UCLA Logo It is known that stress plays a major role in the graying and also loss of hair. Well, it seems that blocking a stress-related hormone associated with hair loss can help regain hair. A team of investigators from UCLA and the Veterans Administration suggests that medications halting the stress-related hormone can help in regrowing hair.

As a part of the research, investigators examined mice that were genetically altered to overproduce a stress hormone called corticotrophin-releasing factor or CRF. With progression in age, these mice lost hair and eventually become bald on their backs. So they appeared visually distinct from their unaltered counterparts. Then the chemical compound, a peptide called astressin-B, possibly blocking the action of CRF was injected into the bald mice. Since the initial single injection produced no results, scientists continued with the injections for a period of five days.

“Our findings show that a short-duration treatment with this compound causes an astounding long-term hair regrowth in chronically stressed mutant mice,” elucidated Million Mulugeta, an adjunct professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a corresponding author of the research. “This could open new venues to treat hair loss in humans through the modulation of the stress hormone receptors, particularly hair loss related to chronic stress and aging.”

Researchers measured the inhibitory effects of this regimen on the stress-induced response in the colons of the mice and placed the animals back in their cages with their hairy counterparts. Three months later, these mice apparently had regrown hair on their previously bald backs. It was ascertained that the astressin-B peptide results in hair regrowth. However, these effects were only registered in mice and not humans. Further investigations can be initiated for determine the efficacy of astressin-B in human hair growth.

The research was published in the online journal PLoS One.