Fries, chips, pommes frites—whatever you call them, those golden, fried slivers of potato are the stuff of cheat day dreams. However, although we love them, it’s rare that scientists can point to a health benefit associated with fries—particularly those of the McDonalds variety. But, now all that might be about to change thanks to some new research into hair loss cures conducted in Japan.
A new study by researchers at Yokohama National University in Japan, found that an ingredient used in McDonald’s tasty french fries could potentially hold the cure to baldness. The study was published in Biomaterials journal and specifically points to an ingredient called dimethylpolysiloxane; a silicone that’s added to McDonald’s fries to stop cooking oil from frothing.
Scientists now think that the ingredient could be used to help improve hair regrowth therapies, after it did just that in a study on hairless mice. The breakthrough came after researchers in Japan successfully mass-produced “hair follicle germs” (HFG) using the thedimethylpolysiloxane ingredient. (FYI, HFGs are the cells responsible for follicle development and are crucial in hair regeneration.) Within days of seeding the HFGs across the the backs of hairless mice, the team reported black hairs growing on the areas they had treated.
Although scientists are hopeful that the test will be just as effective when transferred to human skin cells, we don’t suggest that you start mixing your own DIY hair mask after your next McDonalds run. Despite the study’s optimism (researchers called the results “robust and promising”), it still might be a little bit too early to get excited. Remember that quite often studies conducted on animals don’t translate as successfully to humans. Also, the dimethylpolysiloxane alone didn’t trigger hair growth, so it’s probably smart to wait until we have some more research into this potential new treatment for hair loss.