New Study , Identifies Root Cause , of Hair Loss. 'The Independent' reports that a new study suggests that a single chemical could determine whether or not people go bald. . The study by the University of California says the discovery could, "not only treat baldness, but ultimately speed wound healing.”. In science fiction when characters heal quickly from injuries, the idea is that stem cells allowed it, Qixuan Wang, study co-author, via 'The Independent'. In real life, our new research gets us closer to understanding stem cell behavior, so that we can control it and promote wound healing, Qixuan Wang, study co-author, via 'The Independent'. According to the research, the team discovered a type of protein called TGF-beta which controls how the stem cells in hair follicles divide. It also determines why some of those follicles, which are the only human organ to regenerate regularly and automatically, can die off. TGF-beta has two opposite roles. It helps activate some hair follicle cells to produce new life, and later, it helps orchestrate apoptosis, the process of cell death, Qixuan Wang, study co-author, via 'The Independent'. Even when a hair follicle kills itself, it never kills its stem cell reservoir. When the surviving stem cells receive the signal to regenerate, they divide, make new cell and develop into a new follicle, Qixuan Wang, study co-author, via 'The Independent'. The study's authors suggest that the discovery could be used to stimulate hair growth by activating stem cells in follicles. The study was published in the 'Biophysical Journal.'