Scalp Thickness, Retin-A, Emu Oil and Hair Growth 

It has been demonstrated in several studies that the scalp skin in areas affected by Androgenetic Alopecia is thinner than the scalp skin of areas unaffected by Androgenetic alopecia. This has been confirmed in both via punch bioscopies and ultra-sound measurement. It is also a fact that the skin thins throughout the body in response to aging as a result of a deteriorating collagen, resulting in sagging, loose skin, a type of skin aging that occurs independent of ultraviolet light exposure.

This age related thinning of the dermis also constricts micro-capillary perfusion (circulation) to the scalp and, along with atherosclerosis, is thought to be implicated in senescent thinning, an age related thinning that is visible in most seniors, even those unaffected by Androgenetic Alopecia. It typically manifests as a see through appearance of the hair through to the scalp, regardless of an intact hairline.

Most are not familiar with this particular facet of hair loss, and how one can use topical Retin A and Emu Oil to neutralize and reverse this process that contributes to both androgenetic and age induced hair thinning, dermal thinning, and the resultant skin sagging process.

Retin-A’s Skinn Thckening Finctions

Tretinoin’s (Retin-A) primary function in the skin is its ability to maintain existing collagen and stimulate new collagen growth. This is the main reason Retin-A provides so many anti-aging benefits to the skin. Skin topically treated with Retin-A reduces collagenase expression, which is a catabolic enzyme that causes skin inflammation and cross linking after sun exposure. Retin-A promotes collagen production with consistent use because its regulation of proper cell function includes a stimulation of new collagen production. Preventing age related collagen loss, and stimulating new collagen production guarantees thicker, younger looking skin.

Emu Oil’s Skin Thickening Functions

The anti-aging factor for skin in emu oil was established at the Boston University School of Medicine in which pharmaceutical grade Emu Oil was topically applied to depilated mice in a for a two-week-long period in a double-blind study comparison to corn oil. The emu oil produced a 20% increase in DNA synthesis in the mouse skin to which it was applied. Hair follicles were much more robust and the skin thickness had increased. Dr. Michael Holick, MD, Ph.D. who conducted these tests said they also discovered that 80% of telogen resting hair follicles were activated and began growing hair.

The Skin Firming of Emu Oil and Retin A

The increase in DNA synthesis and the resultant collagen stimulation that results from both Emu Oil and Retin-A use maintains the skin’s tightness, and confers a “plumping” effect. New cell generation also visibly reduces enlarged pores. These combined properties of both Emu Oil and Retin-A create tighter skin because of its restored thickness and elasticity. Mild and moderately aged skin is firmed with continual use. Sagging skin can be largely prevented from ever occurring in the first place.

Retin-A and Emu Oil Hair Growth Properties

Retin-A reduces the size of sebaceous glands and down-regulates sebum production, an indication of a local anti-androgenic effect.

Retin-A facilitates Rogaine absorption

As you likely already know, Rogaine, despite being FDA approved has a transient and negligible effect on hair growth. Retin-A improves Rogaine absorption by upregulating cell proliferation. This evidently enhances Rogaine absorption into the scalp and into the hair follicles. Despite this apparent property of Retin A on Rogaine absorption, we are not recommending that anyone start Rogaine who hasn’t been using it for quite some time, the primary reason being the acute shedding (effluvium) that occurs upon discontinuation.

Although there is some evidence that Retin A does enhance the absorption of minoxidil, the hair growth/hair loss prevention claims made for the Minoxidil /Retin A combos are generally grossly exaggerated, often using manipulated photo imagery.

Cautionary issues when using Retin A for treating MPB

The main problem of applying Retin A to the scalp stem from its established side effects, irritation and skin peeling. This could lead to inflammation, the last thing you need if you have MPB.

Inflammation is an established feature in the pathogenesis of MPB, which shortens the anagen phase of hair, eventually leading to thinning hair.

Despite these effects, we have occasional claims of hair growth for the singular use of Retin A, which would make sense given its skin thickening effects.

Other Retin A Options

If you want to use Retin A as part of a hair loss regimen you could theoretically safely use a combination of Emu Oil and Retin A to offset any Retin A induced inflammation.

Emu oil has established wound healing, anti-inflammatory and hair growth effects. Its anti-inflammatory effects are so pronounced that is has healed both inflammation caused by experimental scalding and croton oil irritation (an extreme irritant) in mammalian models.

It has been recommended by certain dermatologists that Retin A/Emu Oil is the best possible combo to use to prevent facial skin aging, because you get the dual skin thickening benefits of both without the inflammation. If you are tempted to try Retin A on the scalp, you should ideally use it no more than every other night before retiring and follow its application about half hour later with a few drops of Emu Oil. Use Emu Oil on the days/nights you don’t use Retin A.

While Retin A cream requires a prescription in the United States, it is less costly and readily available over the counter in Europe and Latin America and can be legally imported in personal use quantities,(up to 3 months supply). You can call us for a reliable source.