Hair growth and hair loss are regulated by ‘cytokines’ (proteins in the scalp).
Some cytokines ‘tell’ hair follicles to grow and some ‘tell’ hair follicles to stop growing and shed.
We can increase the cytokines that keep the hair growing and decrease the ones that make it shed and as a result, keep the hair in the anagen phase. Doing so allows the hair to grow longer, stronger and thicker.
How does it work?
Cytokines are involved in cell-to-cell communication. They bind to specific receptors on the surface of target cells, triggering a series of intracellular signaling events that can influence cell behavior and function.
Some cytokines (like Transforming Growth Factors (TGFs)) communicate with the hair follicle cells causing them to transition to the shedding phase of the growth cycle.
In other words, they ‘tell’ the hairs to stop growing, causing hair loss.
Other cytokines (like vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) keep the hair in the growth phase, therefore preventing shedding.
If a follicle is able to stay in the growth phase for longer it becomes stronger and can produce more hairs (up to four per follicle). Therfore one of the keys to having thick, healthy hair is to increase scalp VEGF and decrease scalp TGFs.
Stress, poor diet and other factors cause a build-up of inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines then ‘tell’ the hair to shed.
What’s the solution?
The solution is to reduce the cytokines that signal to the hair follicles to transition to the shedding phase and to increase the cytokines that signal to keep the hair in the growth (anagen) phase.
In the past, this was difficult, but with decades of research, our understanding of these processes has enabled us to develop ways to manipulate the cell signaling so that we can now keep the hair in the growth stage for longer and prevent shedding.
This is why I invented the Growth Factors serum, which is designed to do exactly the above — to improve the balance of scalp growth factors in order to keep the hair in the anagen phase.
What else can you do to keep the hair in the anagen phase?
To keep the hair in the anagen phase you also need to increase scalp PGE2 and decrease scalp PGD2 — these are prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are also involved in intra cellular communication and increasing or decreasing them can impact the behavior of cells. For example, by increasing PGE2 in the scalp hair follicles we can increase hair growth.
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To achieve this I use Castor oil, which is a potent source of ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid increases PGE2. See here for more details.
Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF1)
Increasing scalp IGF1 has also been shown to increase hair growth. Scientists used topical velvet deer antler to increase scalp IGF-1, which was shown to significantly increase hair growth.
I use velvet deer antler and Sandalore in the growth Factors serum, to increase IGF-1.
So, as you can see there are many ways to keep the hair in the anagen phase. I recommend using all of the above.
How to stop the root cause of the hair loss
There are multiple root causes of hair loss. The androgen hormone DHT is usually cited as the main reason for hair loss, and this is understandable since men clearly lose their hair more than women and they have more DHT. However, not all men lose their hair despite having high DHT.
If you’re interested in learning more about this, read my hypothesis article: Why do some men never lose their hair?