The Skin Actives way is to look at what is out there and see whether we can improve on it. When it comes to hair loss, it will not surprise you to learn that there are just a few actives out there, and they are effective but…their mechanism of action is a bit convoluted.
What are they?
Minoxidil (Rogaine) seems to work by y widening blood vessels and opening potassium channels, allowing more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the scalp.
Finasteride (Propecia) is a 5α-reductase inhibitor that prevents the synthesis of dihydrotaestosterone (DHT), finasteride reduces androgen signaling in tissues like the prostate gland and the scalp.
Other hormone modulators, like antiandrogens (spironolactone and flutamide) can be used for female-pattern hair loss associated with high production of androgens.
The side effects of this handful of pro-hair actives can be strong and they only work for people with specific problems. There are also a huge number of fake cures that are advertised as magic remedies and you already know what I think of people who play with our anxieties and take advantage of the public in general.
And that’s it. That’s all that there is. Why so little? Hair growth and hair loss are complicated, and the remedies described above are not directly related to hair growth itself but were found rather serendipitously, when drugs developed for other problems (high blood pressure, enlarged prostate) were found to have a beneficial effect on hair loss.
Isn’t there something more direct? Yes. The most direct active you could think of is keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) because its function is to direct hair growth. The reason why this protein was not available before is that the methodology required to produce it in large amounts did not exist until recently. As soon as it was, we (Skin Actives Scientific) started producing it, and we managed to achieve this at a cost that was compatible with its use in cosmetics like the hair serum we sell.
There is another limitation worth mentioning: the nature of KGF, a protein, makes it more fragile than a small molecule like finasteride or minoxidil. KGF has to be formulated carefully and the projected shelf life of the final product is shorter than the many years finasteride can survive on a pharmacy shelf. This means that a product made with KGF or other proteins is best commercialized as sold directly to the customer, rather than languishing for months.At Skin Actives we have the ability to make small batches, keep the product refrigerated and ready to ship and reach the customer within a week or so. Another suitable mode would be for dermatologists to sell/give to their patients and this is a mode that we already offer.
What do you need to grow hair?
You need keratinocyte growth factor.
Hair is made of protein, and proteins are made of amino acids. You need amino acids, the vitamins we can’t make and must obtain from plants, enzymes and proteins capable of protein synthesis, plus minerals used by those enzymes.
Skin Actives is also the only supplier for all the antioxidant proteins required to protect the cells that make hair and the enzymes that manufacture melanin, the pigments that colors the hair. KGF and these antioxidant proteins are formulated in our sea kelp bioferment, the “miracle broth” that provides prebiotics, nutrition plus the valuable polysaccharides and antioxidants present in brown algae.
Amino Acids: Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Valine, Adenine, Thymidine.
Vitamins: Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cyanocobalamin, Folic Acid, Inositol, Niacinamide, Thioctic acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCl, Riboflavin, Thiamine HCl.
Minerals: Ammonium Vanadate, Ammonium Molybdate, Calcium Chloride, Copper Sulfate, Ferric Nitrate, Magnesium Chloride, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Chloride.
In our serum, we also include botanical extracts known to promote hair formation, caffeine to increase blood flow to the follicles, and antioxidants to cope with the oxidants we make plus those coming from the environment. All of these supportive ingredients make up the extensive ingredient list you see for our hair serum and eye lash and brow serum.
Although we can’t promise that our hair promoting serums will work for everybody in every situation, many of our clients have benefited from them. SAS products work because they have the science to direct the formulation.
iNGREDIENTS: Water, Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Propanediol, Glycerin, Caffeine, Serenoa Serrulata (Saw Palmetto) Fruit Extract, Carnitine, Niacinamide, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Vitis vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Ubiquinone, Fucoidan, Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Valine, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cyanocobalamin, Folic Acid, Inositol, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCl, Riboflavin, Thiamine HCl, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Tocotrienols, Tocopherols, Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Xanthophyll, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta-Carotene, sh-Polypeptide-3, sh-Polypeptide-107, Superoxide Dismutase, Catalase, Ammonium Vanadate, Ammonium Molybdate, Calcium Chloride, Copper Sulfate, Ferric Nitrate, Magnesium Chloride, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Acetate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Metasilicate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Pyruvate, Disodium Selenite, Stannous Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Adenine, Thymidine, Glucose, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Thioctic Acid, Spermidine, Xanthan Gum, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid.
Keratinocyte growth factor is required for hair development but not for wound healing. Guo, Lifei; Degenstein, Linda; Fuchs, Elaine. Genes & Development (1996), 10(2), 165-75
Stimulation of human hair growth by the recombinant human keratinocyte growth factor-2 ( KGF -2). Jang Jun-Hyeog Biotechnology letters (2005), 27(11), 749-52.
Hair growth regulation by growth factors. Tsuboi, Ryoji Nippon Koshohin Kagakkaishi (1997), 21(3), 218-222.
Keratinocyte growth factor increases hair follicle survival following cytotoxic insult. Booth, Catherine; Potten, Christopher S.. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2000), 114(4), 667-673.
Growth factors and hair growth. Tsuboi, Ryoji Fragrance Journal (1997), 25(5), 19-26.
Wood, J. M., Decker, H., Hartmann, H., Chavan, B., Rokos, H., Spencer, J. D., Hasse, S., Thornton, M. J., Shalbaf, M., Paus, R., Schallreuter, K. U. (2009) Senile hair graying: H2O2-mediated oxidative stress affects human hair color by blunting methioninesulfoxide repair. July 2009 The FASEB Journal vol. 23 no. 7 2065-2075.
DISCLAIMER: These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.