How Long Does it Take for Hair to Decompose?

Years ago, I lived in a studio apartment where a neighbor female friend with crazy long thick hair visited me regularly. After she left my state, I never had any frequent visitor with that kind of hair come over.

The reason I am mentioning this strange anecdote is because even over a year after Rapunzel stopped visiting me, I would find her lengthy hair in isolated locations such as closet corners. It seemed like the hair did not decompose and was still 100 percent intact.

How Long Does it Take for Hair to Decompose?

Decomposed Hair
Hair left in a book from the 1800s. Source: TikTok.

I was reminded of this phenomenon by a TikTok video that went viral last week. An antique collector purchased a book from the 1800s that contained a surprise: envelopes of intact human hair stashed within its pages. This hair was over 150 years old.

Apparently, it was common in that Victorian era for people to donate their hair as a sign of affection and to preserve a person’s memory.

I also thought of this phenomenon when recently watching Sabia and the inspirational Loren in one of their videos. The most interesting part for me involved Loren’s preserved childhood locks. They are still in good shape after ten plus years in a plastic bag (with no special chemicals or fats involved). See 7:25 onwards in that video.

I find it ironic that hair is composed of dead keratin protein. Yet once it sheds from the scalp, it refuses to decompose for years. Reports suggest that hair will decompose within two years if buried in soil. If exposed to adverse weather conditions such as rain, wind, snow, humidity, and direct sunlight, the process will be faster.

The hair that you send down the drain will also decompose much more rapidly. However, if left indoors in a semi-protected environment, human hair can even last for centuries.

Hair Decomposition vs Preservation

In fact, if you store human scalp hair carefully, it can last for thousands of years. This has been seen fairly often in Egyptian mummies after excavations. The hair of these mummies was perfectly preserved in a unique balm consisting of fat, oil, gum and wax.

A separate potion was also used to embalm and preserve the entire body of these past Egyptian pharaoh kings and queens. In preparation for a peaceful afterlife.

What Happens to Hair after you Die?

A question that many people ask is what happens to your scalp hair after you die? Does it decompose rapidly due a lack of continuous blood supply and nutrition? Some anecdotal reports suggest that it keeps growing after death. However, this is false.

Neither hair nor nails continue growing after you die. Dehydration of the body leads to retraction of the skin around the hair and around fingernails. This can give a deceptive appearance of longer hair and nails after death.

Human Hair Mats to Clean Oil Spills

The fact that human hair is so strong and hard to destroy has led to some interesting applications. The most well known use is wigs that can last for years. Many people also use hair for composting, since it is biodegradable. Others are experimenting with adding human hair as an additive to asphalt in pavement construction.

An increasingly popular new application is in the area of cleaning up oil spills and other pollution in oceans. Many barbers and salons get paid for sending their leftover cut hair to companies that use it for such purposes.

Beard versus Scalp

Does it not make you frustrated that your shedded locks of scalp hair have superman-like strength and preservation capabilities? Yet they do not like to remain on your scalp for long if you have the cursed genes.

On the other hand, beard hair in many men remains strong and fast growing even in old age. In fact, beard hair is the best type of hair for body hair to scalp hair transplants.

I will likely get laser hair removal or electrolysis on my beard when I am older so that I no longer need to shave every day. Shaving daily is a major pain for my elder father with his shakier hands.

Kintor Pharmaceutical to Start Phase 3 Trials

Kintor Pharmaceutical (China) is definitely the real deal. They are moving faster than any other company in the history of the hair loss industry. I think all long-time blog readers will agree.

Will Kintor Present Phase 2 Trial Results on September 3?

Update: August 11, 2022 — Great news per a Chinese contact. It looks like Kintor may finally present the results of its Phase 2 Chinese trials of Pyrilutamide (KX-826) for hair loss on September 3 at 8:20 pm . The presenter will be Dr. Zhou Cheng from Peking University People’s Hospital (where Kintor’s Phase 3 trials are also being conducted right now).

Note that Kintor is not named in the presentation. However, I noticed that the chairman of this group of presenters (from Peking University) is Dr. Zhang Jianzhong. This man is listed in Kintor’s press releases as the principal investigator! So I decided to update this post as it looks believable now after months of waiting and delays.

The possible presentation (after translation) is titled: “New progress in diagnosis and treatment of androgenetic alopecia.” Please note that this KX-826 androgen receptor antagonist product is unlikely to bring back long lost hair in totally bad areas of the scalp. All I am hoping for is something as good as Dutasteride, but with a different mechanism of action.

Kintor Pharma Presentation
Kintor Pharma presentation of Phase 2 clinical trials results. Will occur on September 3 in China at a Dermatology conference.

Kintor’s Three Clinical Trials: Updates in August 2022

Update: August 9, 2022 — Kintor just completed enrollment of 92 subjects in China for Phase 1 trials of its GT20029 hair loss product. This proprietary Proteolysis Targeting Chimera (AR-PROTAC) product is the world’s first topical androgen receptor (AR) degrader compound to enter clinical trials. They will test a gel or tincture per the press release, and results will be finalized at the end of 2022.

Update: August 3, 2022 — Kintor just completed patient enrollment of 121 subjects in its Phase 2 clinical trials of KX-826 (pyrilutamide) in the US. This  topical androgen receptor antagonist product will be used to treat androgenetic alopecia.

Update: July 2022 — The China Phase 2 trial results for pyrilutamide for hair loss will occur at the postponed 28th Annual Meeting of the Chinese Society of Dermatology. It runs from August 31-September 4, 2022 in Shenyang.

Updates in April 2022

Some very unique updates in our Kintor channel in the hair loss chat this past week.

  1. Interesting new Powerpoint presentation.
  2. Kintor will present the results of its Phase 2 clinical trials (of KX-826, aka Pyrilutamide) for androgenetic alopecia at a “high-profile symposium” in June 2022.
  3. Some people managed to view a classified Phase 2 results slide that concluded Pyrilutamide’s hair growth effect to be similar to Dutasteride. This would be amazing if true, since Pyrilutamide (targets the AR receptor) is totally different from Dutasteride (targets DHT). Anecdotal reports for now, but seem to be causing a lot of excitement.
  4. A number of people are starting to report their results from using KX-826 via a Group Buy. I cannot encourage such experimental behavior, but I am following the reports keenly. Here is one I found on Reddit. Best of luck to these pioneers.

Kintor will Start Phase III Trials in China in January 2022

In the latest update from today (November 24th, 2021), Kintor Pharmaceutical announced that it will begin Phase 3 trials in China in January 2022! Update: Now begun.

The company’s IND application for the pivotal study (phase III) of pyrilutamide (KX-826) was cleared by China’s National Medical Products Administration. KX-826 is the first androgen receptor (AR) antagonist to enter phase III clinical trials anywhere in the world.

This is perhaps the best news in the hair loss world so far in 2021.

Update: November 12, 2021 — Kintor Pharma just started Phase II clinical trials in women in China with a first dose of pyrilutamide (KX-826). This trial pertains to androgenetic alopecia in women (i.e., female pattern hair loss).

Update: September 8, 2021 — Kintor Pharma just announced that its Phase II clinical study for KX-826 to treat androgenetic alopecia was a success. Primary endpoint was met. More detailed results will be released later per CEO Dr. Youzhi Tong. Phase III clinical trials in China will commence in the fourth quarter of 2021. Even better, Phase II trials are also currently taking place in the US. And Phase II trials for women will take place in China

Update: July 11, 2021 — The US FDA just approved Kintor’s Phase II clinical trial for pyrilutamide (KX-826) to treat androgenetic alopecia. Note that the company’s trials in China are already mid-way through Phase II per their pipeline page.

They area also working on another hair loss product named GT200029 that is an “AR-PROTAC” compound. Its Phase 1 trials will start in China this month.

April 15, 2021

Kintor Pharma: AR Antagonist and AR Degrader

Earlier today, it was announced that Kintor received approval in China to begin clinical trials for GT20029. This product will be in tincture or gel format, and will be tested for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia and acne.

  • The GT20029 product is an androgen receptor degrader (AR Degrader). It is developed using Kintor’s proprietary Proteolysis Targeting Chimera (PROTAC) platform. According to the press release, this is the world’s first topical androgen receptor (AR) compound (AR-PROTAC) to enter clinical trials. GT20029 degrades the AR protein via the E3 ubiquitin ligase pathway. During preclinical studies, GT20029 did not cause any notable side effects or systemic drug accumulation.
  • Note that Kintor’s main product for treating male pattern hair loss is KX-826 (Pyrilutamide) and is an androgen receptor antagonist (AR Antagonist). I covered the latter in prior updates to this post if you read till the end. KX-826 is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials in China and in Phase 1 trials in the US.

Note that Cassiopea’s Breezula (Clascoterone) is an AR antagonist that is well ahead of KX-826 when it comes to clinical trial stage. Kintor’s website has a very interesting article discussing both AR antagonist products and hair loss in China in general.

Make sure to also read my related past post on destroying the androgen receptor to reverse hair loss.

Feb 2, 2021

Clinical Trial Status

Kintor’s investigational new drug (IND) application of GT20029 for androgenetic alopecia and acne vulgaris was accepted by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China.

Kintor has moved forward with its trials faster than any other hair loss company. I am glad to see a Chinese company finally entering the hair loss cure market. Scientific and technological progress seem to happen faster in China than in the west. Hopefully, clinical trials for hair loss products will follow the same pattern.

Side note: In July 2020, Kintor and Applied Biology (US) collaborated on using Proxalutamide for the Treatment of COVID-19. There is a school of thought that suggests anti-androgens could help reduce Coronavirus fatalities. To date, more men have died from the disease then have women.

Below is the pipeline from Kintor’s website:

Kintor Pharmaceutical Pyrilutamide Pipeline
Kintor Pharmaceutical Pyrilutamide Androgenetic Alopecia Pipeline.


Kintor Pharmaceutical (China) also recently completed the enrollment of 120 patients in its Phase II clinical trials for pyrilutamide for hair loss. See the bottom half of this post for my original discussion on Kintor. Their stock is traded on the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index.

Key quote from CEO Dr. Youzhi Tong:

“We will accelerate the progress of its phase II/III clinical study so as to bring benefits to the people suffering from alopecia as soon as possible.”

May 26, 2020

A new Chinese company named Kintor Pharmaceutical is working on an interesting hair loss drug called pyrilutamide . It is extremely rare to hear about any Chinese company involved in hair loss cure research. Very strange, considering the country’s rapid pace of scientific advancement and massive population. Moreover, Chinese men and women are nowadays balding at much faster rates than in the past.

Update: August 4, 2020 — Phase Ib trials are now complete.

Kintor Pharmaceutical and Hair Loss

Four days ago, China-based Kintor Pharmaceutical (also known as Suzhou Kintor Pharmaceuticals) got significant Chinese media coverage. This interest was related to the company’s prostate cancer, breast cancer and hair loss drugs.

Earlier this month, Kintor Pharmaceutical also had a very successful IPO in Hong Kong.

While the company’s main focus seems to be its prostate cancer and breast cancer drugs, its androgenetic alopecia drug trials are also advancing rapidly. Their main androgen receptor blocking drug candidate is called Pyrilutamide (KX-826) and it is applied to the scalp topically. The company’s Proxalutamide drug slows or stops cancer cell growth by entirely inhibiting androgens.


The one disappointing news is that Kintor aims to take on Johnson & Johnson’s Minoxidil. This could mean that topical Pyrilutamide is unlikely to be much better than Minoxidil. I hope I am wrong. Recently completed phase one trials in China proved that pyrilutamide is safe and causes no major side effects in humans.

Kintor is currently conducting phase 2 clinical trials for pyrilutamide on 160 men in China, and phase 1 trials on 30 men in the US. Phase 3 trials on 600 people in China, the US and Japan are planned for as soon as 2021. I would guess that the US FDA and Japanese PMDA will never accept Phase 2 results from China as any kind of proof to proceed to Phase 3 trials in the US and Japan.

So how can the company proceed so fast in the US and Japan?

Hair loss treatment and cure related news updates.