Inflammation, and the resultant fibrosis of the hair follicle is more central to the Androgenetic hair loss process than the implicated hormones DHT, Androstendione, and in aging men, Estrogen. Simply put, these hormones initiate an inflammatory and fibrotic hair loss process in those genetically predisposed.

      In previous updates we have detailed evidence based methods by which to successfully intervene on this process.

      This particular study sheds light on the anti-inflammatory properties of Cayenne Pepper, (widely available in any supermarket) on cutaneous (skin) inflammation, which is widely available in any supermarket.

      Why would it help with hair loss?

      Cayenne would appear have a therapeutic effect on stress generated neuropeptides and/or endocannabinoids.

      Research shows that CB1 receptors influence hair growth. It appears that blunting the activity of CB1 during stressful events may increase hair growth and protect against hair loss

      Capsiacin effects mast cell histamine release and vanilloid receptor-1 (VR1). It seems to at least in part act as an antagonist to CB1 receptors. This could be a critical component in treating either stress induced or Androgenetic hair loss. 

      In a prior update we featured a putudy featuring the astounding hair growth effects on an oral combination of Soy Isoflavones and Cayenne Pepper. 

      The authors concluded “that combined administration of capsaicin and isoflavone might increase IGF-I production in hair follicles in the skin, thereby promoting hair growth. 

      Such effects of capsaicin and isoflavone might be mediated by sensory neuron activation in the skin. 

      Cayenne Pepper is readily available in any supermarket in the spice section. The amount orally consumed for the capsaicin amount presented in this study would amount to about 4 grams, or a little less than a teaspoon. You can mix it with anything, including water, and down it quick-it’s quite hot. When combined with an oral Soy Isoflavone Extract, Hair growth was reported in 5 months in 88% of the 25 patients with Androgenetic Alopecia. 

Pharmacol Rep. 2006 Jan-Feb; 58(1):13-21

Clinical and experimental aspects of cutaneous neurogenic inflammation.

Zegarska B, Lelińska A, Tyrakowski T.

Department of Cosmetology, Collegium Medicum, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Jagiellońska 13, PL 85-094 Bydgoszcz, Poland. 

The aim of this paper is to present the state of knowledge on cutaneous neurogenic inflammation. Peripheral effector functions served by afferent sensory neurons underlie the so-called neurogenic inflammation. The mechanism of cutaneous neurogenic inflammation is connected with the release of neuropeptides from the sensory endings. They also exert a number of functions within the immune system. The activity of neuropeptides in the inflammation of the skin can be observed in the form of erythema, edema, hyperthermia and pruritus. Beside these peptides and their receptors, inflammatory skin response, is regulated by tryptase and proteinase-activated receptor 2 (PAR-2). Capsaicin decreases effects of inflammation-induced sensory neuropeptides, which was used in the treatment of diseases caused by inflammation. The activity of transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 (TRP-V1) is associated with the neurogenic inflammation. In inflammatory processes, the neuro-immuno-cutaneous system undergoes activation, which is responsible for triggering and maintaining the inflammatory conditions, both in the healthy skin as well as in the pathological conditions, like psoriasis. Skin exposure to UV radiation influences the neuro-immuno-cutaneous system and causes the release of neuropeptides, thereby eliciting inflammatory response in photodermatosis. In conclusion, understanding the mechanisms and the factors controlling neurotransmitters and their receptors will lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of cutaneous diseases e.g. pruritus, psoriasis, alopecia areata.

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Aug; 49(2):229-33.

The expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 in follicular dermal papillae correlates with therapeutic efficacy of finasteride in androgenetic alopecia.
Tang L, Bernardo O, Bolduc C, Lui H, Madani S, Shapiro J.
Division of Dermatology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Hospital, Canada.

BACKGROUND: It is generally believed that dihydrotestosterone is one of the pivotal mediators of hair loss in androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Finasteride, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, has now become an integral part of the current treatment approaches for male AGA. Several lines of evidence support the notion that dermal papilla (DP) cells represent the androgen target within the hair follicle. The specific molecular regulators modulated by androgens within hair follicles in the balding scalp are unknown. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify and quantify changes in expression of specific molecular hair growth regulators in DP of men with AGA treated with finasteride and correlate these findings to clinical efficacy. METHODS: Biopsy specimens were collected from 9 male patients from both the balding area and nonbalding occipital area before and after 4 months of finasteride therapy. DP were microdissected and total RNA was extracted from an equal number of DP from each biopsy specimen. The expression of various cytokines, including insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, was determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The signals were detected by autoradiography. All 9 patients were given finasteride for 1 year and evaluated for efficacy at month 12. Efficacy was graded on a 7-point scale on the basis of comparison with initial baseline photography. RESULTS: IGF-1 was up-regulated by finasteride treatment in 4 of 9 patients. Among the patients with increased IGF-1 expression, 3 of them showed moderate clinical improvement after 12 months of treatment and another patient remained unchanged. In contrast, 3 patients with decreased IGF-1 expression in the balding scalp showed clinical worsening after 12 months. The other 2 patients without noticeable change in IGF-1 expression showed either slight improvement or no change in their hair condition. CONCLUSION: In a small uncontrolled study of 9 patients with AGA, an increased expression of IGF-1 messenger RNA levels in the DP was associated with patient response to finasteride.

Editor’s Note – We are NOT recommending the use of Propecia (finasteride) due to its numerous sexual side effects and negative effects on mood and cognition. The previous abstracts and the Soy/Cayenne study discussed in a prior update simply highlight cutaneous IGF-1 as a therapeutic mechanism in treating Androgenetic hair loss, which can be readily targeted by a Soy/Cayenne combo. It was also noted in a previous update that neurogenic inflammation also readily responds to an oral combination of Resveratrol and Curcumin, which may in part account for its efficacy.