You’ll Never Plucking Believe This…
24th April 2015
With new research about wonder cures and miracle solutions filling the papers and the web almost every day, it’s a wonder that we’re not all perfectly-formed, disease-free creatures! So, I wasn’t too surprised when a piece of research came out last week, claiming that plucking hairs could be the answer to every follically-challenged soul’s prayers.
The findings, reported by the University of Southern California, argued that if we were to pluck 200 strands of hair in a specific pattern, we can stimulate 1,200 replacement hairs to grow.
Researchers began their study a couple of years ago, based on the idea that hair follicle injury affects its adjacent environment and that this environment can influence hair regeneration. The team argued that they might be able to use the surrounding area to activate more follicles. To test this theory, they plucked 200 hair follicles, one by one, in different patterns on the back of a mouse.
The results showed that when the hair was taken in a low-density pattern from an area exceeding 6mm in diameter, no hair was regenerated. On the other hand, higher-density plucking from circular areas – with diameters of 3-5mm – saw up to 1,300 hair strands making a re-appearance.
According to researchers, this could put those of us in the hair transplant industry out of business. While it’s feasible that that these findings could lead to us making an exciting breakthrough in hair loss, I think it’s slightly far-fetched to make such a bold statement.
We must remember that all previous observations suggest that repeatedly plucking a human hair follicle will weaken the root, and eventually cause the follicle to die. People pluck hairs – such as eyebrows – out all the time, and it doesn’t seem to stimulate the growth of other hairs. It’s for this reason that we meet so many women – and some men – eager to repair the damage of being a little too ‘tweezer-happy’.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this research triggers other studies in the future; however, I’m confident that I won’t be hanging up my surgical scrubs any time soon!