It seems that oleanolic acid (also known as oleanic acid) — a plant extract — may inhibit the action of the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase (5AR). 5AR is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT, the hormone that causes hair loss by binding to androgen receptors in the scalp. Many individuals and researchers attempting to reduce male pattern baldness take steps to inhibit 5AR in an attempt to reduce DHT. At least one study suggests oleanolic acid achieves this:
OA [(Oleanic Acid)] markedly decreased the 5α-reductase activity in a dose-dependent manner. The cell proliferation of cultured DPCs was significantly promoted by OA. Multiple genes associated with the progression of AGA
What’s more interesting to me though, is oleanolic acid’s potential effect on growth factors VEGF and IGF-1:
IGF-1 showed a 164% increase (p< 0.01) in expression levels after treatment with OA (Fig. 3G), while TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 showed 66% and 27% decreases (p< 0.05) in expression levels after being treated with OA (Fig. 3E-F), respectively. VEGF showed a 124% increase (p<0.01) in expression levels after treatment with OA From the same study
The reason this is very interesting for me is that these growth factors may be quite important in wound-induced hair follicle neogenesis.
By significantly increasing growth factors and inhibiting CXXC5 using something like PTD-DBM, we can achieve superior hair regrowth results with simple home application of a topical and use of a dermaroller.
Hair loss treatments that contain oleanolic acid
Interestingly, very few hair loss treatments use oleanolic acid. I have found this one though: