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Pill To Make Hair Straight or Curly Now Possible, Scientists Say

Scientists have developed treatments that retain the hair of those genetically predisposed to hair loss, and with the recent discovery of a curly hair gene they could now also invent a pill to perform the same function as straighteners or curlers.

Pill to Make Hair Curly or Straight“Potentially we can now develop new treatments to make hair curlier or straighter, rather that treating the hair directly,” said Professor Nick Martin, head of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory and author of the research.

“That is one angle we will be working on and which I will be discussing with a major cosmetic company in Paris in January.”

Prof. Martin and his colleague Dr Sarah Medland identified a trichohyalin gene as the one that is mainly responsible for creating curls and although it was already known to play some role in the development of the hair follicle, scientists have now found its role in curliness.

“This gene has been known for well over twenty years as being involved in hair production and it’s a gene that sits in the sheath that’s around the hair roots,” he said.

The researchers sought to find genetic variations responsible for curly hair in those of European descent and analysed data collected from a study, which appears in the latest edition of the American Journals of Human Genetics, of 5000 twins in Australia over a 30 year period.

They discovered the same variations in the trichohyalin gene among the twins with curly hair and again among those with straight hair, and it is thought that this variation may create an amino acid change which in turn influences the straightness or curliness of the hair.

“The most immediate application is likely to be in forensics,” Prof. Martin said. “[With a DNA sample] we can already predict their hair and eye colour so this would be another trait to refine the picture.”

About 45 per cent of European people have straight hair, 40 per cent have wavy hair and 15 per cent have curly hair but Prof. Martin says that the discovery of the variation in the trichohyalin gene could spell the end of the need for some hair styling products.

“We could also predict whether it was more probable that a baby would have curly or straight hair,” he said.

Previous studies show that the chances of inheriting curly hair is around 90 per cent but in light of the recent discovery, experts may now be able to more accurately predict whether a baby would have straight or curly hair.

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2nd September, 2017 at 1:46 am


any updates yet?

4th September, 2017 at 10:14 am

Sarah Belgravia

Not yet, Karin!

5th September, 2017 at 12:46 pm


Can you tell us how long will it take to be out there in the market?

5th September, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Bailee - no, unfortuately as we have no involvement in the trials, we cannot comment on the timeline.

18th September, 2017 at 8:37 pm


Is there anyway to maybe volunteer to be part of the trial for testing the product?

19th September, 2017 at 9:36 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Erica, We're not involved in the trial so we'd recommend contacting the Institute mentioned to see if you can get involved. Good luck!

14th October, 2017 at 11:48 am


If anyone was curious as to what is happening with this, this notice was posted on the QIMR (the institute mentioned above researching this) in response to a query above the availability of the pill they had this to say; "Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will curl or straighten your hair. The article was based on the discovery of a gene that produces a protein that influences whether hair will be curly or not (see media release). It is one of many genes and proteins that affect hair curliness, and there are currently no plans to develop this discovery into a product." It's a shame but it looks like their not interested in pursuing it, personally it seems crazy to me as the black beauty market accounts for a significant amount of money in that industry, odd why companies such as L'Oréal aren't pushing for research into something that would make so much money whilst similatenously shutting down a large amount of competition for them. Well who knows, in any case, I hope this information serves as closure at least for anyone else finding this page. Since this was initially announced in 2005 (12 years ago) and along with their statement I'd say it's pretty safe to assume this is never going to happen in our lifetimes, and on that depressing note, off I pop.

20th October, 2017 at 11:55 pm


Is the pill ready

24th October, 2017 at 10:35 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Raj, there is no new update on the pill so we suspect it is either still in development or that the project has been abandoned. Once there is more news we will update the story.

21st November, 2017 at 12:57 pm


I agree with you Dismay but I think this company is different plus recently I saw a video about someone that will meet nick marten in Paris about this pill in January, video posted in July this year. If it would come available soon, I would love to buy some so that I'd finally get rid of hot irons and chemical treatments that's ruining our hair and health coz those treatments are really smelly and you don't want to breath that trust me.

27th November, 2017 at 12:39 am


I really want this pill! I'm white but with curly hair. My hair does not match anything with my phenotype.

3rd December, 2017 at 8:21 pm


I really hope another company or research lab is pursuing it Baliee. It would be great if you could point us to where you saw that video, the only reason I’m skeptical is because Nick Martin meeting with a client in Paris happened when this was first announced in 2005, which was so long ago (I was still in school then, primary school actually haha) it makes me think it’s just a reposted old video or something. For all the amazing things science can do how is this still not a reality?

22nd February, 2018 at 12:32 am


Any updates yet?

22nd February, 2018 at 11:56 am

Sarah Belgravia

Not yet, Daniel!

15th April, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Maya bhai

Will the pill be ready under 2 yrs or not

16th April, 2018 at 10:20 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Maya, research seems to be at a standstill so this is highly unlikely.

14th May, 2018 at 7:25 pm


I would like to know more about the straight hair pill research, is it going to happened or is it a long time off.

15th May, 2018 at 9:47 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Tony, it may be worth having a read through the previous comments as some people have provided information. As far as we are aware there is research currently ongoing and has now discovered the genes responsible for turning hair curly or straight, however, the research into making any kind of pill that could alter these genes seems something of a remote prospect at present. There have been no updates from the people involved in the initial research so we suspect it has been abandoned, at least for now.

17th July, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Maya bhai

Can you please mention anyone name or any social media account link so that I can ask him

17th July, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Maya, we don't have the social media details for the medical professionals quoted but their institution name is listed so you could contact the institute if you wanted to get in touch directly.

6th August, 2018 at 11:56 pm


I'm going to die waiting for this.

24th September, 2018 at 12:46 am


I sent a email to Nick and the answer is this: Afraid not L No $$$$ Best, nick

25th September, 2018 at 5:53 pm

Jonathan Weaver

I think he doesn't work on this anymore. During my doctorate, I'm going to study genetics in my spare time, so I can research on this in a few years. That way, you don't need the 10 years delay between lab work and market release.

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