A cure for grey hair which means millions will be able to throw away messy dyes may not be too far off, researchers have said.
Scientists found people who are going grey develop "massive oxidative stress" via an accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle, which causes hair to bleach itself from the inside out.
According to the FASEB Journal , the team, which includes experts from Bradford University's School of Life Sciences, discovered the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide can be remedied with a treatment.
They described it as "a topical, UVB-activated compound called PC-KUS (a modified pseudocatalase)", the report said.
The treatment can also be used for people with the skin condition vitiligo, which causes a loss of pigmentation. In 1993 Michael Jackson claimed to have developed vitiligo.
Study author Professor Karin Schallreuter, a specialist in vitiligo, said: "To date, it is beyond any doubt that the sudden loss of the inherited skin and localised hair colour can affect those individuals in many fundamental ways.
"The improvement of quality of life after total and even partial successful repigmentation has been documented."
The research team made their discovery after studying an international group of 2,411 patients.
FASEB Journal editor-in-chief Gerald Weissman said: "For generations, numerous remedies have been concocted to hide grey hair but now, for the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed.
"While this is exciting news, what's even more exciting is that this also works for vitiligo.
"This condition, while technically cosmetic, can have serious socio-emotional effects on people.
"Developing an effective treatment for this condition has the potential to radically improve many people's lives."
She is the youngest person in history to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, and at just nine years old Quvenzhané Wallis knows how to liven up an Academy event.
The young star larked about and was the centre of attention at the 85th Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton on Monday.
Looking impeccable in a lilac party dress, and with one of her trademark puppy purses, the Beasts Of The Southern Wild star couldn't fail to cause a stir as she joked around.
Isabel Dos Santos is Africa's first female billionaire
Africa has its first female billionaire Isabel Dos Santos, daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.
The 40-year-old studied engineering at King's College, London, before opening her first business at the age of 24 - a restaurant called Miami Beach.
She has come a long way since then, currently sitting on the boards of several companies in Angola and Portugal and owning large stakes in wealthy corporations including a bank and a cable TV company.
Her assets include a 19.5 per cent share of Banco BPI, one of Portugal’s largest publicly traded bank worth an estimated $465 million and a 25 per cent stake in the Angola's Banco BIC worth a conservative $160 million.
Last year she reportedly increased her share in Portugal’s largest cable TV company ZON Multimedia from 4.9 per cent to 28.8 per cent worth around $385 million.
Those stakes combined with other assets push her net worth over the $1 billion mark.
However according to Forbes business magazine sources within Angola say she also owns a 25 per cent stake in Unitel – one of the country’s two mobile phone networks which according to analysts is worth a minimum of a billion on its own.
Angola, a country of 18 million people, lies on the western coast of southern Africa and is rich in diamonds and oil.
Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been president of the country since 1979, four years after it gained independence from Portugal.
He recently changed the constitution to give himself a further ten years in power if his MPLA party is successful in the forthcoming elections.
The country was wracked by 27 years of civil war which finally ended in 2002 leading to a huge jump in oil revenues from $3 billion in 2002 to $66 billion in 2008.
Transparency International, the respected NGO that investigates government fraud, recently ranked Angola 168th out of 178 countries in its corruption perception index.
Father of Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos
In an attempt to understand dos Santos's meteoric rise, Forbes asked Peter Lewis, a professor of African Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies to shed some light on Angolan business matters.
He said: 'The source of funds and corporate governance are very murky. The central problem in Angola is the complete lack of transparency. We can’t trace the provenance of these funds.
'When you tease out the ownership and controlling interests in Angola it reads like a Who’s Who of [the President’s] family members and party and military chiefs.'
Professor Lewis suggested that while the Angolan government appeared to be investing some money into the country's infrastructure it was awash in cash with $5 billion having already been documented in illicit financial flows.
A spokeswoman for Isabel dos Santos in Portugal insisted all her investments have been presented with maximum transparency from publicly listed companies.
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