I assumed it had been relegated to the status of ‘old wives’ tale’, but that old chestnut that ‘plucking your hair makes it grow back thicker’ has found its way back into the headlines lately.
Though if this were the case, surely sufferers of trichotillomania would have more hair than any of us.
However it seems we must bow to scientists at the University of Southern California who believe they may have found the answer to encouraging hair to grow back
Taiwanese dermatologist Cheng-Ming Chuong demonstrated that by plucking 200 hairs in a certain pattern, they could make 1,200 replacement hairs grow – in a mouse!
I for one will not be holding my breath on this one. And even if there were any truth in it, how healthy would it be to encourage people to take up a habit which may well lead to full-blown trichotillomania?
Trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver from the Cotswold Trichology Centre agrees:
“The mouse hair cycle is going to be very different from the human one. We only have the potential to produce 25 hairs before that’s exhausted. If you’re on your last three or four cycles and you go plucking hair out, you’re going to use up a cycle, so I don’t see that research can be valid and I wouldn’t advise people to go plucking their own hair.’
Wise words indeed. And so far the hairy mouse is all they have to show for their theory.