Hopes (and hair) of millions of men and women around the world are raised once more as a new “astounding” chemical compound show promise as the next mane miracle to reverse hair loss and prevent grays.

The compound in question is called astressin-B – it blocks the stress hormone, corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF). It was originally used by researchers from UCLA to study the brain-gut interactions due to stress.

In this serendipitous discovery published recently on PLoS One, mice with a chronic stress condition (they had raised CRF, and stress- and age-induced balding on their backs) all became remarkably fuzzy and furry again three months after a single course of astressin-B peptide shots. Repeat testing on mice confirmed this accidental observation. It also prevented alopecia in young mice who received the peptide before they had balding.

Of particular interest was the short duration and long-lasting effect of this treatment: Just 1 injection of the stress antidote per day for 5 consecutive days maintained the effects for up to 4 months (a long time in the two-year life span of a mouse). Current proven hair remedies – including minoxidil and Propecia – require regular use to maintain what is typically described as only a modest benefit.

And it had another amazing potential – it may prevent hair from turning gray as well!

While it could take as long as five years before astressin-B is tested in human hair-loss trials, but we hope it could eventually be used as an injection or nasal spray for humans.

So hang on to your hair, guys! Until then, try other proven treatments to keep those roots alive.

– By Alexia Wilson