Journal of Cosmetic Science | Vol. 69 No. 5
Authored by Marta Bertolini, Natalia Botchkareva, Gill Westgate, Chris Ward, Paul Cornwell and Ralf Paus
For many decades, applied hair research has been hampered by an unproductive intellectual and conceptual divide between researchers who are primarily interested in the hair shaft (HS), its structural properties, visual appearance and cosmetic manipulation, and those investigators who are mainly interested in the fascinating miniorgan that cyclically regenerates the HS, the hair follicle (HF). This article attempts to bridge this unproductive divide between the “dead hair” and “live follicle” worlds by summarizing both current key concepts and major open questions on how the HF, namely, the anagen hair bulb and its precortical hair matrix keratinocytes, generate the HS, focusing on selected key signaling pathways. We discuss current theories of hair shape formation and avenues toward impacting on human HS structure. The article closes by delineating which instructive preclinical research assays are needed to ultimately close the experimental gap between HS and HF researchers in a manner that benefits consumers.
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