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Plucking can lead to increased hair regrowth

31st May 2015

Hair loss is one of the biggest mysteries of the beauty industry. While there are many ways to remove unwanted hair (e.g. waxing, shaving, threading, laser, plucking), when it comes to replacing hair, the options are much fewer.

However, this may be about to change due to a strange new discovery by a team of scientists working in Dundee University and the University of Southern California. And there is a surprising overlap between hair removal and hair replacement.

According to a new study published last month in the scientific journal Cell, plucking may actually cause considerable hair regrowth.

While this is great news for anyone struggling with hair loss, it will be less welcome news for people who labour with their tweezer each morning.

The study claims that when hairs are plucked in a non-uniform pattern, the follicles send out ‘distress’ signals which can cause hairs to grow back in even larger numbers. Experiments on mice showed that pulling 200 hairs led to the regrowth of up to 1,200 new hairs.

However, it is not simply a matter of plucking at random and hoping for regrowth. The scientists involved in the study believe that hair follicles can effectively communicate between themselves and if they feel that they are ‘under attack’, they can make a group decision on how to react. If a number of hairs are plucked out within a small and dense area, they decide that an extreme response is needed, and new hairs are created.

The technique is still in its early stages, but it could offer relief to anyone who is worried about a thinning mane or hereditary baldness.

And for those of you who rely on plucking to keep stray hairs at bay? Well, it may be a good time to consider investing in permanent hair removal options.

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