Hair color controlling protein

Gray hairs

Scientists have found a protein namely, “Wnt”, that is essential for the production of color of the hair.

According to a research published in the journal “Cell”, Wnt protein has been found to play a key role in controlling color of hair. This protein has been found to retain the color of the hairs. According to researcher, this protein through certain reactions cause the stem cells in the scalp to mature and produce the pigment that helps to give hairs their color and due to some faults in those reactions people’s hair turn grey. Researchers are still unclear about the fault.

Wnt protein is also important for the growth of hair. This point tells us that any treatment which helps to keep the hair dark also helps to prevent it from thinning. Wnt protein was also found to be responsible for production of new hair follicles, which are always formed before birth. (Hair follicles are small structures responsible for hair growth.) But Wnt may not be the only protein responsible for hair colors.

According to Bradford University study, build up of too much hydrogen peroxide in the roots of hair blocks the production of pigment. Although the researchers have said that young women who use hydrogen peroxide for lightening their hair have not to worry as the graying process speeds up in older ages.

Among other processes that can accelerate the process of graying some are stress, smoking, alcohol and poor diet.

References and Further reading:

Rabbani, P. et al. (2011). Coordinated Activation of Wnt in Epithelial and Melanocyte Stem Cells Initiates Pigmented Hair Regeneration. Cell, 145(6), 941-955 accessed June, 18. 2011.

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