Air pollution baldness? Car fumes could be fuelling male baldness.
AIR pollution on busy roads can turn men bald by destroying a hair growth protein, experts found.
Fine sooty particles in exhaust fumes reduce levels of beta-catenin, which turns skin cells into hair.
Toxic particles spewed out by vehicles and factories also hit a trio of other hair growth proteins.
Dr Hyuk Chul Kwon, of Seoul, South Korea, said: “The results suggest particulate matter may cause hair loss.”
Similar research in China, the world’s most polluted country, found men in their 20s are going bald sooner than any generation before them.
His team took human scalp cells known as dermal papillae and exposed them to various concentrations of diesel particulate and PM10-like dust.
It is known these chemicals deposited into the atmosphere by transport and industry increase the risk of illness.
The latest findings, presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Madrid, may shed light on rising rates of hair loss among younger men.
It could lead to the development of a topical cream that targets the effects of pollution on hair follicles.
Male pattern baldness is known to be hereditary but environmental factors may make it worse.
A trio of other proteins responsible for hair growth and retention were also disappearing.
Air pollution is estimated to kill 4.2 million people every year. But little is known about its effects on the skin and hair.