Throughout the years, experts have posed many theories on why men experience baldness and thinning hair as they age. A recent study published in Science indicates that aging DNA could be the culprit. Although this is still a theory, it lends insight into how the hair follicles work and how their DNA can change over the years.
Specifically, baldness is believed to be created by follicle-creating stem cells getting damaged over time, explained Kayleigh Lewis of The Independent. These stem cells have active and dormant phases, making them different from other types of stem cells that are more consistent. A specific gene controls how these stem cells regenerate, and over time, these follicle stem cells can produce less and less hair. As a person ages, the DNA in these stem cells can be damaged and reduced, leading to thinner and thinner hair.
"DNA in stem cells can be damaged, leading to thinner hair."
Hair loss doesn't just affect humans. The joint Dutch, Japanese and American study was performed on old mice, and it can affect all mammals that live long enough. Why this damage happens is still unknown. Belinda Smith of Cosmos explained, "while it doesn't directly provide the cure for baldness, studies such as this, which piece together small parts of the hair-growth puzzle, are crucial to regenerative medicine and slowing aging."
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