What has science done for the beauty industry lately, you ask?
Well, for one, scientists in Australia have recently discovered a “curly hair gene,” AKA the trichohyalin gene. This gene, discovered by scientists at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), is the one responsible for creating straight or curly locks.
Based on research done in Europe by Professor Nick Martin and Dr. Sarah Medland of the QIMR, 45 percent of Europeans have straight hair, 40 percent have wavy hair and only 15 percent have curly hair. As a curly-haired guy, himself, Professor Martin wondered what genetic variations were responsible for hair texture.
To learn more about these genetic processes, the team analyzed data collected from a 30-year study of 5,000 twins in Australia. When the twins’ genome maps were compared, twins exhibited the same types of variations in the trichohyalin gene depending on if they shared either curly hair or straight hair.
What else has Professor Martin concluded? Because the trichohyalin gene creates an amino acid change, which in turn influences the hair’s texture, it may be possible to develop treatments to make hair straighter or curlier as an alternative to heated hair straighteners or chemical hair treatments like perms. Maybe someday soon, we’ll all be popping pills instead of ironing out those curls every day or heading to the salon for a perm. (Of course, you could always embrace your natural curl instead!)
Science. What will they think of next?