A new study has revealed the inner workings of the biological process that dictates hair pigmentation in women.
The research, carried out by the NYU Langone Medical Centre and published in the journal, Cell, could lead to new processes of hair regeneration and colouration.
The study focussed primarily on Wnt signalling - a mechanism already known to control many other biological systems - between hair follicles and melanocyte stem cells.
Using genetic mouse models, researchers were able to examine exactly how Wnt signaling pathways enabled both hair follicle stem cells and melanocyte stem cells to work together to generate hair growth and produce hair color.
Commenting on the research findings, lead author of the study, Mayumi Ito, said: “"We have known for decades that hair follicle stem cells and pigment-producing melanocycte cells collaborate to produce coloured hair, but the underlying reasons were unknown."
"We discovered Wnt signaling is essential for coordinated actions of these two stem cell lineages and critical for hair pigmentation."