There are multiple possible pathways by which grape seed extract promotes hair regrowth and reverses hair loss. The most important of these is the action of proanthocyanidins found in the grape seed extract. It inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Since high levels of DHT is a known cause of androgenic alopecia, grape seed extract can be used to reduce the rate of hair loss.
Furthermore, proanthocyanidins act as growth stimulants for hair follicles.
A recent study by Japanese researchers screened hundreds of plant extracts for their ability to reverse hair loss showed overwhelming proof of this hair follicle stimulating property.
In fact, proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds not only stop hair loss but increased the growth of hair cells by over 200%.
To achieve this feat, proanthocyanidins generated two anagen, or hair growth phases. Instead of the telogen phase during which the hair growth cycle shows no activity, proanthocyanidins produced another anagen phase, a twin-peak that led to rapid hair regrowth.
The effectiveness of proanthocyanidins in hair regrowth is said to be similar to the drug, minoxidil.
Other follow-up studies have confirmed this doubling of the anagen phase and rapid hair growth caused by proanthocyanidins.
Grape seed extract also contributes to hair regrowth by promoting skin health. For example, the improved microcirculation in the capillaries close to the skin means that the cells of hair follicles are adequately perfused with nourishment and oxygen.
This effect is further reinforced by the increased production of nitric oxide at these sites. Nitric oxide is a known vaso-relaxant which dilates the blood vessels improving blood circulation to the capillaries feeding skin cells and hair follicles.
Lastly, there is the antioxidant property of grape seed extract which is rated to surpass those of Vitamin C and E.
By mopping up free radicals, grape seed extract provides anti-aging benefits and protects the integrity of hair follicle cells from oxidative damage allowing hair strands to last longer before falling off.
Dosage and Presentation
Grape seed extract is supplied both as capsules and tablets of 50 mg and 100 mg strengths.
Most people prefer the capsule form because the extract is bitter to taste. It is important to take a formulation of the extract that is labeled to contain greater than 90% OPCs and at least 40% proanthocyanidins.
Preparations of grape seed extract usually include other compounds known to improve hair regrowth. Therefore, grape seed extracts are often formulated with other hair loss remedies such as extracts of saw palmetto, green tea and zinc.
Recommended daily intake of grape seed extract for hair loss and thinning is 200 mg taken in two divided doses. However, an upper limit of 450 mg per day is specified.
Studies have shown that the extract is safe as long as recommended doses are followed.
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