When it comes to frying up the perfect batch of delicious, golden French fries, everyone knows that McDonald’s fries are practically flawless. They’re salty, warm, the perfect width, and now, they might even be used in the fight to cure baldness.
Like we really needed another excuse to eat mounds of those things.
Okay, so eating copious amounts of French fries won’t actually make a person stop losing hair or allow it to magically grow back. But, according to a new study from a stem cell research team in Japan, one ingredient in McDonald’s fries could be the secret to curing baldness.
McDonald’s uses dimethylpolysiloxane — or in more simple terms, an anti-foaming agent made from silicone — in its frying oil to prevent splashes as the fries cook. But now researchers at the Yokohama National University have found that the same chemical can actually help stimulate hair follicles to grow, and they’ve already had some early success trying out the method with hairless mice.
But before you go rubbing your scalp in crispy fries, know that the trials weren’t as simple as that. Scientists didn’t feed mice extra fries at every meal. Instead, dimethylpolysiloxane was actually used to create vessels for engineered follicles (not the ones that already exist on your head). Hypothetically, those engineered follicles would then need to be transplanted in order for new hair to grow, thus giving a person (or in this case a mouse) a whole new crop of hair.
Basically, there’s still a long way to go, including eventual human trials. But these findings are pretty promising for those of us who are worried about losing our tresses and aren’t interested in trying another round of Rogaine products. And researchers seem to think so too.
“This simple method is very robust and promising,” said Professor Junji Fukuda, one of the study’s authors. “We hope this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness).”
In the meantime, we suppose we’ll just enjoy our French fries the old-fashioned way: extra greasy.