A 13-year-old boy from California has become the first in the U.S. to use a new type of hair dye that was approved for use on humans.
The chemical dye, known as overtone hair bleaching, is also being used to treat other conditions such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Jennifer Wiegley of the University of California, San Francisco, said the chemical’s ability to remove hair and create a thin layer of hair on the scalp is extremely effective at preventing hair loss and increasing overall appearance.
“We’ve been seeing this kind of hair rejuvenation for decades now,” she said.
“But it’s the first time this type of treatment has been applied to humans.
This is a great opportunity for young people to get involved in this exciting area of hair research.”
Dr. Wiegly said the technique could be used to create an entirely new kind of cosmetic product for young children.
She said the boy’s condition is “remarkable” and could potentially benefit millions of people.
The boy is using the new dye to grow new hair, which has been grown in his own body for months, and to add a unique pigment to his natural hair.
The teen also said the treatment has given him a sense of “sense of power” and is improving his relationship with his mother.
He told ABC News the treatment is working.
“It’s a great way to show off your hair and I really appreciate the attention and support that’s been given to my hair and how much my mom and dad appreciate it,” the boy said.
He added he is now trying to work on his social skills and will be getting a haircut in the next few days.
Dr Wiegle said overtone is currently only used on humans but that other types of hair loss can also be treated with it.
She said there are more promising alternatives to overtone, such as using an alternative pigment called hydroxylated ophthalmoplastic, or HO, which is less toxic and can be produced in laboratory conditions.
But Dr Wiegles said overtones are not yet approved for human use.
Dr David Stempel, a cosmetic chemist and president of the American Academy of Dermatology, said overtonals are only effective on the skin.
He said it would be a major leap for the field if overtone was also applied to the hair of people with other diseases such as cancer.
“There’s not much research that’s looking at this type [of treatment],” he said.
“It doesn’t appear to be as effective as other treatments.”
Dr Stempe said a person with cancer can also lose hair by removing the hair follicles that normally grow hair on their face and scalp.
He said overtons can also have a significant impact on the immune system, leading to a decrease in immunity.
“The idea of overtone may help you live longer, or to prevent diseases that are causing your hair loss, and therefore make you healthier,” Dr Stemper said.