Grape seeds contain powerful antioxidants and their extracts comprise a family of chemicals known as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes. Similar substances are also found in many other plants such as apples (Janowiak and Carson, 2004). Proanthocyanidins convert to procyanidins which possess a stronger anti-oxidative effect (Lourith and Kanlayavattanakul, 2013).
Grape seed for hair growth
Takahashi et al (1998) conducted a study which showed that proanthocyanidins from grape seeds of the Chardonnay variety promote proliferation of mouse hair follicle cells by about 230% relative to controls (100%).
In another study by Takahashi et al (1999) apple juice was used to determine which type of proanthocyanidin molecules possess the highest hair growing activity. In this study the test compound was topically applied to mice and it was observed that procyanidin oligomers were able to induce anagen phase efficiently to the same degree as minoxidil, a drug for treatment of alopecia.
Takahashi et al found that procyanidin oligomers possess selective and intensive growth-promoting activity with respect to hair epithelial cells in vitro and stimulate anagen induction in vivo. In 2001, Takahashi et al tested topical application of a 1% procyanidin B-2 tonic for hair growth in humans. Procyanidin B-2 is an oligomeric proanthocyanidin complex similar to those found in grape seed. Results showed significant hair regrowth in the procyanidin B-2 group as compared to placebo group.
Procyanidin B-2 was also shown to reduce the expression of protein kinase C, a known inhibitor of hair growth (Farris and Rogers, 2013).
The mechanism of action of procyanidins is not clear but it is thought to be direct action on the hair follicle cells. It is been proposed that procyanidins prevent cell differentiation and cause the retention of the growing phase. The growth promoting effects of proanthocyanidins on the outer root sheath cells switch the bulb region to the growing phase by some mechanism, altering the hair cycle by converting from telogen to anagen (Takahashi et al, 1999).
- Farris, P.K. and Rogers, N.E., Cosmeceuticals For Hair loss And Hair Care, 2013, John Wiley & Sons Inc, DOI 10.1002/9781118384824.ch24
- Janowiak, J.J. and Carson, H., A Practitioner’s Guide to Hair Loss Part 1—History, Biology, Genetics, Prevention, Conventional Treatments, and Herbal, Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 2004 Jun, pp 135-143
- Lourith, N. and Kanlayavattanakul, M, Hair Loss And Herbs For Treatment, Journal of Clinical dermatology, 2013;12:210-222
- Takahashi T, Kamiya, T. Hasegawa, A and Yokoo, Y., Procyanidin Oligomers Selectively And Intensively , Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 1999; 112:310-316
- Takahashi T, Kamiya, T. and Yokoo, Y., Proanthocyanidins From Grape seeds Promote Proliferation Of mouse Hair Follicle Cells In Vivo And Convert hair Cycle In Vivo, Acta Derm Venereol. (Stockh) 1998;78:428-432
- Takahashi, T., Kamimura, A,, and Yokoo, Y. The First Clinical Trial Of Topical Application Of Procyanidin B-2 To Investigate Its Potential As A Hair-Growing Agent. Phytother Res 2001;15:331–336.