A compound bees use to repair their hives can boost hair growth in a buzzing discovery for bald people.
The natural sealant – called propolis – was tested on mice that had been shaved or waxed, and experts today revealed those that had the treatment re-grew their fur faster than those that did not.
Bees use the substance to seal small gaps in their hives, but now the scientists say the find could help develop new hair loss therapies.
The experts – headed by Dr Ken Kobayashi, of Hokkaido University in Japan – said after propolis was applied, the number of special cells involved in growing hair increased.
They said growth “occurred without any detectable abnormalities in the shape of the follicles”.
Despite using shaved mice rather than those unable to grow fur, the researchers – whose findings are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry – expect it could also apply to baldness.
They say hair loss often results from inflammation, and propolis contains anti-inflammatory properties.