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Scientists find a link between hair color and baldness

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New scientific research has found that natural hair pigmentation prior to graying may increase or decrease the risk of alopecia areata – a type of hair loss.

As part of the study, the researchers analyzed data of 8,365 white adult individuals from the UK Biobank, a database that contains detailed genetic and health information on more than half a million people between 40 and 69 years of the UK.

The research, published in the scientific journal JAMA Dermatology, revealed that people with black hair and dark brown hair had a significantly higher risk of alopecia areata compared to those with light brown hair.

Blonde individuals, meanwhile, were less likely to be diagnosed with alopecia areata compared to those with light brown hair.

Scientists also concluded that the incidence of alopecia areata before graying in people with red hair is not significantly different from people with light brown hair.

“The findings of this study … seem to indicate that alopecia areata is modulated by natural hair color, preferentially affecting darker hair,” the researchers concluded.

The study authors noted, however, that “more studies are needed to better understand the immunopathogenic association between alopecia areata and hair color.”

Alopecia areata is a complex immune-mediated disorder that causes nonscarring hair loss. The fall occurs in well-defined areas, resulting in circles or oval areas of baldness.

In general, this condition is caused by genetic factors. It is often linked to diseases such as lupus, vitiligo, diabetes, among others. It can also occur as a result of cancer treatments. In addition, alopecia areata can be triggered or aggravated by emotional factors.

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