It seems no matter what¬--we want the opposite of what we have. Short people want to be taller, brunettes want to be blonds and those with curly hair wish it was straight. Current research has brought us one step closer for those with Shirley Temple hair to have Cleopatra’s. A recent study has discovered that a single gene is responsible for influencing whether hair will be straight or curly. With that discovery, a pill could be developed to change the texture of our hair. Would you take it?
Researchers from Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) in Australia analyzed data from 5,000 twins over a period of 30 years. They found that variations in the Trichohyalin (TCHH) gene, which is involved in the development of hair follicles, determines the growth of curly or straight hair.
A few years ago, it was discovered by scientists at L’Oreal that curly hair grows from follicles that are hook shaped and straight hair from follicles that are round, but it was not known what mechanism determined the shape of the follicles. This new research implies that the TCHH gene is that missing key in determining the texture of our hair.
Are there benefits to testing for hair genes?
1. You could find out whether an unborn baby will have curly or straight hair: Of the various characteristics one wants to learn about an unborn child, hair curliness probably wouldn’t be high on anyone’s list. Genetic testing should be reserved for determining genetic issues that are life threatening.
2. A pill can be developed to straighten hair: Apparently in 2005, L’Oreal announced that they were working on such a pill. According to Bionews, Professor Nick Martin, the lead researcher of the Australian study discussed above, has plans to talk with a “Paris” cosmetics company, which many think is L’Oreal, regarding how this new discovery could help develop a pill that could make hair straight or curly.
Forum postings appear to be mostly against developing a pill expressing that people should just accept their curly or straight hair.