Researchers at Harvard University found that nerves and muscles that raise goose bumps help in stimulating stem cells in the skin that aid hair follicles and grow hair.
Sympathetic nervous system controls pupil dilation, heart rate and other automatic processes in the human body. The connecting nerves of the sympathetic nervous system combine with the stem cells, which help in the production of hair follicles, according to the researchers. The findings were reported the unpublished on December 9, 2018, at the joint meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology and the European Molecular Biology Organization.
The researchers found that the nerves responsible for secreting the hormone norepinephrine are essential for hair growth. Using the same reasonings they explained why hair loss is a side effect of drugs known as beta-blockers, which interfere with norepinephrine’s action. They demonstrated the effect of arrector pilli muscles in mice and bald men to give credibility to their theory.
The cells placed next to hair follicles are attached around tiny arrector pili muscles, which contract to make hair cells stand on end, causing goose bumps. The researchers observed that the engineered mice lacking sympathetic nerves prevented the muscles from growing and didn’t receive normal hair growth. The team observed the bald men. And found that even they lacked arrector pili muscles in their scalps.
Ya-Chieh Hsu, a stem cell researcher at Harvard University, said, “Sympathetic nerves and goose bump–raising muscles may also be important in that type of baldness. Restoring the nerves and muscles may lead to new hair growth.”