If you are a customer of Hair Restoration Laboratories, or thinking of becoming one, you probably have heard about our proprietary DHT Halting Technology®️.
But, what is Dihydrotesterone ("DHT")?
What is DHT Halting Technology®️?
And how does our proprietary DHT Halting Technology®️ help to prevent hair loss and promote the growth of stronger, thicker and healthier hair?
Unfortunately, almost all products on the market for hair loss and thinning simply do not work.
Because they are not backed by science!
For more than 10 years, Hair Restoration Laboratories has obsessively researched the most effective ingredients available to help prevent hair loss and promote stronger, thicker and healthier looking hair.
That research has led to the development of what we call DHT Halting Technology®️. Our DHT Halting Technology®️ is based upon hundreds of objective, clinical studies--all of which conclude that certain rare ingredients, when applied topically, can dramatically help reverse hair loss and grow hair.
To understand the effectiveness of the ingredients in our DHT Halting Technology®️, why most "hair loss treatments" do not work and what distinguishes Hair Restoration Laboratories' Hair Restore products from the thousands of others on the market, you need to understand the hair growth cycle and what actually causes male and female pattern hair loss.
Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss
According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85% of men will experience visible hair loss by the age of 50, and so will about 40% of women.
Thinning hair and hair loss can be caused by a variety of internal and external factors. However, the most common cause of male and female pattern baldness is genetics. And while the cause of genetic hair loss has been the subject of debate for many centuries, today, the medical and scientific community is in agreement that it is caused by a hormone, called Dihydrotesterone--abbreviated as DHT.
During male puberty, testosterone modulates the main physical changes of the body. While DHT is necessary during the early stages of life, as we age, it is of no known benefit to adults. Unfortunately, once formed, DHT causes havoc for hair follicles. In the body, testosterone is converted to DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Testosterone enters the hair follicle of both men and women through gateways known as androgen receptors. Once the testosterone enters the follicles, it interacts with 5a-reductase. Once that interaction occurs, DHT is produced.
In some families, there are genes passed down that make the men and women in the family more likely to have androgenic alopecia. In such cases, the hair follicles are more sensitive to DHT. DHT affects these sensitive hair follicles in two ways:
First, it shortens the hair growth cycle, which “ages” the hair follicles.
Second, it causes miniaturization of the hair follicles at a younger age.
The result of these two effects are shorter hairs, increasingly finer and less pigmented hairs, and eventually less hair altogether. The balding process is gradual and only hair on the scalp is affected.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Hair growth has three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Anagen is the growth phase. Hairs remain in this phase for 3 to 6 years. The longer it lasts, the longer the hair grows. Normally, around 80 to 85% of the hairs on the head are in this phase.
Catagen lasts approximately 2 weeks. It allows the hair follicle to renew itself.
Telogen is the resting phase. The follicle lies dormant for 5 to 6 weeks. Normally between 12 and 20% of hairs are in this phase.
After the telogen phase, the anagen phase begins again. The existing hair is pushed out of the pore by the new growth and naturally sheds.
As the hair follicles become miniaturized, however, hair that grows in during the anagen phase, will grow in thinner and thinner. Eventually, the hair becomes so thin and weak that, once it falls out, it simply does not regrow again.
Although there are a variety of treatment options on the market for alopecia, only a few are backed by multiple randomized controlled trials.
The two most popular options for hair loss-minoxidil and propecia-are, unfortunately, limited in their effectiveness and can present serious side effects.
Propecia is the brand name of a prescription drug called finasteride, and it is used as a treatment for male pattern baldness, the most common type of hair loss. Propecia was approved by the FDA in 1997.
It helps block the body's ability to turn testosterone into DHT, a hormonal change that somehow keeps hair from falling out of prematurely (the medical term is androgenetic alopecia).
In pre-market studies, Propecia's manufacturer conducted a 48-week study of more than 200 men with androgenetic alopecia. Some participants were given placebos, but the ones taking Propecia “showed increase from baseline in total and anagen hair counts of 7 hairs and 18 hairs, respectively.” The men on placebos lost hair throughout the study.
How Does Propecia Work?
Propecia works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT and, in many men, this process can slow down the process of male pattern hair loss. In fact, over five years, the majority of men either grow new hair or did not lose more hair while on Propecia, while 75% of men taking a placebo continued to lose hair. The following table outlines the effectiveness of five years of treatment with Propecia versus a placebo:
|Effect of Treatment||Men Taking Propecia||Men Taking Placebo|
|Increase in hair growth||48%||6%|
|No new hair loss||42%||19%|
|Continued hair loss||10%||75%|
Why Isn't Propecia A "Guaranteed" Hair Loss Cure?
While Propecia has the potential the help slow down hair loss and provide some regrowth, its results are mixed.
First, it is not approved for women. The drug can cause serious birth defects
Second, among men, it has been established to provide inconsistent results. During the first couple of months taking Propecia, some men experience additional hair shedding, which can be alarming.
Because hair growth takes time, it generally takes up to 3 months to notice a difference after taking Propecia every day. Thickening and strengthening of hairs that have become miniaturized tends to take six to 12 months.
Due to factors like individual rates of hair growth, doctors typically tell patients taking Propecia for male pattern baldness to give the drug 6 months to a year before deciding whether it’s helping or not.
Doctors also say that how you respond to Propecia during the first year of taking it is an indicator of how effective your long term treatment will be. The better the results during the first year, the more likely you’ll have continued positive results over the long term. Additionally, men over 30 tend to have better hair growth long term than younger men taking Propecia.
Propecia’s effects are in general limited to areas of the scalp that are thinning, but where there is still hair present. In areas that are completely bald, regrowth is rare. While Propecia can produce regrowth, its main benefit appears to be its ability to slow or stop male pattern hair loss. If you want optimal results, it is generally best to start taking Propecia as soon as possible after the onset of hair loss. Even delaying for a year can prevent men from “catching up” to the results seen by men who start taking it early.
Unfortunately, Propecia results can be unpredictable. For some men, it will only slow thinning, not stop it altogether. It is typically best suited for those who are at the beginning stages of hair loss. It is also important to note that hair growth will usually only be seen for the duration of use. Once you stop using Propecia, it is not unlikely that you may lose all the hair that has grown as a result of the prescription within a year
Researchers from George Washington University interviewed 54 men under age 40 who reported side effects for three months or more after taking Propecia to treat their hair loss. None of the men reported having any sexual, medical or psychiatric problems before they took the drug. Some of the men took the drug for a few weeks, others took it for years, but all of them reported side effects such as erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual drive, problems with orgasms, shrinking and painful genitals, even some neurological problems, such as depression, anxiety and mental fogginess.
For 96% of the men, the sexual problems lasted for more than a year after they stopped taking the drug.
Propecia’s manufacturer says these effects are rare and impact up to just 2% of drug users. But some studies suggests that incidence is much higher. Further, there are forums dedicated to helping men who once took Finasteride for hair loss, then stopped due to sexual side effects, but after stopping, never saw their sexual side effects resolve.
This is called Post-Finasteride Syndrome, and there’s even a foundation dedicated toward advancing research into why these sexual side effects persist for certain men but not others.
How Does Minoxidil Work?
While the FDA has also approved minoxidil as a hair loss treatment, the benefits of regular minoxidil can also be quite limited.
The medical community is still not in agreement as to how it exactly stimulates hair regrowth. Some theorize that minoxidil promotes blood flow to hair follicles and increases both the size of the follicles and the diameter of the hair shaft. This stimulates hair growth and prolongs that growth. Follicles that had, over time, shrunk and are producing finer hairs should then become larger and subsequently produce thicker hair.
Who Can Use Minoxidil?
During initial clinical testing, minoxidil was only tested on males. Once approved, it was initially offered only in a 2% concentration, just for males. And, because the subjects of the testing only used it in the crown of the scalp, it has only ever been approved to help regrow hair in that area--and not along the hairline or the center of the scalp. Minoxidil was subsequently approved to be used at a 5% concentration, for both men and women.
Minoxidil is only recommended for men and women with genetic or “pattern” hair loss, and not hair loss caused by any other source, such as stress, medication, childbirth, etc.
What To Expect When Using Minoxidil?
Unfortunately, it is well-settled that standard minoxidil is quite limited in its effectiveness. For many experiencing genetic hair loss, it will not provide any benefit, particularly if the hair loss is advanced. Additionally, as a result of certain chemicals in standard minoxidil, side effects can be pronounced when using it.
At the inception of treatment, users can experience a slight increase in hair loss (also referred to as the "shedding period"). This is caused by the minoxidil triggering a new growth cycle in which existing, older hairs are shed to make way for the hopefully new and thicker hair growth. This shedding period should only last a few weeks.
Between 3 to 6 months of use, fine, colorless and very soft hairs may begin to emerge. The new hair should begin to thicken and strengthen somewhat, although it may be a little different in color and texture in comparison to the rest of your hair. If regrowth occurs, you will need to keep using the minoxidil, as minoxidil is not a permanent fix or hair loss "cure". It works only as long as it continues to be used.
If you decide to use standard minoxidil, you must have realistic expectations. There are a number of ways your hair may respond: either you will grow a little back, not regrow any hair but maintain the hair you have left, or see no results at all. On average, only about 33% of users of standard minoxidil report moderate hair regrowth. Unfortunately, the most common response people experience with minoxidil is slight regrowth, no regrowth and/or slowing further loss.
Another common question people have about standard minoxidil is whether it can help with a receding hair line. Unfortunately, there is no clinical evidence that standard minoxidil can regrow hair in the front of the hairline. Rather, at the time of its FDA approval, it was only proven to be of benefit.
The Real Problem With Regular Minoxidil--It Does Not Address DHT
While regular minoxidil may prolong the anagen phase of your existing hairs and help regrow some of the lost hairs, the new hairs will be most likely be thin and weak. Minoxidil does not do anything to stop hair loss as it does not address or counter the actual cause of genetic hair loss-DHT. Even if you use minoxidil religiously, eventually, your hair follicles (without a DHT blocker), will become overwhelmed by DHT, leading to hair miniaturization.
To properly stop and reverse hair loss, you must block DHT.
Over the past 20 years, there have literally been hundreds of studies demonstrating the effectiveness of ingredients that, when applied topically to the scalp, can minimize the harmful effects of DHT, prevent hair loss and encourage the anagen (growth stage) of the hair growth cycle.
Below is a summary of certain of these ingredients and the key studies confirming their efficacy in treating alopecia.
Multiple studies confirm that caffeine is a powerful DHT blocker.
Caffeine is known to help increase blood circulation to the scalp which promotes healthy hair follicles. When you’re massaging hair products directly to the scalp you’re aiding blood circulation to the scalp and stimulating the roots. Stimulated hair follicles will grow faster, healthier and stronger thanks to getting all the right nutrients and minerals from your body through the improved blood supply into the scalp.
Want a more technical explanation as to how caffeine can help with hair loss? Caffeine is a methylxanthine alkaloid and functions as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, promoting cellular proliferation. In vitro studies report that caffeine counteracts the inhibitory effects of testosterone on hair growth, promotes hair shaft elongation, prolongs anagen duration, and stimulates hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation. Caffeine also downregulates testosterone-induced transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 expression, a hair growth inhibitor, and increases expression of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, a hair growth promoter.
A number of recent studies have shown caffeine to have beneficial effects in patients suffering from alopecia:
- A study conducted by Fischer et al. used a hair organ culture model to investigate the effects of testosterone and caffeine on hair follicle growth stimulation. This in vitro study used scalp biopsy samples from male alopecia patients that were cultivated using different concentrations of testosterone and/or caffeine for a period of 120-192 hours. Addition of caffeine in concentrations of 0.001% and 0.005% were found to counteract the suppressive effects of testosterone on hair growth, with a higher hair shaft elongation seen at 120 hours after caffeine administration, compared to control group.
- A study by Brandner et al., which assessed the follicular penetration of topical caffeine in hair follicles proved hair follicles to be faster route of drug delivery for topically applied drugs. An important requirement for the treatment of alopecia is follicular drug delivery.
- Another recent study assessed the follicular penetration of caffeine on topical application in a shampoo formulation for 2 minutes and showed that penetration via hair follicles was faster and higher compared with the interfollicular route and that hair follicles were the only pathway for faster caffeine absorption during the first 20 minutes after application.
- In a study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, researchers saw in vitro growth inhibition of human hair follicles exposed to testosterone. In the same study, the negative effects of testosterone were counteracted by low concentrations of caffeine. Additionally, and most importantly, the study confirmed that caffeine stimulated hair growth.
- In another study, six months of daily use of a shampoo containing caffeine resulted in fewer hairs extracted on the hair-pull test and hairs shed during combing, with reduced speed of hair loss progression and overall hair loss intensity. In another study involving topically-applied caffeine, participants experienced a decrease in hairs released during a hair-pull test, and a positive treatment response in 75% of patients at 2 months and 83% at 4 months.
- Bansal et al. (2012) also notes that caffeine plays a significant role in the treatment of alopecia. In this study, after application of caffeine on the scalp for 120 hours, hair regrowth was achieved. While used in treatment of alopecia, different properties of caffeine are shown, including the inhibition of phosphodiesterase as well as barrier function improvement.
- Furthermore, follicular penetration and stimulation of hair growth are the main functions of caffeine in hair cosmetics. Dhurat et al. (2017) highlight that caffeine can be used in the treatment of alopecia among males and females. The study involved 210 males with alopecia to whom 5% of minoxidil solution and 0.2% of caffeine-based liquid was applied on their scalp for 6 months. The caffeine solution led to 10.59% of hair growth improvement. The group also showed 11.68% of hair growth improvement following the 5% minoxidil solution topical application.
Saw palmetto is an extract from the berries of the palm tree saw palmetto (also called serenoa repens, serenoa serrulata or sabal serrulata). The plant is a native of West Indies and is grown in plenty on the Atlantic southeast coast of North America. It is a tall tree of 6 to 10 feet with a crown of thorn-shaped leaves arranged like a fan. The berries are oblong in shape and maroon colored.
Research on whether saw palmetto works to treat hair loss is promising. An extract of saw palmetto berries may block 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. DHT is the molecule responsible for hair loss and also is involved in the enlargement of the prostate.
- In a study of 34 men and 28 women (18-48 years) topically applied saw palmetto extract in a lotion and shampoo base for three months led to a 35% increase in hair density and 67% increase in sebum reduction assessed by sebometry, pH metry, hydration studies and phototrichogram.
- A study evaluating the hair growth effect of topical saw palmetto demonstrated an increased average and terminal hair counts at 12 and 24 weeks.
- A study done by Wessagowit et al. involved 50 male volunteers who were between 20 and 50 years of age. The application of the saw palmetto took place for 24 weeks. After the 24th week, the area of hair restoration had increased by 2.54 cm according to photographic assessments.
- In another study by Arca et al., 25 patients with alopecia were involved. The study took place for 4 months and there was an enhancement on the hair growth among 48% of the patients.
- A study by Murugusundram also indicates that saw palmetto is one of the several 5-alpha reductase inhibitors which occur naturally. In his study, 50% of the patients received positive results of hair restoration after topical application of saw palmetto for 6 months.
- Finally, a recent study established that applying saw palmetto topically to the scalp can reduce DHT levels by 32%.
Ketoconazole reduces inflammatory processes at the scalp. As androgenic alopecia causes inflammation that results in weak hair growth, using a shampoo that contains this ingredient essentially fights against it. Not long after its introduction, scientists began to see that its ability to tackle fungi and reduce inflammation allows it to play a role in reducing hair loss and promoting hair growth.
Researches have concluded that Ketoconazole, when contained in a shampoo, either blocks the production of DHT in itself or blocks DHT binding to androgen receptors in hair follicles-both of which would have the desired positive effect of stopping hair loss.
The same researchers concluded that while Finasteride is effective at reducing scalp DHT level, it does nothing to stop the remaining DHT from binding to the androgen receptors found in patients with hair loss. Applying Ketoconazole in a shampoo, however, can inhibit DHT production and/or DHT binding to androgen receptors. Hence, Ketoconazole has been found to be effective to potentially block the DHT pathway more completely.
There is a significant amount of additional research that has found Ketoconazole to be effective in reducing hair loss and stimulating hair growth.
- An early study from 1998 compared the effect of minoxidil and Ketoconazole on male pattern hair loss and hair growth. The researchers found that the hair density and proportion of hair follicles in the growth phase (anagen phase) improved almost similarly by both minoxidil and Ketoconazole. In other words, both were found equally effective in treating male pattern baldness.
- A more recent study found evidence to support the hypothesis that Ketoconazole shampoo was effective in inhibiting the production of DHT.
- More recent studies on mice demonstrated that Ketoconazole had a significant stimulatory effect on hair growth when compared with the control group.
- A study by Aldhalimi et al. involved the application of Ketoconazole on the skin of old male mice for 7 weeks. By the end of the 7th week, there was significant improvement in hair growth,
- A study by Rafi and Katz also examined the impact of Ketoconazole on 15 patients for 9 months. Their report highlights that patients with seborrheic dermatitis can achieve hair restoration through the use of shampoos containing Ketoconazole.
Belonging the legume family, astragalus has a long history as a potent immunity booster. It has been used as an adaptogen (a type of herb that stabilizes physiological processes) for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.
The perennial flowering plant is native to the north and eastern regions of China and has also been traced back to parts of Korea and Mongolia.
- Astragulus membranaceus is a well-known medicinal plant from East Asia and is classified as a cycloartane triterpene saponin. Its main component, Astragaloside IV, has been shown to be effective against hair loss (Kim et al., 2014). Research by Kim et al. (2014) involved staining a mice’s dorsal portion with Astragalus and observing the results after two weeks. The mice were treated with 1-100 μM of Astragaloside IV for 14 days. The results showed increased hair growth.
- According to Yu et al., Astragalus contains various features, including inhibition of DHT, that promotes hair growth. The study found that after the application of DA-5512 on 6 mice for 16 weeks, hair growth was promoted.
- Kwon et al. also investigated the impact of Astragalus membranaceus in the restoration of hair loss among individuals with alopecia. In the study, Astragulus membranaceus was used in treating the dorsal skin of the mice for 2 weeks. The results were compared to the control group of mice with alopecia. The mice in the control group did not receive any treatment. Notably, the mice to which the Astragulus membranaceus was administered showed significant regrowth of the lost hair. The control group of mice, on the other hand, continued to experience hair loss.
He Shou Wu is a Chinese herbal medicine, derived from the Polygonum multiflorum Thunb plant.
The name “He Shou Wu” translates to “the black-haired Mr. He.” It’s said that the remedy was named due to the transformational, youth-restoring effects it had on “Mr. He” when he discovered the herb.
It’s also referred to as Chinese knotweed and known as Fo-Ti in America.
This popular herbal remedy is used worldwide — often to promote good health and virility, as well as to treat a variety of different health conditions.
Fo-Ti root is a mountain herb with a long history of practice in traditional Chinese medicine dating back centuries. It’s still used in East Asia today as a treatment for men suffering with male-pattern baldness although it isn’t as well known in the West.
Studies establish that this extract can be a highly effective hair growth promoter:
- One study tested it on mice and found that an extract of the Fo-Ti root promoted hair growth by inducing the anagen phase in resting hair folicles.
- A study done by Feng & Bounda focused on the review of clinical studies performed on polygonum and its isolated bioactive compounds. The effects of polygonum to promote hair growth has been well-researched for a number of years and the herb has been used in many hair growth products
- Hair growth is regulated by a wide range of factors and proteins. Beta-catenin is an important component promoting the development of hair follicles. Li et al. carried out a study on mice where Fo-ti was applied and the subjects were observed for 25 minutes. Fo-ti is important in proliferation of dermal papilla, therefore, enhancing blood circulation around the hair follicles and thus, the positive results of hair growth in the mice.
Stinging Nettle/White Nettle
Nettle, more commonly known as Stinging Nettle, is a plant that can be found in moist areas throughout North America and has many health benefits.
Nettle is known for the spiny hairs located on the underside of the lanceolate leaves as well as the stem. Nettle has been used safely for thousands of years both internally and externally due to its many medicinal qualities and high vitamin content.
The stinging nettle root, known by its scientific name as urtica diocia, is a common plant found in most parts of the world that has received much attention from the hair loss community for its potential hair loss benefits.
- According to Johnson et al. (2013), stinging nettle or white nettle is scientifically referred to as Urtica dioica. Their study involved testing the stem, flowers, roots and leaves of the stinging nettle to identify its anti-androgen capacity. The herb is significant in the treatment of individuals with prostate hyperplasia to prevent hair loss. By adding stinging nettle to hair products, it promotes the regrowth of hair by restoring the hair follicles. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is induced by testosterone and has various impacts on the scalp as well as the hair follicle among men (Johnson et al., 2013).
- However, the use of stinging nettle in the shampoos and hair conditioners used by BPH patients is of considerable significance. The study by Nahata (2011) involved inducing rats with stinging nettle and as a result, the alopecia symptoms significantly reduced on the subjects.
- In one 2009 study, researchers found no negative side effects of stinging nettle on 620 patients treated for BPH. At the end of the trial, 81% experienced improved symptoms and they concluded, “Urtica dioica has beneficial effects in the treatment of symptomatic BPH. Further clinical trials should be conducted to confirm these results before concluding that Urtica dioicais effective.”
- In another study performed to test stinging nettle’s 5-alpha-reductase inhibitory effects, researchers came to the same conclusion, “Urtica diocia can be used . . . for the management of BPH."
- Yet in a third study which tested both stinging nettle and pygeum bark, another natural blocker we’ll talk about further below, a combination of 25 mg of pygeum bark and 300 mg of stinging nettle performed no better than placebo and after six months they observed no significant differences between those taking the treatment and placebo.
Sea buckthorn is a thorny shrub found along the Atlantic coast of Europe and throughout Asia. This plant sprouts leaves, fruits and seeds which are all used for traditional medicinal and remedial applications. Sea buckthorn oil is derived from the fruit that grows on this plant.
Sea buckthorn oil has become increasingly popular in natural skincare as it contains over 190 nutrients and phytonutrients! This nutritious berry has twelve times the amount of Vitamin C than oranges, just as much Vitamin E as wheat germ and three times more Vitamin A than carrots! Sea buckthorn also contains Omegas 3, 6, 9 and 7, along with many other nutrients and antioxidants.
The plant has a large number of active ingredients, the properties of which are successfully used in the cosmetic industry and in medicine. Valuable substances contained in sea buckthorn oil play an important role in the proper functioning of the human body and give skin a beautiful and healthy appearance.
Moreover, its unique unsaturated fatty acids, such as palmitoleic acid (omega-7) and gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6), give sea buckthorn oil skin regeneration and repair properties.
Sea buckthorn oil also improves blood circulation, facilitates oxygenation of the skin, removes excess toxins from the body and easily penetrates through the epidermis. Because inside the skin the gamma-linolenic acid is converted to prostaglandins, sea buckthorn oil protects against infections, prevents allergies, eliminates inflammation, and inhibits the aging process. With close to 200 properties, sea buckthorn oil is a valuable addition to health and beauty products."
Thus, it's the sheer concentration (and vast variety) of nutrients that may separate sea buckthorn from the rest of the pack in terms of hair-boosting supplements and even growth-promoting foods.
- A study by Zielińska & Nowac (2017) compared different medicinal herbs and sea buckthorn oil was found to have anti-androgen characteristics. Sea buckthorn extract has been found to increase the thickness of hair As a bonus, the oil, which is extracted from the sea buckthorn herb, will also help with unclogging the follicles of the hair (Zielińska & Nowac, 2017). As a result, the use of sea buckthorn oil on hair will lead to hair restoration and better appearance.
Peppermint has a long history of being used as a medicinal herb for issues like stomach problems, muscle pains, and even headaches. Peppermint essential oil, botanical name Mentha piperita, is extracted by steam distillation and is an extremely potent essential oil.
Peppermint oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and insecticidal properties This oil contains a host of minerals and nutrients including, calcium, copper, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It has omega-3, vitamins A, and C, and due to the menthol, menthone and methyl esters in peppermint essential oil it is widely used in cigarettes, chew gum, teas, ice creams, soaps and shampoos. It is widely used to aid with indigestion, dental care, stress, and even respiratory problems.
- Oh et al conducted a study using 4 experimental groups of C57BL/6 mice for a period of 4 weeks. The study aimed to indicate the significance of peppermint oil in strengthening the hair and its use in the treatment of hair loss. The hair growth capacity of peppermint oil is based on its antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, peppermint oil promotes hair growth through its significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Lycopene, which is an antioxidant with high antiaging properties, can be primarily found in tomatoes, as these are the richest source of natural lycopene. And the good news is researchers have found a positive relation between Lycopene use and hair health. The most important thing when experiencing hair loss is to restore a good blood circulation. Poor blood circulation leads to an increase in hair loss because hair cannot fully receive nutrients. Lycopene plays a major role in improving blood flow and helping cell restoration, which is very beneficial for the health of the scalp. It also helps reduce inflammations and boosts the collagen production.
This nutrient used in hair treatments has a powerful antioxidant role and protects the hair from UV rays, keeping it from environmental damages, as well as reverse and neutralize the effect of harmful free radicals (like drying, breaking, and fading). With all these amazing benefits for hair and skin it’s no wonder best hair care and beauty products in the world use it as an ingredient.
- A study by Rajput (2017) compared various factors which may result to hair loss. Both men and women experience hair loss issues at different stages in life. Including lycopene in hair products is a great solution towards hair restoration as it leads to the inhibition of DHT among men with AGA (Rajput, 2017).
Pea (Pisum Sativum) Extract
Sprouts are the germinated seeds of legumes and grains. While sprouts in grocery stores and restaurants are produced on an industrial scale, you can also germinate your own sprouts at home by soaking and storing beans and seeds.
Pea Sprouts are very beneficial for hair growth, feeding both the scalp and hair with essential nutrients and antioxidants to refresh and revitalise hair from the root. Studies have shown that Pea Sprout Extract can help shorten the Telogen phase of the hair growth cycle helping to strengthen hair follicle stem cells.
Sprouts are interesting because they’re more nutritious than the beans from which they sprout. They’re touted as a superfood because they’re simultaneously nutritionally dense and very low in calories. Sprouts are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, all of which are necessary for maintaining a healthy body. Additionally, sprouts have the highest level of phytonutrients of any plant material.
Sprouts also have several benefits for hair growth. For example, sprouts are a good low-calorie source of nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth including vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, selenium, and iron. Sprouts are also rich in antioxidants, which are nutrients that protect cells from damaging free radicals.*
So, which sprouts are good for hair? Alfalfa, mung bean, and chia sprouts are all very nutritious, but pea sprouts are especially helpful for healthy-looking hair.
Recent scientific research suggests that pea sprout extract can have incredible benefits for healthy hair. Studies show that pea sprout extract helps shorten the telogen, or resting, phase of the hair growth cycle, accelerating hair follicles’ transition into the anagen, or growing, phase.
- In one study, daily topical application of pea growth extract to the scalp resulted in a 8% improvement of hair density. This research suggests that pea sprout extract stimulates the dermal papilla cells to produce signaling molecules that initiate the growth cycle of hair follicles.
- Koo et al. (2015) investigated 30 pea genotypes to identify the best variety for sprouting. Sprouts are the young shoots that develop from germinating seeds. Because the shoots of a plant are especially vulnerable, secondary metabolites are abundant at this stage. Sprouts that are a few days old have the highest concentration of healthy nutrients per calorie of any food. The high concentration of isoflavones in pea sprouts might be responsible for the positive effect on hair growth. The pea genotypes candidates selected were PI269803, PI343278, PI343283, PI343300 and PI343307. The varieties were later germinated under the temperature of 20-25˚C and the length was examined. PI343300 and PI269803 varieties displayed the longest sprouts. Pea extracts are rich in nutrients and antioxidants which are beneficial to the scalp and more importantly, promoting the hair growth. Some of the nutrients contained in the pea sprout extract include iron, zinc and vitamin C. These nutrients stimulate hair growth by nourishing the hair follicles and thus plays a significant role in the treatment of people with hair loss (Koo et al., 2015).
Including pea sprout extract in the shampoos and conditioners for people with AGA is essential.
The name “niacin” was derived from the phrase “nicotinic acid + vitamin.” It actually refers to a family of organic compounds that all possess the same biochemical activity. Other names for Niacin include Vitamin B3, Vitamin PP, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.
Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin and member of the B-vitamin family. It includes several compounds like nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Overall, B vitamins are famous for having positive effects on the nervous system and in activating energy reserves in the body. Every B vitamin, including Biotin or Folic acid, serves its own specific purpose, and Niacin is no exception. Niacin’s specialty lies in releasing energy from the metabolism of glucose, fat and alcohol.
Niacin and hair growth go hand-in-hand because this B vitamin boosts energy and improves blood flow to the scalp. A healthy scalp is crucial for healthy hair growth.
- The study by Draelos (2005) involved 60 female participants with I-III type of Ludwig hair loss. The participants were divided into a group of 20 patients receiving placebo and 40 patients receiving the active product. After 6 months a 35 mm photographic analysis was used to analyze the results. Octyl nicotinate and tetradecyl nicotinate are derivatives of niacin and they promoted hair fullness among the participants (Draelos et al., 2005).
Therefore, niacin has various properties which promote hair growth among men and women, and it warrants its inclusion in hair restoration products.
Ginger has been used for centuries in Asian communities to promote hair growth. Zingiber officinale has also been used in hair shampoos and hair conditioners to increase hair growth and different contemporary companies include it in their products to promote hair thickness and restoration. The product is especially significant for people with alopecia (Miao et al., 2013).
- Miao (2013) used 6-gingerol to treat two mice for ten days. The dosage applied were increased by 1% every day. After the 10th day, the mice had significant hair growth on the area on which 6-gingerol was applied, indicating the efficacy of ginger in promoting hair growth.
- Baumann (2016) indicates that when argan oil was used on 20 volunteers for 4 weeks, there was a 95% hair growth improvement. Most men develop baldness following AGA. Women, on the other hand, experience hair loss following medical conditions, including hypothyroidism. Other causes include medications such as oral contraceptives as well as nutritional deficiencies. Furthermore, emotional and physiological stress also contributes highly to the loss of hair among women. Argan oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants and protects the hair against damage which in turn can help prevent hair loss (Baumann, 2016).
- Okano et al. (1996) analyzes different articles on the factors leading to loss of hair as well as the remedies. As a problem already existing for centuries, the issue of losing hair can happen to anyone, and more importantly, it can affect both male and female. Following the global increased awareness of health and wellness, there has been a decrease in the interest of hair products based on chemicals. Consumers are drawn to hair products like conditioners, shampoos as well as oils, that contains natural ingredients. Hops extract is a useful natural ingredient that can be used in solving hair loss issues among men and women (Okano et al., 1996).
- A study by Murata et al. (2013) indicates that rosemary extract is significant in the treatment of alopecia. The study involved rats whose dorsal areas were shaven before application of rosemary extract. They were compared to a control group not receiving any treatment. According to the study by Murata et al. (2013), rosemary officinalis extract displayed inhibitory properties against 5-alpha reductase proving that it is a must to include rosemary extract to hair loss products (Murata et al., 2013).
Rosemary oil is commonly used as an ingredient in homemade hair masks to treat damaged hair thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. This is great for balding because fungal infections and bad bacteria can be contributing factors toward hair loss but rosemary can also stimulate new hair growth by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
That’s exactly what one study performed on mice found when rosemary extract was applied directly to the skin. It showed inhibitory activity of 82.4% at 200 µg/mL which suggests it effectively blocks the binding of DHT to androgen receptors.
Another study comparing rosemary oil to a 2% concentration of minoxidil, found no increase in hair count for either group after three months but after six months the mean hair count increased significantly and there was no major difference between either treatment.
You can either apply the oil directly onto your scalp and massage it around (remember to do an exfoliating scalp peel beforehand) or you can mix some in with your shampoo and let it sit over your head. Like any other topical treatment, it’s best to be consistent so don’t skip days.
Pygeum bark extract
Pygeum africanum is an evergreen tree from Africa. The extract is rich in derivatives of natural fatty acids and is used in herbal medications to relieve urinary symptoms caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Excessive DHT happens to be the main cause of BPH (or prostate enlargement) and is also considered the main culprit in causing male as well as female pattern baldness.
Pygeum africanum has been used in the medical industry for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and is known for its DHT-blocking characteristics. It has also been used, among other products, in the treatment of prostate cancer. The androgen receptor contained in the pygeum bark extract is useful in controlling prostate growth.
- When a study was carried out by Schleich et al. (2006) using a dichloromethane extract, it showed that pygeum had the highest anti-androgenic impact on the patients. Therefore, the bark of the P. africanum contains increased levels of androgen antagonistic activity (Wilt & Ishani, 1998). These anti-androgenic features are essential in controlling AGA in men. Inclusion of Pygeum bark extract in hair products will have a positive effect on hair growth for the consumer.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil has been shown to block the action of 5-alpha reductase. The enzyme 5-alpha reductase is the main antagonist in androgenetic alopecia.
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) is a member of the squash family native to North America. Pumpkin seed oil (PSO) contains phytosterols known to inhibit 5-alpha reductase, preventing the conversion of testosterone to active dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
- When pumpkin seed oil was tested on 60 rats, it was found to have anti-androgenic impacts. The study was aimed to show the tolerability as well as the efficacy of the pumpkin seed oil for treatment of hair loss problems among people (Cho et al., 2014). The main focus of the study was the male patients with moderate and mild AGA. After the application of the pumpkin seed oil, the results were tested over time; there were various standards which were utilized in examining the effects. For example, the scalp hair count and scalp hair thickness were the scores used to evaluate the efficacy of the pumpkin seed oil. The participants received the pumpkin seed oil treatment for 24 weeks, and the results increased hair counts and hair thickness (Cho et al., 2014). Therefore, the study has indicated the efficiency of pumpkin seed oil in the treatment of baldness among male patients with AGA.
- Another study had a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study on 76 patients with mild to moderate hair loss which received 400 mg of PSO everyday for 6 months. The results were promising: self-rated satisfaction scores in the group taking pumpkin seed oil were greater than the placebo group, they had more hair after treatment than the beginning of the study, the average increase in hair count was 40%, and no negative side effects were experienced.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea inhibits aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgens (e.g. testosterone) into estrogen. This has no significant impact on your body and there are more powerful drugs designed for that particular effect, should you need them.
- Research has suggested that green tea inhibits 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme involved in the synthesis of DHT. It was also found to interfere with the pathway involved in testosterone synthesis. It’s because of these inhibitory effects that green tea is seen as a hair growth promoter (Nualsri et al., 2016).
The most important component in cayenne fruit extract is capsaicin. It stimulates the skin cells which increases the overall metabolic process of the skin on a cellular level. Due to intensive metabolism, blood rushes to the skin of the scalp and the hair follicles receive sufficient nutrition and oxygen content from the blood flow which greatly promotes hair growth. Also, capsaicin stimulates the dead skin cells of the scalp which leads to new hair follicle production.
Capsicum is also known as cayenne pepper or red pepper, named after the city of Cayenne in French Guinea. The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, that are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice of the same name.
The main constituent of red pepper is capsaicin, which is the pungent phenolic fraction of capsicum. It also contains 6,7-dihydrocapsaicin, ascorbic acid, thiamine and fixed oil. It contains several minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium and vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. Capsicum is rich in carotenoid pigments which include capsanthin, capsorubrin, carotene, luteine, zeaxanthin and cucurbitaxanthin A (Mosquera & Hornero-Méndez, 1993). It is also rich in fats, proteins, Vitamin A and vitamin C.
- In a study by Harada et al., it was found that capsaicin with isoflavone stimulates hair growth in mice and humans with alopecia by stimulating IGF-I (Harada et al., 2007).
Capsaicin being pungent in nature causes a tingling sensation when applied to the scalp which activates the hair follicles. In addition, it increases blood circulation. This enhances blood supply to the follicles and provides the required nutrients for hair growth. The quantity of the extract to be used in the oil should be enough to tingle the scalp but not too much to cause irritation of the scalp.
Black Cumin Oil
Commonly known as black cumin or kalonji, the oil is obtained from the fruits of Nigella sativa, family Ranunculaceae. It is indigenous to Europe, Southwest Asia and Africa, but is cultivated in other countries. The oil may be extracted by the cold press method or solvent extraction.
Black cumin oil is one of the products that have been used for the past 100 years and is known for increased hair restoration properties. The Indians have used the black cumin seeds for many years as the seeds are believed to have 100 and above medicinal components.
Black cumin seed oil has also been used in Ancient Egypt for hair restoration. For instance, following the history of the Egyptians, Cleopatra used cumin seed oil to acquire her luscious and shiny hair. The cumin seed oil was also found in the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun (Lebow, 2016). As such, the black cumin seed oil was of great value to the Egyptians.
- There has been a wide range of studies which seek to prove the effectiveness of Nigella sativa oil in the restoration of hair. For instance, a JCDSA publication indicates that Nigella sativa is significant in the treatment of telogen effluvium. According to the research, TE is a disorder of the scalp whereby the hair roots are forced into a resting state, which is premature. As a result, an individual experience shedding and thinning of the hair. The study indicated that 90% of the participants who were treated with Nigella sativa had improved hair thickness and density. Furthermore, the black cumin oil led to reduction of inflammation among the patients who had Telogen effluvium (Lebow, 2016). The study is thus an indication of the effectiveness of the Nigella sativa oil in restoring hair thickness and prevention of hair loss.
The oil contains unsaturated fatty acids: linoleic acid, oleic acid, eicosadienoic acid and dihomolinoleic acid, saturated fatty acids like palmitic and stearic acid. Thymoquinone, nigellone, α-sitosterol, and stigmasterol as major components. It has been used in the Unani system of medicine for treatment of hair problems. The oil strengthens the follicles and prevents hair loss. It also claims to treat baldness by causing hair regrowth.
An essential B-vitamin that promotes hair growth and aids in overall hair health. This ingredient strengthens both the hair follicle and the hair shaft, from which the hair grows.
- Biotin was tested on scalps with hair loss. The examination involved 60 participants where 30 were placebo. As such, the biotin ingredient was applied on 30 people suffering from hair loss for three months. The portion selected was 4 cm of the scalp where the hair had been lost for various reasons. After 90 days, the population which received the oral marine supplements with biotin had regained their hair (Ablon, 2015).
Reishi mushroom is an essential ingredient in hair restoration, especially among AGA patients. The mushroom species is especially prevalent in Asia, and it is regarded as the spiritual potency herb.
The wild reishi mushroom is rare, and therefore, the mushroom species are cultivated in woodchips as well as on the logs of hardwood. The mushroom has a flattened top, and the texture is corky. The cap of the reishi mushroom is kidney-shaped with red varnish. However, there are reishi mushrooms with other colors, but the red varnish is the dominant color.
- The reishi mushroom restores hair growth among men and women from different parts of the world because it is effective in inhibition of DHT. There is a great need to include an ingredient which inhibits the DHT on the scalp (Grant & Ramasamy, 2012) for the treatment of hair loss. This was the conclusion by the study by Grant & Ramasamy (2012) that involved the analysis of the Pubmed and Medline publications containing information regarding different androgens and anti-androgens.
The best thing you can do to keep your hair from thinning and falling out is to take action as soon as you notice the first signs of hair loss. Ensuring that you apply products that contain ingredients that have been scientifically and clinically researched for their properties to inhibit DHT, such as Hair Restoration Laboratories’ DHT Halting Technology®️, together with ingredients promoting hair growth and optimal hair health, will be the best treatment option for men and women suffering from hair loss. These ingredients are a natural alternative to chemical and drug treatment with the same, and in some cases, even better results.
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