Will polydimethylsiloxane cure baldness?

The title of this blog post is a QTWTAIN.

There’s a piece of fake news circulating on social media that suggests that polydimethylsiloxane (a food additive used as an anti-foaming agent in the production of French fries for fast-food restaurants) could somehow be used to treat baldness…

…the tabloids seem to have deliberately got the wrong end of the stick. From a quick read of the research paper it looks like the researchers used polydimethylsiloxane to make a gas-permeable membrane for their culture dish for growing stem cells. They then found that the stem cells would differentiate into hair follicles more effectively in this culture dish than in conventional laboratory equipment with non-permeable materials.

Suggesting that ingesting polydimethylsiloxane will cure baldness is akin to suggesting that eating ground up test-tube glass in which aspirin has been synthesised would cure a headache…

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