Topical Capsaicin for Hair Loss: Increases Scalp IGF-1 -

Topical Capsaicin for Hair Loss: Increases Scalp IGF-1

Topical capsaicin increases scalp IGF-1 by activating the vanilloid receptor 1, which causes the sensory neurons to release the calcitonin gene-related peptide, resulting in increase IGF-1. IGF-1 is a growth factor that increases hair growth.

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Last updated: Feb 2, 2020

Chilli Pepper

Capsaicin is a chemical compound which is present in almost all kinds of peppers. It’s responsible for making the peppers spicy.

Capsaicin activates ‘vanilloid receptor 1’

The vanilloid receptor-1 (VR1, or transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 receptor, TRPV1) is activated by capsaicin, the key ingredient of hot peppers
(Bodo, 2005)

The activation of vanilloid receptor 1 causes the sensory neurons to release the calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP). It’s the calcitonin gene related peptide which is believed to enhance the production of the insulin like growth factor (IGF-1).

Synergistic combination of capsaicin and isoflavone

Soy Isoflavones

Along with capsaicin, isoflavone plays an important role by increasing the production of CGRP.

The study stated, “these observations strongly suggested that combined administration of capsaicin and isoflavone might increase IGF-I production in hair follicles in the skin, thereby promoting hair growth” (Harada 2007).
The group of mice which were given capsaicin found to undergo more rapid hair growth as compared to the other group which were controlled and not given the capsaicin.


  1. Harada, N., Okajima, K., Arai, M., Kurihara, H., & Nakagata, N. (2007). Administration of capsaicin and isoflavone promotes hair growth by increasing insulin-like growth factor-I production in mice and in humans with alopecia. Growth Hormone & IGF Research, 17(5), 408-415.
  2. Bodó, E., Bíró, T., Telek, A., Czifra, G., Griger, Z., Tóth, B. I., … & Paus, R. (2005). A hot new twist to hair biology: involvement of vanilloid receptor-1 (VR1/TRPV1) signaling in human hair growth control. The American journal of pathology, 166(4), 985-998.