The dangers of hair straightening are real, as we recently explored
here at TIA, but in 2009, there was a glimmer of hope in an oral solution to frizzy locks.
The 'straight hair pill', as it was dubbed, was posed as the newest would-be invention-du-jour for taming hair when a group of researchers at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research realized the trichohyalin gene is the main gene responsible for creating curls. The study, which appeared in the American Journal of Human Genetics
, performed a genome-wide association for hair morphology (straight, wavy, curly) and found an association implicating the gene.
Instantly, researcher Professor Nick Martin was said to be in talks with a Parisian cosmetic company to create a pill that would effectively straighten hair based on his findings.
So, where is the straight hair pill today? I got in touch with Professor Martin to see if they had made any headway. Unfortunately, no such luck. "The idea is that knowing the gene responsible for straight/curly hair, one might be able to design a drug that could alter it. But this is years away I am afraid," he said via email.
Good to know, given that in December of 2009, news organizations were billing it as the latest possible invention for hair straightening and wondering if that Parisian company happened to be L'Oreal. The company had also discovered in 2005 that curly hair grows from follicles that are hook shaped and straight hair from follicles that are round, though the mechanism that determined the shape of the follicles was still unknown at the time.
So pipedream it remains, but the 'straight hair pill' could very well be a viable item on the market in the next decade or two. Would you try it?