Regenepure DR

I have mentioned Nizoral a few times on this blog and even have it listed as one of the recommended hair loss products on this blog. For one, it is personal. That Ketoconazole 1% containing shampoo has helped me more than any other product out there when it comes to combating my on-and-off itchy, dry, dandruff or dermatitis inflicted scalp. Since I do not get excessive dandruff too frequently these days, one 7-ounce bottle of Nizoral can last me for quite a few months. I use very little of the product each time I shampoo with it since it lathers well, and I rarely need to use it more than once every two weeks as of late. There was a time I used it twice a week as recommended, but sometimes I felt that my scalp was starting to become reliant/dependent on its regular usage and itching more than normal when I reduced usage frequency.

Besides its anti-fungal properties, a second reason for using a shampoo with Ketoconazole in it is due to the fact that there have been a few studies that suggest that the product also has anti-androgenic properties.

Regenepure DR Shampoo With Ketoconazole

However, this blog post is not about Nizoral. Rather, it is about a new potentially superior alternative called Regenepure DR. Until last year, I did not know that there was another shampoo product for sale in the US containing Ketoconazole 1%. Then I discovered Regenpure DR and recently had a chance to try it. My first impression after usage was that it seemed to result in slightly silkier and smoother hair in comparison to Nizoral.

Regenpure Ingredients

Upon checking the ingredients of this product, I was impressed to see that besides Ketoconazole, this product contains Saw Palmetto Extract, Emu Oil, Caffeine, Jojoba Oil, Zinc Oxide and various B Vitamins (B3, B5, B6).

Saw Palmetto has been known to counter DHT when ingested orally, and many people have tried to use it as a natural substitute to Finasteride (although it can ever be as effective, even at very large doses). I am not sure about the usefulness of topical Saw Palmetto on a wet scalp, but maybe it has mild anti-androgenic or anti-DHT properties?

Emu oil has anti-inflammatory properties based on various studies on PubMed, as does Jojoba oil to a lesser extent. For self-experimenters, note that Blue emu oil from Walmart is a popular less expensive version of imported emu oil. Overall, these ingredients are far more impressive and superior in comparison to the list of mostly harsh ingredients of Nizoral. Moreover, unlike Nizoral, Regenepure DR does not contain sulfate.

To purchase Regenepure shampoo and/or conditioner on Amazon, click on the below photos (make sure to read the reviews on there first):

Salonceuticals

While Nizoral is made by multinational behemoth Johnson & Johnson (via the McNeil Consumer Healthcare subsidiary), Regenepure is made by a small US-based company called Salonceuticals. This company specializes in a few hair loss and hair health related products and one nail related anti-fungal product. Although I am impressed with this product, I would be more at ease if I could verify the ingredients of Regenepure DR (especially the Ketoconazole 1% quantity in each 8-ounce bottle) at a lab or via some government testing agency report.

Johnson & Johnson, due to its size, cannot avoid any mistakes in the legitimacy of its product composition and risk losing huge amounts of revenues across the company’s product lines due to bad publicity from one bad product. I am a bit more wary about products made by smaller companies. Most likely, US government regulations are strict and this product gets tested frequently. I am, however, curious as to why more companies have not come up with a Ketoconazole containing shampoo when the market for it has to be very significant, yet has been dominated by one product (Nizoral)? Is it difficult to get access to Ketoconazole or difficult to add it to a shampoo? How did Salonceuticals succeed where others failed?

Pluripotent Stem Cells Used to Grow Human Hair in Mice

Scientists led by Dr. Alexey Terskikh  at the California-based Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute published a groundbreaking study yesterday that was widely covered by the media.  Some interesting takes here, here and here. The first of those three links has some interesting feedback from Histogen’s CEO Dr. Gail Naughton.

In summary, these scientists used pluripotent stem cells from humans to create dermal papilla type cells that were then injected into hairless mice.  Lo and behold, the mice started to grow human hair!  I do not see any strong reason preventing the same from working from human->human (as long as its the same human). However, Dr. Terskikh stated that he is still looking for partners “to implement this final step”, and clinical trials will then tack on a few more years to this procedure finally coming to market.

One thing that I like about the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is that it is a non-profit organization.  I wonder what conditions a for-profit partner would set for providing research funding? We always seem to have issues when private sector companies purchase rights to new technology in the hair loss world, since each new clinical trial phase progression is then dependent on one particular company’s internal decision making and funding availability. If they do not feel that a product will make them at least $xyz, they often even cancel further research despite successful outcomes from initial trials.

In any case, going back to this study, the  artificial dermal papillae cells were grown from pluripotent stem cells.  Such cells can be derived from human embryos (controversial) or a patient’s own skin cells (not controversial).  According to Dr. Terskikh, per one of the articles I linked above:

Patients can donate their own iPS cells, which can be grown into the replacement dermal papillae in “unlimited” quantities.”

Note: iPS (or IPSC) stands for induced pluripotent stem cells, which are generated from adult cells (as opposed to embryonic pluripotent stem cells, which are derived from early stage embryos).

Besides the above advantage, another key benefit of this stem cell derived process is that it overcomes the ongoing problems researchers have had in trying to multiply existing human dermal papilla cells outside the body and then re-injecting them into the scalp.  The dermal papilla cells largely seem to  lose their hair-inducing properties when kept outside the body.  In fact in this very study the authors tried three experiments:

  1. Transplanting human dermal papillae cells taken from adult scalps to the mice.  Result = insignificant number of hairs generated.
  2. Transplanting just human skin cells to the mice. Result = insignificant number of hairs generated.
  3. Transplanting dermal papilla cells grown/derived from human embryonic stem cells to the mice.   Result = significant new hair generation!

Besides Dr. Terskikh, the principal author of the paper is Dr. Ksenia Gnedeva.  While the former has done work in many different areas (largely related to stem cells), the latter has focused a lot more on hair related research.  It seems like both of these researchers have published some of their research in Russian.  This year, I hope to try and write more about hair loss research that is being conducted in countries such as Russia and China, but is not being published in the English language.  Perhaps I might have to hire some local students from those countries to help me?

Update: Ironically enough, someone fluent in Russian was thinking along the same lines as me and actually managed to interview one of the article’s authors based in Russia.  See more on Bald Truth Talk forum member “Bald Russian”‘s phone interview with Ekaterina Vorotelya.  Wish US-based researchers were as forthcoming!