How growing a healthy head of hair can be a disaster for your health

Headlines around the world are all saying the same thing — a “miracle cure” for baldness has been found!

Columbia University scientists even have a YouTube video and time-lapse photos of guys to prove it.

Angela Christiano, Ph.D., who is part of the research team at Columbia, explains how the group is “on the right track” and quite excited about how the drug, known as a JAK inhibitor (more about that in a minute), makes hair grow.

All that would be fine and dandy if we were talking about some benign substance that you could rub on your scalp or take with your morning coffee.

But the drug Christiano and her team are fooling around with isn’t one you would want to take unless it was a matter of life and death.

And until now, that’s exactly how it’s been used.

A hair-raising experiment

This supposed new hair-loss breakthrough is a drug called ruxolitinib — and it’s prescribed to treat two life-threatening illnesses.

One is a serious bone-marrow disease called myelofibrosis that disrupts production of blood cells, and the other a blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow.

And as you can imagine, the side effects of this very serious med can be horrific.

Things such as bleeding, bruising or significantly upping your risk of coming down with an infection. And I’m not talking about a cold or even the flu, but rather a deadly brain infection called PML.

In PML a virus attacks the cells in the brain that protect neurons. And there’s no real cure or treatment for the disease other than quitting the med that put you at risk in the first place.

I told you about a similar hair-growth ploy last year from the same bunch at Columbia. That time they were fiddling around with the RA med Xeljanz (also a JAK inhibitor) to grow hair on mice.

JAK inhibitors are a fairly new class of meds first approved for arthritis four years ago. And aside from growing hair, they can also cause you to come down with TB, viral hepatitis, and any other deadly disease (including cancer) that can take charge when your immune system is put on hold.

And if you think you can ditch the med once your beautiful locks grow in, well, not so fast!

Once the trial participants went off the drug, all it took was a couple of months before they all started losing hair again.

The researchers are claiming that they’re working hard to find a cure for alopecia, an autoimmune disease that attacks your hair follicles. But that’s not all they’re interested in.

Christiano said that her group now plans to conduct tests with this drug, and another JAK inhibitor, “across many forms of hair loss,” including, the UK Sun said, “pattern baldness,” which is, of course, the most common reason guys and gals lose their hair.

A bone-marrow drug to cover your bald spot? Um, no thanks.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: bald is starting to look more beautiful by the minute!

Sources:
“First ever cure for baldness” Lizzie Parry, September 26, 2016, The Sun, thesun.co.uk