Many hair experts say that if a product is good for your hair, it’s good for your skin. Now, research supports that connection as scientists found a kind of stem cell in hair follicles that can transform into three types of skin cells, according to a recent study published in Science and reported by HealthDay News.

Researchers said this special stem cell, situated in the hair follicle, has a gene called Lgr6 that is the parent gene for other skin cells.

“These cells in adult hair follicles are in fact helping to make new skin,” said Paul Sanberg, MD, PhD, a professor of neurosurgery and director of the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa.

The importance of these findings is that they may lead to new treatments for skin and, possibly, hair replacement in addition to new and better ways to repair wounds and improve skin grafts.

Skin contains three kinds of cells: hair follicles, sebaceous glands and tissue called interfollicular epidermis. All three can make additional cells of the same kind, which is why they are classified as stem cells.

Although scientists agree that skin can regenerate itself, they disagree about the mechanism it uses in the process.

Researchers also showed in a study with mice that the stem cells’ Lgr6 genes repaired skin and produced new hair. But scientists found that the cells’ ability to spark hair growth eventually decreased.

These findings might provide more insights about why skin ages and hair changes as people grow older, Sanberg observed.

Check out this RH roundup of plant-based products for scalp and hair here.