Using RNA to Stimulate Hair Growth
Oftentimes we’ll come across articles regarding scientific studies and experiments related to hair loss that we find interesting, but a lot of times these are just preliminary studies that show positive trends towards help with hair loss, but not necessarily in humans.
Recently we came across an article that references a study where researchers are working on alternative ways to stimulate hair growth through the use of RNA. And seeing as how this breakthrough would be incredible for the hair loss community, we decided to dig a little deeper into the article to better understand what the researchers found.
Unfortunately, this study, like many of these studies, was only done using mice, but it did show promising results that could lead to different hair loss treatments in the future.
There has been lots of talk around RNA treatments over the last few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the research done on the vaccines used to help mitigate the symptoms of the disease. While RNA research for vaccines and medical therapies has been investigated by researchers for decades, the COVID-19 vaccines were one the first time they were developed into actual human ready vaccines for preventative medicine.
With the success of the COVID-19 RNA vaccines, many researchers have been taking a page out of those scientists’ books and working with RNA particles to help create treatments for other ailments, which is how these researchers ended up discovering RNA’s ability to help stimulate hair growth in mice.
What is RNA?
RNA, or ribonucleic acid, is a fundamental molecule found in all living cells and plays a critical role in various biological processes. It is a single-stranded molecule that is chemically similar to DNA, but with a few key differences.
In simpler terms, RNA is a messenger protein in our body. It takes important messages or codes from our DNA (our genes) and carries them to a factory inside the cells called ribosomes. These ribosomes read the messages and translates them into important proteins that our body needs to work properly.
In short, RNA helps make sure our body follows the instructions from DNA and creates the things it needs to stay healthy and strong.
RNA for Hair Loss Treatments
Now that we have a very basic understanding of what RNA does and how the scientific world is looking to RNA to help with medical treatments, let’s talk about what these researchers found in their study and how RNA particles could help with future hair loss treatments.
Keep in mind that these experiments have proved successful in mice and not in humans as of yet, there is still a lot of testing to be done before human trials can even be considered.
Scientists from Northwestern University have discovered that as we age our hair follicles get stiffer. This stiffness can cause hair follicles to have a harder time growing and thus cause our hair to thin out as we get older.
Think of this stiffness as being similar to how our body’s joints become stiffer as we get older. It makes them harder to use, causes pain with certain movements, and without surgical or therapeutic intervention, there’s not a good way to reverse these issues.
Because the researchers discovered that the hair follicles stiffen up, they thought that coming up with a solution to help soften them up could stimulate them enough to start growing again. Using a tiny RNA particle (miR-205) they were able to soften the stem cells in the follicles. This caused hair to start growing in about 10 days in the mice.
Remember though, this study was performed in mice and not humans. And while the results are very promising, these types of experiments do not always correlate to humans. This does, however, give researchers another avenue to explore in terms of treatments for treating hair loss as we age, and any progress made is good progress.
Hair Loss Treatments Available Today
While these types of experiments are great at giving doctors and scientists more insight into what causes hair loss and how it can be reversed or prevented, this isn’t a magical treatment that you’re going to see available any time soon.
The traditional methods of hair loss treatment and hair transplants are still your best option for the time being, but as research expands and new treatment options are tested, the future is looking bright in the world of hair loss.
If you would like to setup a consultation regarding your hair loss treatment, please contact us at The Limmer Hair Transplant Center in San Antonio. We would be happy to sit down and discuss all of the different hair loss medicinal treatments and hair transplant options available to you right now.