Helen Mirren at The Laurence Olivier Awards 2013 held at the Royal Opera House, April 28, 2013.

I always sort of looked forward to having chic, gray hair some day, but it might not be the same if gray hair goes extinct by that time thanks to a new gray hair cure that science thinks it might have found.

According to a release from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, gray hair is caused by “massive oxidative stress via accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle.” The hydrogen peroxide effectively bleaches the hair right from the root. But researchers in England and Germany have been testing a treatment for vitiligo, which causes depigmentation of the skin, and now they say it’s not only effective at treating that condition, but it might also work as a gray hair cure.

The scientists say the buildup of hydrogen peroxide that causes skin and hair depigmentation can be remedied with a topical, UVB-activated cream that has successfully repigmented the skin and eyelashes of some of the test subjects in their study, which was published in the FASEB Journal. Because the cream affected the eyelashes as well as the skin, the scientists say their discovery could mean that a real anti-graying cream is in the cards for people whose hair just lost its pigment because of the touch of the cold hand of time.

“While this is exciting news, what’s even more exciting is that this also works for vitiligo,” said FASEB Journal editor Gerald Weissman. “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.”

Curing a problem like vitiligo could certainly help a lot of people, which would surely make the scientists feel good about themselves while they were swimming around in their pools full of gold coins from inventing a cure for gray hair.

Photo: WENN