Ever heard of TGF-beta? If you haven’t, then sit up and pay attention; this chemical protein could be the answer to your hair loss problem! First things first, what is TGF-beta? It stands for Transforming Growth Factor-Beta. It’s a protein that helps regulate cell growth and differentiation. In layman’s language, it’s a key component in the development and maintenance of healthy hair follicles. Recent studies have shown that TGF-beta could potentially be used to reverse hair loss and promote hair growth.
Got your attention now? Then keep scrolling to find out more!
The research that has got people talking was published in Biophysical Journal by academics from UC Riverside, California. The team were able to establish the way that the TGF-beta protein controls how hair follicles and their stem cells divide to create new cells or perform apoptosis – that’s the process the body uses to get rid of damaged cells.
The findings have got some observers dreaming of a time when this knowledge could be harnessed to provide a revolutionary new treatment that would accelerate the healing of wounds and reverse hair loss. That this is a possibility at all is due to the nature of both stem cells and hair follicles.
Most cells have their future function determined while we’re still in the womb, and this function doesn’t change; brain cells don’t become nerve cells, for example. Stem cells are different. Their future function isn’t predetermined, so they can turn into other cells. Hair follicles also fascinate scientists because, unlike other organs in the body, they can regenerate regularly even when they are not injured.
That’s why medical scientists are so interested in both stem cells and hair follicles. Understanding both could transform the future of regenerative medicine. The research team at UC Riverside, California took steps in that direction by identifying the role of TGF-beta in the hair follicle life cycle. They found that it is key to controlling the division and death of hair follicle cells. As follicles are a source of stem cells, the team’s findings could accelerate wound healing and hair growth.
What Do We Know About TGF-beta?
TGF-beta plays a crucial role in regulating cell growth and differentiation. In hair follicles, it is involved in the development of the hair shaft and the surrounding structures, including the dermal papilla and hair matrix cells. Several studies have shown that when TGF-beta levels are disrupted, hair follicles can become damaged, leading to hair loss.
The protein is not just involved in hair growth, however. It also plays a vital role in a wide range of biological processes, including the immune response, wound healing and the development of various organs and tissues.
Hair Loss Implications
The findings of the research suggest that TGF-beta could be used as a treatment for baldness. While more research is needed to determine the optimal dosage and delivery method, the results thus far are incredibly promising. Of course, it’s important to note that not all hair loss is the same, and TGF-beta may not be effective in all cases.
While TGF-beta is being touted as the great hope for future hair restoration treatments, it already plays an important role in current treatments, most notably in the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) procedure.
TGF-beta and PRP
PRP is created from a sample of the client’s blood which is spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from other blood components. This platelet-rich solution is then injected directly into the scalp. The growth factors in the platelets stimulate the hair follicles and promote the growth of new hair. TGF-beta is one of the main growth factors found in platelets.
It’s difficult to assess just how good PRP is as a hair restoration procedure. While studies have shown that it can be an effective treatment for androgenetic alopecia and other types of hair loss, no one is quite sure just how effective it is. A review of the literature in 2020 by Cleveland dermatologists concluded that a lack of standardisation in dosage, number of treatments and injection techniques made it difficult to be definitive about its efficacy. It recommended that further work be carried out ‘to establish the optimal PRP protocol, clinical efficacy and long-term outcomes.’
While TGF-beta-based treatments for baldness are still in the early stages of development, the potential applications of this protein in medicine are vast. It’s an exciting time for researchers and healthcare professionals alike, not to mention those people hoping to grow back their locks!
Don’t wait for future scientific developments to sort your hair loss. Vinci Hair Clinic has specialists who can help you now. We have a network of clinics spanning thirteen countries, and we offer all our new clients a free, no-obligation consultation. If you can’t get to a clinic for an in-person meeting, we can use photographs on WhatsApp to assess the condition of your hair. All you have to do is get in touch and make an appointment!