Call (866) 471-8869 for FREE Consultation
Could Plucking Your Hair Actually Lead to Regrowth?
by Angela Santoriello
A recent Los Angeles Times report cited a study conducted by Cheng-Ming Chuong and colleagues that proved plucking hair may help regrow the strands rather than keeping your skin fuzz-free.
The Professor of Tissue Development and Regeneration at the University of Southern California, Chuong explains how the seemingly counter-intuitive measure for hair regrowth could be more than meets the eye with plucking causing growth. Reporting the trial results in The Conversation, Chuong details how hair follicles hold constantly dividing stem cells.
“They are the driving force behind new hair growth,” said Chuong. “A healthy hair follicle produces about six inches of hair every year, but if the follicle stem cells malfunction and stop dividing, hair growth ceases and conditions such as alopecia are observed.”
Testing the method on mice proved matchless, showing both regeneration and regrowth. “We demonstrated that plucking a few properly arranged hairs can trigger regeneration of hair follicles stem cells in up to five times more neighbouring, un-plucked surrounding hairs,” explains Chuong, adding it is not novel that plucking can cause regeneration. “Generally the stimulation of one stem cell through injury is only thought to cause regeneration in that stem cell alone.”
Calling the process “quorum sensing,” researchers found plucking one area directly affects surrounding areas. “By plucking the correct number of hairs with a proper arrangement, up to five times more neighboring, unplucked resting hairs were activated to regrow,” said Chuong. “But if the number of plucked hairs was below a threshold, no hairs regenerated.”
The researcher breaks the quorum sensing down to four points, detailing how “First, there is a stimulus – such as hair plucking, which stimulates follicle stem cells – to some, but not all, hair follicles. Second, the plucked hair sends out a signal to surrounding cells,” writes Choung.
“Third, the group of cells gauges the intensity of signal from its surroundings. Finally, a local decision is made within the population in an all-or-nothing fashion: if enough hairs have been plucked, mass hair regrowth will occur, but if not, there will be no response at all,” he added.
Since the experiment is new with many more trials needed to prove plucking can lead to hair regrowth, most likely many will not connect the two; however, it is hopeful to know that counter-intuitive processes offer more than just irony.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!