Research accident could now help people with hair loss

LOS ANGELES, CA (CBS) - Americans spend $3.5 billion a year trying to stop hairlines from receding, and while many think they've heard it before, there may actually be a cure for the folically challenged.

If there's one fear that unites nearly every man, it's the prospect of going bald. By the time men turn 50, nearly half will lose some of their hair.

Researchers at UCLA originally set out to study ways to prevent stress-related stomach problems in genetically altered bald mice, but found something else - hair.

"I think it was a very big surprise to us, and we were all very excited," said Professor of Medicine at UCLA Yvette Tache.

Tache said they injected hairless mice with five doses of a stress-blocking compound.

Three months later when they checked on their once-bald mice, they were shocked to see every hairless mouse had grown a full head and back of hair.

In the end, the findings may only help men who are losing hair due to stress, not the most common cause, genetics.

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