Bridging the "dead hair"-"live follicle" divide in applied hair research

Marta Bertolini, Natalia Botchkareva, Gill Westgate, Chris Ward, Paul Cornwell, Ralf Paus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


For many decades, applied hair research has been hampered by an unproductive intellectual and conceptual divide between researchers who are primarily interested in the hair shaft (HS), its structural properties, visual appearance and cosmetic manipulation, and those investigators who are mainly interested in the fascinating miniorgan that cyclically regenerates the HS, the hair follicle (HF). This article attempts to bridge this unproductive divide between the "dead hair" and "live follicle" worlds by summarizing both current key concepts and major open questions on how the HF, namely, the anagen hair bulb and its precortical hair matrix keratinocytes, generate the HS, focusing on selected key signaling pathways. We discuss current theories of hair shape formation and avenues toward impacting on human HS structure. The article closes by delineating which instructive preclinical research assays are needed to ultimately close the experimental gap between HS and HF researchers in a manner that benefi ts consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-322
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cosmetic Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Bridging the "dead hair"-"live follicle" divide in applied hair research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this