One would hope that hair care products with the right ingredients, appropriate pH and proven results will create and maintain a healthy scalp and hair growth. But, a person’s overall nutrition and the use of proven follicle stimulators to help maintain and prevent pattern hair loss are extremely important.
Creating and maintaining healthy, normal hair growth and scalp skin is a daily activity that requires a lifestyle change to maintain the benefits of a good hair care program. But armed with the right knowledge and products, positive improvements can be made.
The Importance of pH
The scalp and hair have a pH of 4.5 +/- 0.5. Maintaining the normal pH of the scalp and hair is important for normal structure and function. Shampoos which contain ingredients to promote healthy scalp and hair (Glypoic Complex Volumizing Shampoo) are designed to clean dirt, sebum, oil and dead skin cells from the scalp and to promote normal scalp skin stratum corneum exfoliation and maintain the normal acidic pH of the scalp. Conditioners which contain ingredients to promote healthy scalp and hair (Glypoic Complex Volumizing Conditioner) are designed to restore the normal acid pH of the scalp skin, reduce tangle and restore the normal moisture content of the hair shaft. The moisture retention of the hair shaft is pH dependent. Acidic pH causes the cuticle cells to flatten and seals the moisture into the hair shaft. Safe chemical treatments to the hair shaft do not have a negative impact on the scalp, hair follicle or hair growth. They work only on the hair shaft above the scalp skin and do not have a negative impact on the hair follicle, stem cells of the hair follicle or the dermal papillae.
Nutrition plays a role in healthy scalp skin and hair shaft growth. Scalp skin and hair are composed of keratin protein. with hair consisting of 97% protein. Keratin proteins are amino acids linked end-to-end and cross linked with sulfur bonds from the amino acid cystine. Cystine and glutamic acid make up 30% of the amino acid content of human hair.
Red meat and eggs contain significant cystine, but many people have decreased their intake of red meat and eggs to lower blood cholesterol levels. To avoid unhealthy dietary changes, it is more efficient to take a multivitamin and an amino acid supplement on a daily basis to improve scalp skin and hair growth. There are individuals at greater risk for genetic pattern hair loss or conditions with increased telogen loss and daily nutritional support for normal hair growth is important. These patients are at greater risk to have poor hair growth without adequate nutritional supplements.
Minoxidil at a concentration of 2-5% has been documented in numerous scientific studies and clinical trials to stimulate hair follicle growth. It has a direct effect on the hair follicle, although the exact mechanism is not well understood. The hair follicle is one of the few tissues that contain pluripotential cells that can divide and differentiate when influenced by substances produced by cells of the dermal papilla of the hair follicle, matrix stem cells of the hair follicle, or external applied follicle stimulators. The hair follicle is a small structure, but due to the large number of different cell types involved in its functioning, its complexity is enormous and there is much to be learned about the function of follicle stimulators. Minoxidil appears to shorten the telogen (resting) phase of the hair growth cycle, returning the hair follicle to the anagen (growing) phase. Male and female pattern hair loss is characterized by a low anagen:telogen ratio on scalp biopsy. Minoxidil follicle stimulators increase the anagen:telogen ratio creating thicker fuller scalp hair. Scientific data suggests that topical minoxidil stimulates matrix stem cells of the hair follicle to reactivate, thus producing a thicker, longer hair independent of hormonal influences.
The Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner remove dead skin cells, dirt, sebum, and bacteria restoring normal skin pH. Removal of these metabolic bi-products (toxins) enhances penetration of the follicle stimulator to the hair root improving hair growth. The proprietary formulation with less alcohol increases bioavailability of the minoxidil increasing hair growth.
The follicle stimulator increase cell growth in the follicle independent of hormonal factors. Your hair starts to grow and resume it normal hair growth cycle. As the follicle stimulator continues to work on the hair, it has the chance to grow into a strong healthy hair. Small hairs can grow bigger, stronger, and thicker with each new growth cycle.
Minoxidil shortens telogen regenerating an anagen follicle. The duration of anagen is not changed but the new anagen hair will increase hair follicle size and hair shaft diameter of the converted telogen hair. Minoxidil works independent of androgenic receptor.
Follicle stimulator (pure minoxidil) has four distinct effects which have been elucidated.
- There is an increase in ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and protein synthesis causing an increase in cellular function in the hair root matrix cells stimulating cell division independent of hormones.
- There is improved cell proliferation (growth) making a longer, thicker hair.
- This is accompanied by an increase in protein synthesis necessary for normal hair growth.
- There is an increase blood circulation providing a supply of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicle.
These effects of pure minoxidil have been clinically proven to increase the size of the hair root and hair follicle. Minoxidil formulation is critical for penetration (maximize solubility and increase bioavailability which increases effectiveness).
An Important Study on Female Pattern Hair Loss
A prospective open labeled study to evaluate effect of glypoic complex volumizing shampoo and glypoic complex volumizing conditioner along with aminoplex (amino acid supplement containing 19 L-amino acids) and 2% minoxidil follicle stimulator (in a proprietary formulation) on hair growth and the structural and functional integrity of the scalp epidermis and dermis of women with fine and thinning hair with Ludwig type I or type II female pattern hair loss. On a clinical basis it appears that hair growth is influenced by the health of scalp skin, nutrition, and hair care products.
Patients were instructed to use glypoic complex (volumizing) shampoo and glypoic complex (volumizing) conditioner on a daily basis or whenever their hair was cleansed. Topical 2% minoxidil was applied twice daily. They were also instructed on proper scalp sun protection with hats and sunscreen. There were no dietary or nutrition restrictions but took aminoplex daily. Patients were allowed to use styling products but to avoid harsh chemical treatments to the hair but were allowed to color their hair.
The pretreatment biopsy shows a basket weave, hyperkeratotic appearance of the stratum corneum and thinning of the epidermis with some perifollicular and perivascular inflammation. The biopsy 12 months after beginning the glycolic shampoo and conditioner show a decrease in the perifollicular inflammation and an increase in the thickness of the epidermis. The stratum corneum appears more compact. This confirms other studies which indicate that inflammation plays a role in female pattern hair loss.