Algae to Treat Hair Loss

Over the years, I have been somewhat of a pessimist when it comes to natural treatments for hair loss being any kind of miracle treatment. I do not doubt that some natural treatments can make existing hair stronger and in rare cases even bring back recently miniaturized hair. However, I have serious doubts whether natural treatments can regrow hair that has been lost for more than a few years. i.e., hair that has miniaturized to the point of becoming vellus.

Some natural treatments such as saw palmetto (which reduces DHT, the main culprit in male pattern hair loss) have numerous studies backing their positive effects on hair. However even in the case of saw palmetto, synthetic/pharmaceutical treatments such as finasteride and dutasteride are drastically superior at reducing DHT, so most people prefer the drugs if they do not get side effects.

Nevertheless, every now and again I do cover natural treatments when there is sufficient scientific backing. Who knows, one day something natural could turn out to be a miracle for hair like aspirin was for human health.

Algae and Hair Growth

This week, South Korea scientists from Jeju National University published a very interesting study (based on work done in animals) titled “Undariopsis peterseniana promotes hair growth by the activation of Wnt/β-Catenin and ERK pathways“. Undariopsis peterseniana is a type of edible algae (singular = alga). Apparently, it helps scalp hair growth via a number of mechanisms:

  • Opening the ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel.
  • Decreasing 5α-reductase activity.
  • Increasing the proliferation of dermal papilla cells via the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin and ERK pathways.
  • Increasing the levels of various cell cycle proteins.

Moreover, some of the same scientists involved in this study also did another one in 2013 that found the shige sinicola alga to benefit hair growth. And in 2012, some of the same scientists found the grateloupia elliptica seaweed to also benefit hair growth in animals. Note that all seaweed are considered to be algae (but the reverse is not true).

84 thoughts on “Algae to Treat Hair Loss”

  1. Please keep unrelated comments (especially about the new Turkish product) in the last post unless very important.

    1. Pretty cool but its a lot of “may do this” and “may do that” which is the standard “cure within 5 years” spiel.

    2. Thanks. FYI that story was also posted in last post several times and Dr. Lu Le presented on this recently at a big conference. See my reply in last post’s comments.

  2. Interesting find admin, though I’m a little confused. They investigated its effect on hair growth but go on to say they found it had ‘the potential’ to affect hair growth…. so did they not have any results in terms of growth, density etc? Sorry if I’ve totally missed it.

  3. If that study were the cure it would take at least 10 years before we could even get our hands on it. Or it would be shelved and hidden forever like most cures. I am willing to try this algae thing. We need something better ASAP! Tired of being on treatments that work great at the start then lose effectiveness after 6 months. If follica or SM don’t come out in 2018 I’m going to bite the bullet and get an fue. Never thought I would get to this point but if they can fill in my temples and hairline a bit I will be a happy camper. Not sure if fue can produce thick hair temples. Good thing is my hair strands are very coarse frizzy and thick so a 500 graft fue would do the trick for an illusion of fuller hair

  4. Korean seaweed is actually effective in treating hair loss by activating the WNT protein, but we want a product in the market either orally or locally for use

  5. Admin I see this was done in vivo so the test animals/subjects injested or was applied topically in some concentrated liquid form..? This is very interesting. BTW just got my topical Melatonin will LYK how it goes. As always thank you!!!

    1. Thanks and good luck! I need to recheck the studies if available in full to see if they mention topical versus oral in each one.

  6. Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid structure that is found in seaweed and microalgae, and perhaps the second most famous sea-based carotenoid (of the 750 known carotenoids, over 250 of them are exclusively marine-sourced[1]) behind astaxanthin only. It is hypothesized to comprise up to 10% of all carotenoids in nature[2] and it has a role in gathering light for energy production via forming something known as a chlorophyll a/c-fucoxanthin complex;[3][4] it is a primary carotenoid that transfers light energy to photosynthetic machinery for energy production in plants (unlike secondary carotenoids such as β-carotene and astaxanthin which prevent excess light from being transferred).[5][6] It is a component of many dietary seaweeds and is thought to confer health promoting benefits associated with seaweed and the Japanese diet.

          1. Things that increase vegf and nitric oxide. And high potassium diet. LLLT increases vegf for example.

  7. @ Richieron
    I was looking at a liquid melatonin but i could only find some that was flavored and sweetened. Can you share what type you bought?

    1. @champpy It is a topical cream version from the company Life-flow. Costs about 15 bucks not too bad.

  8. Oh my god…so much hype around it and it’s another bloody snake oil. Big list of about 20 different oils and herbs found it pretty much all other BS hair loss cures,.

    Absolutely livid. So, we can tick reboost straight off the list.

  9. @gbh, Yep, pretty depressing, but as expected….
    Paul, where are you? We need to get cheered up with one of your NEW CURES COMING SOON posts;-)

  10. Body upregulates wnt with sirt1

    And SIRT1 signicantly up-regulates the expression of cyclin D1, C-myc and Dvl2 in vitro as well as stimulates the accumulation of the Wnt/β-catenin. In conclusion, this study indicates that SIRT1 promotes the proliferation of C2C12 myoblast cells, at least partly via Wnt signaling pathway.
    PMCID: PMC3384069

  11. The product is to be named “Kelopesia.” Sahin reportedly tested this technology for 3 years, first starting in mice. It was found that the cream was able to grow hair in mice and even had a positive effect on reversing gray hair. This pigment reversal effect sounds as if it was probably a sporadic result, but still, a great side effect to have. The articles say that hair growth results seem to be slightly better in women than in men using this product. The formula is derived from a specific type of stem cell found in newborn foreskins. Certain molecules are cultivated from the stem cells and used in the hair cream. Bedrettin Dalan says that they are now working on a formula that is stable at room temperature and does not need to be kept refrigerated. He says they plan to have their product for sale in Turkish pharmacies within two months.?????????

  12. I think mjones is right Riken Shiseido and maybe Follica are our only real hope in a 2020 time frame. Hair clone alexey and Tissuse are next in line but may be post 2020

  13. In 2 months it’ll b a year since shiseido started there replicel trial, r we going to get any info?

      1. Hairplz try to combine some of your comments into one as you have at least 10 in this post and many are one liners or afterthoughts. You do that in other posts too. Thanks.

  14. guys please I told yo all here before.. reboost or kelopcia is nothing more than a snake oil. Please ignore this product for your own health. and do not believe the source that its from university…
    how do I know? I am in turkey and following local forums too… Admin can confirm my location if he likes…

    again please do not even waste your time by reading reboost news
    thanks for your understanding

  15. I am starting a trial on myself today this week to boost wnt via taking nicotinamide riboside.

  16. in a turkish forum, a guy have told that Prof Sahin mailed him saying there are no stem cells in the cream but molecules isolated from stem cells. i don’t know how trustable is this info.

  17. Hate saying I told you so but I told you so about kelopesia. Anyways let’s forget about that crap and focus on real companies actually doing real trials. Admin I know this off topic from the seaweed thing but my local news in Philly just showed a video about hair clone and some guy who is a construction worker who is getting it done. My cousin in DC just saw the same news report on NBC local news. I think hairclone may be just around the corner with something. May not be full on cure but if he can clone hair even at a small scale now that would be 1,000x less evasive than an fue. Inject some hair cells into our hairline and book more density. I’ll take it!

    Egghead- yeah only things I feel confident in is follica, then SM before 2020..possible replied and riken. Everything else I don’t see really happening.

    Does MSM or melatonin help improve Rogaine growth?

    1. mjones I can’t believe you are optimistic about something other than Follica! j/k

      Dr. Kemp told me that the news sometimes sensationalizes things so I am not hopeful that Hairclone will get anything major out in the next year…unless Dr. Higgins and her team have made much more progress than they are letting out.

      1. Haha its a miracle right admin! Seriously though when I see hair loss companies and their research being broadcasted on the news I give it more credibility. Riken, follica, SM are good examples. Reboot is a complete joke and snake oil. For anyone who has been in the hair loss game for over 4 years should know this. The newbies I can see falling for a scam but for us long time sufferers you should know better than having hope in that crap. Brontzu is a step up from snake oil but I have no hope in that either.

  18. Fucoidan- and fucoxanthin-derived compounds are getting a lot of press as new natural remedies for everything from weight-loss to inflammation to hairloss. It seems like they’re the next curcumin, or the next resveratrol, or the next nicotinamide, etc.

    I have some reservations. The full paper is behind a paywall, but a previous paper by the same scientists is available for free, and focuses on the same compound, apo-9′-fucoxanthinone:

    Consider this: fucoxanthin and its derivatives are constituents of many kelp (seaweed) species, including ones that have been farmed in Japan and Korea for years. Seaweed aquaculture is big business in those countries.

    Now consider this: the scientists who conducted this study work for a public university and their research is funded through government grants. Would it not benefit that government to expand the market for a major domestic (and growing export) product?

    That doesn’t mean the research isn’t valid. However, promising observations made in cell cultures and in mouse models are a dime a dozen.

    We’re all holding out for the next aspirin. For now, I’d recommend two grains of salt.

    1. Yeah but at the same time theres not much risk to try and eat more vegetables. I for one think it makes sense xantins helps since one of their functions in plants is to protect and activate repair vs uv rays.

      1. Personally I feel that while there is no doubt that factors like diet, lifestyle, sun explosure and stress etc can affect hair health and quality, I just don’t feel they are viable avenues for actual AGA. People all over the world in different countries, different diets, different climates, different financial status suffer from AGA in a way that any such link above would have been obvious. Some of the poorest people in the world who are starving have a full head of hair. Of course it’s good to eat well in general, I personally wouldn’t look at diet having any major role to play in reversing actual AGA. We need a more disease focused treatment and cure.

  19. @Guest99 to my understanding hairclone is working up to a Tsuji like treatment but for right now they are just injecting cells like Histogen.

      1. I see well in any case they are not actually cloning an almost unlimited supply of new hair to transplant not yet anyway.

  20. @champpy It is a topical cream version from the company Life-flow. Costs about 15 bucks not too bad.

  21. Dietary Vitamin A Dose Dependently Regulates BMP4 and WNT7A in Hair Follicles

    New Terskikh paper with a great review of where we are at in regeneration:

    lots of trials happening:

    Transcriptome Analysis of Fetal Versus Adult Hair Follicle Dermal Papilla Cells Reveals Key Differences to Explain the Lack of Human Adult Hair Follicle Regenerative Capacity:
    We have identified a set of candidate transcription factors to evaluate for use in transcriptional reprogramming of adult dermal fibroblasts into fetal-like DP cells with hair follicle-inducing capacity…

    Hyaluronan Synthase 2 Knock Down in Epidermis Alter Wound Healing and Hair Follicle Development

  22. Great finds JSIB! I think the Vitamin A vs WNT signaling and also the discussion of fetal SHH signaling are particularly interesting.

    Admin, have you or anyone you know of tried to put together some sort of combined understanding of all the pathways associated with hair loss? I am becoming more and more convinced that the DHT angle is very narrowly focused and that there must be some other set of conditions at play here. I have begun trying to put together some sort of combined set of pathways that includes PGD2/PGE2/WNT/b-catenin/FGF5/FGF10/IL17a/BMP4/etc. but, even as a chemist, I am getting pretty overwhelmed.

    Also, anyone have any thoughts on this PLoS paper from a while back?

    1. Great comments F18 and SJIB. Terskikh paper very interesting.

      F18, I was considering that kind of post (along with another on gene interactions) in the past, but found it a bit too complex an undertaking…and most likely I would miss many arrows along the way.

      Glad to hear that even a chemist finds it difficult:-)

        1. Lol thanks:-) How crazy there are two with that unique last name involved in hair research. Maybe both related.

      1. Over the next few weeks/months I will see what I can do to pull together a cohesive set of references and what not. Th17/IL17a regulations seems to capture a lot of my hypotheses right now, but I will keep searching. (Side note… I got on this topic by noticing that women (a) tend not to lose as much hair (b) are far more prone to osteoporosis… the more I search, the more I am convinced this is somewhat correlated!)

        Excited to hear about any results with topical melatonin! Keep up the good work all!

  23. Hey they are saying that kelopesia does not contain stem cells. This is why it is able to be made stable at room temp, just like all those expensive skin creams. It contains a molecule secreted by stem cells. Commonly referred to as a “stem-cell derived” cream or a “stem-cell conditioned media.”

    What do you think?

    1. The concerning part is that derived or conditioned stem-cells are not referenced in the ingredients on the Reboost website.

  24. I think there are some natural products that help prevent further hairloss and also boost the anagen phase. Topical melatonin works quite well to block dht. I am still trying to find a liquid melatonin that is just melatonin and alcohol though. If anyone knows of one please let me know.
    Also rhodanide is very good at making hair grow faster and lock in moisture. I think it is found in egg whites and other foods such as kale leaves and spinach. An australian company called activance has a range of products. The company is the leading hair loss compounding pharmacy in australia. Their minoxidil has done wonders for me.

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