Durk Pearson, author the groundbreaking book , Life Extension, in 1982, observed that whenever he stopped taking the mega doses of anti-oxidants and vitamins he was famous for, his hair fallout dramatically increased . Subsequent research has lent credence to his observations. The free radical, oxidative and inflammatory mechanism that is initiated by DHT in both male and female pattern hair loss has been identified in several published studies. This particular study shows conclusive evidence of the role free radical pathology plays in hair loss.
J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Feb 3.
Oxidative Stress Associated Senescence in dermal Papilla Cells of Men with Androgenetic Alopecia.
Upton JH1, Hannen RF1, Bahta AW1, Farjo N2, Farjo B2, Philpott MP1.
Dermal papilla cells (DPC) taken from male androgenic alopecia (AGA) patients undergo premature senescence in vitro in association with expression of p16INK4a suggesting that DPC from balding scalp are more sensitive to environmental stress than non-balding cells. As one of the major triggers of senescence in vitro stems from the cell “culture shock” due to oxidative stress we have further investigated the effects of oxidative stress on balding and occipital scalp DPC. Patient matched DPC from balding and occipital scalp were cultured at atmospheric (21%) or physiologically normal (2%) O2. At 21% O2 DPC showed flattened morphology and a significant reduction in mobility, population doubling, increased levels of ROS and senescence associated β-Gal activity and increased expression of p16INK4a and pRB. Balding DPC secreted higher levels of the negative hair growth regulators TGF-β1 and -β2 in response to H2O2 but not cell culture associated oxidative stress. Balding DPC had higher levels of catalase and total glutathione but appear to be less able to handle oxidative stress compared to occipital DPC. These in vitro findings suggest a role for oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) both in relation to cell senescence and migration but also secretion of known hair follicle inhibitory factors.
Although high oral doses of old school anti-oxidants such as Selenium, Zinc, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E did significantly reduce shedding according to Durk Pearson in 1982, several more recently developed anti-oxidants have been found to have specific hair growth effects in treating AGA.
Among these are Tocotrienols, which is a form of vitamin E extracted from the Red Palm. Published data showed a 42% increase in hair counts after 5 months, with no side effects reported.
Resveratrol and Curcumin, particularly when combined, are documented to produce hair growth effects.
Both are singularly potent anti-oxidants, which potentiate the effects of each other when combined. The topical application of Proanthocyanidin B2, a component of the Anti-Aging Scalp Rejuvenation Serum, is a free radical scavenger that when topically applied exhibits hair growth stimulation effects.
Another powerful oral anti-oxidant combination for reversing hair loss, patented by Inneov, combines Taurine, Green Tea, Grape Seed Extract, and Zinc.
The apparent hair loss treatment effects of anti-oxidants are hardly surprising given the conclusively identified free radical pathogenesis of AGA. In addition to the hair growth benefits of these compounds, there are well documented, additional health and anti-aging properties, which I would take advantage of regardless of its benefits to hair.