Japanese scientists may have discovered a cure for baldness and it lies within a chemical used to make McDonald’s fries. A stem cell research team from Yokohama National University have used a “simple” method to regrow hair on mice with dimethylpolysiloxane, the silicone added to McDonald’s fries to stop cooking oil from frothing.
Preliminary tests have indicated the ground-breaking method is likely to be just as successful when transferred to human skin cells.
According to the study, released in the Biomaterials journal last Thursday, the breakthrough came after the scientists successfully mass-produced “hair follicle germs” (HFG) which were created for the first time ever in this way.
HFG’s are the cells that drive follicle development and are known as the ‘Holy Grail’ of hair loss research. The scientists credited the use of dimethylpolysiloxane as the key to the advancement.
“The key for the mass production of HFGs was a choice of substrate materials for the culture vessel,” Professor Junji Fukuda, of Yokohama National University, said in the study. “We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane (PDMS) at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well.”
In 2016, the U.S. hair loss treatment manufacturing industry was worth $6 billion. This included companies that produce restorative hair equipment, such as grafts for hair restoration, as well as oral and topical treatments.