It is common knowledge that free radicals are implicated in the aging processes of all organisms, including humans.

      In a nutshell, free radicals are organic molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, inflammation, and some diseases. These molecules are very unstable, therefore they look to bond with other molecules, destroying their health and further continuing the damaging, oxidative process. Antioxidants, are molecules that to varying degrees prevent free radicals from harming healthy tissue.

      In the case of Androgenetic Hair Loss, it has been assumed that free radical pathology plays a pivotal role. Dr. Peter Proctor MD, PhD, has been adamant about this more many years, and integrates high levels of anti-oxidants in his contunually updated, topical formulations.

      What this study demonstrates is that Androgens (male hormones), actually initiate inflammation, and ultimately hair follicle miniaturization via an oxidative process, strongly suggestive of a critical role for the usage of not only topical, but systemic anti-oxidants as well in hair loss treatment:

Induction of transforming growth factor-beta 1 by androgen is mediated by reactive oxygen species in hair follicle dermal papilla cells

AuthorsShin H, et al.
BMB Rep. 2013 Sep;46(9):460-4.
Department of Dermatology, Institute of Human-Environment Interface Biology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-744, Korea

The progression of androgenetic alopecia is closely related to androgen-inducible transforming growth factor (TGF) 1 secretion by hair follicle dermal papilla cells (DPCs) in bald scalp. Physiological levels of androgen exposure were reported to increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. In this study, rat vibrissae dermal papilla cells (DP-6) transfected with androgen receptor showed increased ROS production following androgen treatment. We confirmed that TGF-?1 secretion is increased by androgen treatment in DP-6, whereas androgen-inducible TGF-?1 was significantly suppressed by the ROS-scavenger, N-acetyl cysteine. Therefore, we suggest that induction of TGF-?1 by androgen is mediated by ROS in hair follicle DPCs. [BMB Reports 2013; 46(9): 460-464].

Durk Pearson, who wrote the groundbreaking book, Life Extension, a Practical, Scientific Approach in 1982, strongly recommended the use of anti-oxidants as a front line anti-aging intervention. He had a chapter dedicated to the treatment of Male Pattern Baldness (which he has the genes for). His treatment recommendation for MPB at the time consisted of topical Polysorbate 80 mega-doses of anti-oxidants, such as vitamin C , E, Selenium, Zinc, and the amino acids Taurine, Cysteine, and Methionine, along with high doses of B vitamins and the intermittent usage of Selsun Blue-a commercially available Selenium Sulfide shampoo. Durk noted several times that when he was not consistent with his extensive anti-oxidant/vitamin regime , his sebum emission and shedding rate would go way up within days. Not surprisingly, the most effective shampoo by far for treating hair loss today -even more effective than Nizoral, are Piroctone Olamine based dandruff shampoos such as Follicure Para Caspa, which have a specifically identified anti-oxidant mechanism of action.

New Dandruff Shampoo for Hairloss

      Durk has a hair vitamin commercially available, which we highly recommend and consider to be the best in the Industry, called Root Food, (contact us for a source) which consist of the aforementioned anti-oxidants and amino acids, and high doses of B vitamins. Research in free radicals and human disease has significantly evolved since 1982, resulting in a myriad of new and more potent sources of anti-oxidants for human use. Many you’ve heard of, such as Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract, Curcumin, etc., which benefit hair growth by multiple other mechanisms in addition to their free radical scavenging properties.

      Some specific anti-oxidant molecules have been found, via work in the Bio-Tech industry, to be specifically effective for fighting hair loss. In addition to the broad spectrum of oral anti-oxidants that have benefits for health, and some degree, hair loss, Astaxanthin and Tocotrienols are particularly useful in targeting the oxidation and inflammation in the dermal papillae that androgens initiate.

Brain Res. 2009 Feb 13;1254:18-27. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.11.076. Epub 2008 Dec 3.
Astaxanthin inhibits reactive oxygen species-mediated cellular toxicity in dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells via mitochondria-targeted protective mechanism.
Liu X, Shibata T, Hisaka S, Osawa T.
Laboratory of Food and Biodynamics, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.


Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that occurs naturally in a wide variety of living organisms. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect and the mechanism of astaxanthin on reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated apoptosis in dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells. The treatment with DHA hydroperoxide (DHA-OOH) or 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), either of which is ROS-inducing neurotoxin, led to a significant decrease in viable dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells by MTT assay, whereas a significant protection was shown while the cells were pretreated with astaxanthin. Moreover, 100 nM astaxanthin pretreatment significantly inhibited apoptosis, mitochondrial abnormalities and intracellular ROS generation occurred in either DHA-OOH- or 6-OHDA-treated cells. The neuroprotective effect of astaxanthin is suggested to be dependent upon its antioxidant potential and mitochondria protection; therefore, it is suggested that astaxanthin may be an effective treatment for oxidative stress-associated neurodegeneration.

A 2009 report from the University of Queensland stated that in 8 clinical studies involving 180 humans, no adverse outcomes were reported about Astaxanthin. The studies showed that after taking Astaxanthin, particpants had reduced oxidative stress and inflammation and improved blood flow, all conclusively identified factors in MPB.

In a prior update, Astaxanthin, when combined with a critical CO2 Saw Palmetto Extract, not only precipitously drops DHT levels, but raises Testosterone and reduces Estrogen as well.

Tocotrienols, which are members found in the Vitamin E family, are natural agents that, according to scientific research, have tremendous health benefits and may even affect how such illnesses as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hair loss, and even certain kinds of cancer are treated in the future.

      Tocotrienols have also been shown in several studies to reverse hair loss:

Conclusion: High systemic doses of Anti-oxidants and the topical use of Piroctone Olamine Shampoo are not only indicated for health and disease prevention, but for helping to reduce the oxidative stress in the dermal papilla that has been conclusively shown androgens initiate in the hair loss process. Among the extensive array of currently available anti-oxidants, Astaxanthin and Super Absorbable Tocotrienols are particularly useful for treating and or preventing hormona,l and perhaps other forms of hair loss.