Grey Hair Caused by Water & Oxygen – But All is Not Lost!

A Story of Scientific Advancement

Scientists at work

Hydrogen Peroxide is among the most simple of compounds, it is essentially water with an extra Oxygen atom. Yet Google its uses and you will be amazed at its versatility and usefulness. For careful groomers however, it has a sinister side too.  It is a build-up over time of Hydrogen Peroxide inside the hair follicle which eventually bleaches it from the inside out.

There is no way round the science on this article, it is the result of some brilliant collaborative work by the Institute for Pigmentary Disorders at the University of Greifswald in Germany and the School of Life Sciences at Bradford University. Between them they have produced a solution that might signal the end for hair dyes to cover grey hair. The story makes it here, beyond its general follicular relatededness (not a real word), because it might have positive implications for hair loss sufferers too in regards to this 21st Century scientific approach to treatments.

It’s enough to make your hair go grey!

What the...?!!
What the…?!!

For the vast majority it is an unwelcome signifier of the irresistible progress of time catching up with us. For a few, my Uncle Paddy among them, it can be the result of trauma. Uncle Paddy, a gentle soul, was conscripted into the British Army and sent to the Middle East during the fifties. Even though he was part of the entertainments troupe (those who remember “It ain’t half hot Mum” will have some insight) the experience of being occasionally shelled was enough to turn his hair completely white. A condition that remained with him to the end.

So how does the new solution fix it?

It was unavoidable in this type of story, so here comes the science. Over time a build-up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle causes the hair to be bleached from the inside out. Pseudocatalase has been available for use for some time, as a cream it is used to treat Vitiligo. This condition results in people developing patches of unpigmented skin and hair, a potentially distressing condition that affects around 1% of the population. Pseudocatalase works by supporting the natural catalase in the body, which protects against the stresses that trigger the build-up of Hydrogen Peroxide, which in turn unpigment hair and skin. The same team who developed Pseudocatalase have now produced a modified version, with the catchy name PC-KUS, which restores both skin and hair colour.

Does it really work?

Damn straight it does!
Damn straight it does!

Over the years I have got used to seeing dubious supportive data for hair loss treatments. Even some which are FDA approved have achieved that status by virtue of minimal sample sizes and study groups with results that indicate tiny improvements in the condition… but technically enough to gain that FDA approval – Let’s bear in mind that this approval simply indicates a product is safe, not necessarily effective in a meaningful way.
So it is significant that the results from no less than 2411 patients were analysed, with a range of the three types of Vitiligo types (Strictly Segmental; Non Segmental & Mixed) and from different countries.
The team found that the treatment led to what they like to call “successful patient outcomes”… what you and I would call a cure!

Hats off!

Absolutely marvellous old chap!

So a huge round of applause for the very clever boys and girls at Greifswald and Bradford is most definitely called for… can we ask that you now turn your attention to hair loss, fix that and it won’t be a round of applause you will receive. Fame, fortune and maybe even a Nobel Prize await.

Laurie Downing

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