A Cure for Gray Hair is on the Way
What would it be like if you never had to cover up your gray hair again? European researchers claim they have the cure. Now there is way to restore pigment to the hair that is not a dye or other colorant. The concoction also treats the skin condition vitiligo.
Covering gray hair a thing of the past?
Karin U. Schallreuter, M.D., study author from the Institute for Pigmentary Disorders in association with E.M. Arndt University of Greifswald, Germany and the Centre for Skin Sciences, School of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom made the 'breakthrough' when they discovered in 2009 that absence of the enzyme catalase starts a reaction leading to loss of hair color and graying.
As hydrogen peroxide accumulates in the hair shaft, graying starts to occur from the inside out as the result of oxidative stress.
Gray hair, especially premature graying, can cause emotional distress, says Schallreuter, making the development a boon for men and women seeking to maintain a more youthful appearance. Hair dyes and colorants can also take a toll on the hair, making it appear less healthy over time.
Catalase protects the body tissues including loss of hair pigment from damage brought about by hydrogen peroxide accumulation.
The researchers analyzed people with vitiligo for their study, finding similarities in two types of the skin condition – generalized vitiligo and the type that also causes graying of the eyelashes in addition to loss of skin pigmentation.
Both of the conditions are caused by reduced antioxidant capacity of catalase, thioredoxin reductase and methionine sulfoxide reductases - all of which are believed to play a role in a variety of cellular activities in the body.
The cure for gray hair
The formula developed by the European researchers to eliminate gray hair is a UVB activated compound called PC-KUS, which is a modified form of pseudocatalase. The drug is activated with exposure to UV light either from sunshine of UV light devices.
The treatment cure vitiligo because it removes high levels of hydrogen peroxide that accumulates in the skin - the underlying cause of the condition.
Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal said in a press release, “… for the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed. While this is exciting news, what's even more exciting is that this also works for vitiligo.”
The authors say the need to cover gray hair with chemical dyes will soon be a thing of the past.