Scientists have discovered the cells that cause hair to turn grey and fall out in mice - potentially paving the way for a cure for baldness.
Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found the cells by accident, whilst studying a genetic disease which causes tumours to grow on nerves.
The study was published in the journal Genes and Development and said that a protein called KROX20 makes skin cells become hair shafts, according to Time.
This then causes the cells to produce another protein, which is called stem cell factor.
Both of these proteins played an important part for the mice. Without KROX20 the mice went bald and stopped growing hair, without the stem cell factor protein, their hair turned white.
However, more research is now needed to discover whether this kind of process also takes place in humans
Lead researcher doctor Lu Le said: "Although this project was started in an effort to understand how certain kinds of tumors form, we ended up learning why hair turns grey and discovering the identity of the cell that directly gives rise to hair.
"With this knowledge, we hope in the future to create a topical compound or to safely deliver the necessary gene-to-hair follicles to correct these cosmetic problems."