find Key to Ending Gray Hair

They've already done it in mice
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 17, 2011 1:24 PM CDT
Now you can blame something called Wnt for gray hair.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scientists may have discovered the key to keeping your locks colorful. Gray hair results from a missing "signaling" protein, called Wnt, in the melanocyte stem cells that help create one's hair color, a new study suggests. Genetically manipulating Wnt may prevent the graying process—and researchers have already restored coloration in mice, the Telegraph reports. “We have known for decades that hair follicle stem cells and pigment-producing melanocyte cells collaborate to produce colored hair, but the underlying reasons were unknown,” says a scientist.

“We discovered Wnt signaling is essential for coordinated actions of these two stem cell lineages and critical for hair pigmentation.” The results could also help fight melanocyte-related diseases like melanoma. (Read more hair color stories.)

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