DKK-1 Inhibition and Hair Growth

Past hair loss research has concluded that Dickkopf 1 (DKK-1) inhibition promotes scalp hair growth. Dickkopf-related protein 1 is encoded by the DKK1 gene. The latter is the most up-regulated gene in androgenetic alopecia,

DKK-1 Hair Loss
DKK-1 and hair loss. Source: JID.

A South Korean team of researchers has written a number of papers for more than a decade on the connection between DKK-1 and hair loss. Their well known 2008 findings concluded that DHT-inducible DKK-1 is involved in DHT-driven balding. Their 2012 paper was titled Dickkopf 1 promotes regression of hair follicles.

More recently, a 2016 paper from Egypt found that levels of DKK-1 were higher than normal in humans with both androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and alopecia areata (AA) types of hair loss. It was also higher in AGA cases versus AA cases. DKK-1 was higher in males with AGA compared to females with AGA. Another 2019 paper from Egypt also reached similar conclusions.

A famous 2013 study from University of Pennsylvania found that by disrupting Wnt signaling in an animal model using the DKK-1 inhibitor, hair growth was prevented. However, stem cells were still maintained within the dormant hair follicles. When DKK-1 was subsequently removed, the Wnt/β-catenin pathway resumed normal function. i.e., stem cells reactivated and hair growth was restored. More here.

Interestingly, three of the co-authors of the above paper are also listed as co-inventors on a patent related to using DKK1 to reduce body hair growth.

New DKK-1 Hair Growth Patent

The reason I decided to write this post is due to a new DKK-1 related patent that was recently granted to a South Korean company called Bioneer (h/t reader “Andre”). On Bioneer’s website, I do not currently see anything related to hair loss products or research.

The patent has many pages with a lot of great information. My favorite sentence (with slight grammar modification) regarding the invention:

“A double-stranded oligonucleotide construct or the nanoparticle as an active ingredient according to the present invention. It highly efficiently suppresses the expression of DKK1, without side effects. And it is remarkably effective for preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth.”

DKK-1 Inhibition

There is significant interest in the treatment of hair loss via countering or inhibiting DKK-1. Studies have looked at existing natural (e.g., ginseng extract) and synthetic products.

Which brings me to my past post on creating the ultimate hair loss drug cocktail. The reader who sent me the lengthy and detailed spreadsheet that I pasted in that post had the following suggestions for inhibiting DKK-1:

  • Tianeptine.
  • L-Threonate.
  • Vitamin D3.

I have not done much research on this subject, so perhaps the knowledgeable readers can verify if the above makes sense.

Further Research

Forum threads such as this one on BTT also have many suggestions that I have not explored in any detail. As readers comment on this post, I will add more details about specific recommendations.

Interestingly, Dr. Cole’s Wnt Spray product on Amazon claims to reduce DKK1 activity by 21%.

22 thoughts on “DKK-1 Inhibition and Hair Growth”

        1. Dickkopf — kopf means ‘head’ in german.

          Ugh, this connection between DKK-1 and hair loss reminds me of a George Carlin joke about bald guys looking like a ‘freshly circumcised prick’ : (

          1. The research papers are written by M H Kwack et al – I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t some elaborate joke. But the papers are published proper journals, so . . .

  1. “remarkably effective” is not a phrase suitable in a patent or study, “2% – 5% above baseline” or “-/+1% within tolerance” is that of a scientist. “remarkably effective” is that of a journalist or sales rep. The source is either wrong or the author is in the wrong line of work.

  2. Tom Jones…George C prob didnt do anything with it because it doesn’t work lol. 2 to 5% above baseline is insignificant. 30% or higher is what we need.

  3. Baldness belongs to those kinds of diseases that will never be cured… So please Admin stop this site and let bald people live their lives in peace.

    1. Don’t say that Lorence, what do we have left if we can’t even hope? One day or the other we might be looking at the pictures of a study you linked on this site and we will just smile knowing this struggle and pain is over. It will be cured, let’s hope it’s happening soon and that it is affordable.

    2. Lorence , we are peace just you stop coming to this site ,if you have no interest,
      No disrespect , just let it be , all good if it’s not for you, change the channel

    3. Bald people don’t live in peace. That’s why this site exists. That’s why medications exist. That’s why research into curing it exists.

  4. Hair loss is sh#t, I agree. It certainly wiped the smile from my face back in 2012-when I first noticed anything. Before then I was a cocky f@%#er. However, I’m glad there are sites such as this one. Imagine if that original hair loss show was the only site out there? (You know the one) Banging on endlessly about transplants ad infinitum. Great; if that’s what you’re into, but for me-I’m asleep within five minutes.

  5. Does anyone here use rogaine on their face?I use for beard growth since mine isn’t full. Been doing it for years with some success. Today I shaved and added rogaine right after . Big mistake. 10 mins later I went for a walk and got extremely dizzy and light headed and almost fainted. First time I felt that side effect in 7 years of using rogaine…crazy

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