Scientists may have unlocked the mystery of hair turning grey potentially leading to a treatment that could halt or reverse the greying process.
A new study led by researchers from New York University Grossman School of Medicine suggests that stem cells may get stuck as hair ages and lose their ability to mature and maintain hair colour, reports The Guardian.
Certain stem cells in hair follicles lose their ability to transition between growth compartments as we age, which may explain why hair turns grey.
The research focused on cells in the skin of mice, which they also found in humans called melanocyte stem cells, or McSCs.
"If so, it presents a potential pathway for reversing or preventing the greying of human hair by helping jammed cells to move again between developing hair follicle compartments," the study's lead investigator, Qi Sun, a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Langone Health said.
Hair colour depends on the maturation of McSCs in hair follicles, which produce the pigments responsible for colour. Ageing hair leads to more McSCs getting trapped in the stem cell compartment causing the greyness.