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Researchers have developed melanocyte pills that restore natural hair pigment and could put a stop to grey hair forever. With rodent trials being more successful than anticipated, human trials are expected to begin soon.

The complete human genome has now been sequenced, stem cell therapies are proving to be incredibly promising for heart disease and eye conditions, targeted cancer therapy is fast becoming a reality, and nanotechnology will soon be used in the medical field in ways we can't imagine today. 

Aging, though? We can't beat that, can we? The British Sci-Fi TV series Dr Who's "last remaining pure human" Lady Cassandra shows what might happen if we try. From a beautiful woman, she turned into a stretched-out skin with a face, held in nothing more than a frame, yet still so obsessed with youth that she continuously yells, "Moisturize me, moisturize me"!

Though getting older is still — and should arguably remain — something that even the brightest minds of modern medicine can't beat, we can sure look younger for longer and longer. The Botox of the last decade is increasingly being replaced by more sophisticated soft-tissue fillers that help those who can pay achieve a long-lasting naturally young look. Phytoceramide pills, dubbed "Botox in a jar", allow you to work on anti-aging from the inside out. 

We still go grey, though. When you examine the numerous new and exciting technologies on offer today, the need to keep on dying your hair seems positively primitive! Unfortunately, we don't have any other choice. Change is coming, though!

'Breakthrough In Hair Pigment Technology'

A team of researchers from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands has, in co-operation with the cutting-edge cosmetics company Pandora Solutions, been working on a cure for grey hair. Hair color is determined by melanocytes, which come in different types. Black and brown eumelanin produce brown and black tints, while pheomelanin leads to a yellow-red color. With age, melanocytes slowly begin to reduce in number, until very few are left — and you end up with a grey head of hair. Until now, the only possible solution for this natural aging process was a visit to your hairdresser or a bottle of dye from your local supermarket. While dying your hair can produce extremely natural-appearing results, everyone who has ever done it is also aware that hair grows so quickly that touching up those nasty roots is a monthly chore. 

The study team, however, has developed melanocyte pills that may, in future, enable anyone who would like to maintain a youthful appearance to maintain their natural hair color well into old age. The team has just overcome another hurdle on the way to human trials. Their rat trial, conducted on 39 aging rodents, was a great success, with 89 percent of the participating rodents successfully recovering their more youthful hair pigment. 

"Our trial has shown that, despite the fact that aging is inevitable, it is possible to scientifically impact the physical effects of age at the molecular level," lead researcher Dr Peter van den Oude shared at a press conference. 

Could Your Hair Color Come From A Pill In The Future?

The melanocyte pills are more slow-acting than dying your hair is, taking around three weeks to show their first results. However, continued use of the pills could maintain a person's natural hair color indefinitely. Though the current research has focused on restoring original hair color, there is no reason for which the pills could not be developed to enable people to achieve any hair color — the pigment achieved is merely a result of the type of melanocyte used. 

The research team is hoping to be able to start human trials as soon 2017, with hopes that the pills will be on the market within the next five years. 

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