(Confession: Upon hearing that headline, I threw away every hat I owned and danced like nobody was watching.)
But—hang on a second.
“No way,” I thought to myself after digesting the news, figuring it was simply an Onion article in sheep’s clothing. “Too good to be true. Just bring back the McDonald’s Monopoly promotion and we’ll call it a day.”
But…what if? What if McDonald’s fries—those delicious, glorious, wonderful, salted, greasy, best-in-the-league godsends—can put follicles back on my dome? What if my scalp yarmulke could be replaced with a gorgeous mane that serves as the envy of all other lesser-quality-hair-havers?
I was curious.
How it works
Researchers found that dimethylpolysiloxane—a silicone added to McDonald’s fries to stop cooking oil from frothing—was successful in re-growing hair on mice. And, early tests have shown that this method is likely to be just as triumphant on human skin cells.
(Good news, Uncle Mike!)
Using this method, scientists successfully mass-produced hair follicle germs—aka HFGs, the cells that drive follicle development and are imperative to hair-loss research—for the first time.
“We used oxygen-permeable dimethylpolysiloxane at the bottom of culture vessel, and it worked very well,” says the corresponding author Junji Fukuda, a professor at Yokohama National University, where the research took place. “This simple method is very robust and promising. We hope that this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia. In fact, we have preliminary data that suggests human HFG formation using human keratinocytes and dermal papilla cells.”
Hey, if need be, I can be their little Outbreak monkey for the next experiment.
As much as I would love to put all my hair follicle germs in this basket, the promise of wolfing down Supersized meals to jolt my locks back to life seems a tad McFishy. Look, I ate McDonald’s for about 40% of my meals while in college [Editor’s note: true story], and my hair didn’t hesitate to fly the coop soon thereafter—so color me dubious until more evidence is present. (No disrespect, Fukuda-san.)
So: As far as my dietary research is concerned, eating fries won’t necessarily translate to a regrown Mufasa mane. And I have yet to slather a bunch of them onto the back of my head. But hey—here’s to hoping the next regenerative fast-food medical breakthrough involves Chick-fil-A nuggets.
For now, though, I’ll stick to my backwards Yankees hat, thank you very much.