Published May 06, 2013
Forget hair dye - scientists may have discovered a more permanent way to get rid of grays, Medical Daily reported.
Gray hair is thought to be caused by an accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the roots of hair follicles, which causes harmful oxidative stress. The same phenomenon is also linked to a skin condition called vitiligo, which leads to patchy pigmentation in skin and can cause eyelashes to turn white, Medical Daily reported.
In a new study, researchers analyzed skin biopsies of a group of people suffering from vitiligo and discovered that patients had low levels of an enzyme called catalase, which helps break down hydrogen peroxide and relieve oxidative stress.
Researchers then treated vitiligo patients with a cream containing a ‘pseudo-catalase,’ which can be activated by sunlight. After patients applied the cream, and spent time in the sun, pigment returned in both their skin and eyelashes.
Based on this finding, researchers believe a similar cream, applied to the hair, could restore color to strands that have gone gray, according to Medical Daily.
"For generations, numerous remedies have been concocted to hide gray hair," said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, which published the study, "but now, for the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed.”