New Pill Could Change Hair

Nov. 18, 2005 — -- Put down that flat iron. Remove your curlers. And cancel your next Japanese hair straightening appointment. Researchers for L'Oreal in Paris claim they've gotten to the root of what causes curls. The answer, they say, lies below your scalp in the hair bulb -- which is hook-shaped for curly hair and straight for straight hair.

L'Oreal's scientists believe those bulbs could be altered using hormones, meaning popping a pill could turn curly hair straight and vice versa.

Dermatologists say it could work.

"I think this could be potentially revolutionary if it actually changed the shape of the bulb within the hair follicle," said Dr. Diane Berson, a dermatologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

L'Oreal said its research could also lead to a pill that changes gray hair back to its original color.