Hair graying and hair loss are prominent and common characteristics of the elderly population. In some individuals these processes can significantly impact their quality of life, leading to depression, anxiety and other serious mental health problems. Accordingly, there has been much interest in understanding the complex physiological changes within the hair follicle in the aging individual. It is now known that hair follicles represent a prototypical stem cell niche, where both micro- and macroenvironmental influences are integrated alongside stem cell–stem cell and stem cell–stem niche interactions to determine hair growth or hair follicle senescence. Recent studies have identified imbalanced stem cell differentiation and altered stem cell activity as important factors during hair loss, indicating new avenues for the development of therapeutic agents to stimulate hair growth. Here, we pull together the latest findings on the hair follicle stem cell niche and the multifactorial interactions underlying the various forms of hair loss.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Chinese Medical Association – L'OREAL China Hair Grants 2015 (H2015121404 and S2015121408).
© 2017 Japanese Dermatological Association
- hair follicle
- hair graying
- stem cells