A biological clue to male baldness has been discovered, raising the prospect of a treatment to stop or even reverse thinning hair.
In studies of bald men and laboratory mice, US scientists pinpointed a protein that triggers hair loss.
Drugs that target the pathway are already in development, they report in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The research could lead to a cream to treat baldness.
Most men start to go bald in middle age, with about 80% of men having some hair loss by the age of 70.
The male sex hormone testosterone plays a key role, as do genetic factors. They cause the hair follicles to shrink, eventually becoming so small that they are invisible, leading to the appearance of baldness.
Oh, this would be awesome. I didn't realize I still have hair follicles, they're just "invisibile".
I've grown accustomed to my receding hairline even though my brother and I did note that our father kept a full head of hair to the very end while we two started seeing our hairlines retreat by the time we hit fifty.
My Father is aged 96 and has a full head of hair . Bastard .
I have a small circle of baldness at the crown just where my halo used to be fixed . The answer is to have a sides number two and a number three on top and casually talk about cranial war wounds every so often .