By Andy Peloquin

Researchers Discover That Plucking Hair In a Specific Pattern Helps Stimulate Regrowth

bald man

Baldness is a prospect that scares people more than most diseases and health disorders. The reason for this is that most illnesses are treatable–or at the very least manageable–but there is no cure for baldness. There isn’t even a way to slow the effects of balding, and not even taking medication will truly stop balding in its tracks.

But what if there was a way to stop baldness in its tracks? What if you could do something that would help to stop your hair from falling out and your hairline from receding? Would you do it?

How Plucking Hair Could Cure Baldness

bald man

The journal Cell published the results of a medical study–done at the University of Southern California–that discovered that plucking hair could be a potential cure for baldness(1).

Hold on! Before you grab your tweezers and start pulling your hairs out by the roots, you need to understand exactly how it works.

The team of researchers plucked hairs from the backs of mice, extracting them one by one until they had removed around 200 hairs. As a result of the plucking, the mice’s backs reacted by growing 1,200 new hairs–a 600% return on the hair removal!

Immune Response To “Threat”

According to the researchers, the body responds to the “plucking” as if it sustains an injury. (When you consider that the hair is being ripped out by the root, it’s no surprise that the body reacts that way.)

When the hair is ripped out, the follicle sends a sort of chemical distress signal throughout your body. Your immune system responds to the “threat” and sends immune cells rushing toward the site of the injury.

As the researchers explain, these immune cells secrete a molecule in response and this signals to the plucked follicle, and other skin follicles in the vicinity, that it’s time to grow new hair.

hair plucking study

Interestingly enough, the pattern of hair plucking had a huge effect on the hair re-growth. When the researchers plucked hairs from a circle that was wider than 6 millimeters in diameter, there was absolutely no re-growth. But when they shrank their “plucking circle” to just 3 to 5 millimeters across, the mice re-grew anywhere from 450 to 1,300 new hairs. That’s anywhere from 225 to 550% re-growth–pretty stunning results, all things considered!

As Hannah Devlin explains for The Guardian,

“the authors believe that hair follicles do not simply respond individually to being plucked, but also communicate between themselves… and effectively make a group decision about the level of immune response that is necessary.” 

Basically, if the follicles are too far apart, they can’t signal collectively as a group. This means no immune response, and no hair growth. But if the plucking is closely packed together, the follicles can work together to coordinate a stronger immune response, stimulating lots of new hair growth.

There’s Hope For a Baldness Cure Yet.

So, how can this be turned into a hair re-growth or baldness solution for humans? The research hasn’t gotten that far just yet, but the results speak for themselves.

According to Philip Murray, co-author of the study and a researcher at Dundee University, “It would be a bit of a leap of faith to expect this to work in bald men without doing more experiments.” But, with a bit more time and effort, it’s very possible that this research will lead to a simple, effective cure or treatment for baldness.

It may involve plucking a few hairs from your head, but it’s a small sacrifice that’s definitely worth making if you can gain a 500% return on your investment!



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About the Author

Andy Peloquin