Fibroblast Growth Factors and Hair Growth

I have previously covered different fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their impact on hair growth. This post is a comprehensive summary of the key FGFs (cell signaling proteins) involved in hair follicle cycling.

Fibrobasts Growth Factors and Hair Growth

There exist 23 members of the FGF gene family, each identified by a number at the end. At least 5 of these fibroblast growth factors have significant impact upon hair growth. Usually via a modulation of the Wnt/β-Catenin pathway and Sonic hedgehog (Shh) expression. The fibroblast growth factor receptor family has 4 members,

FGF1, FGF2 and FGF10

FGF1, FGF2 and FGF10 have some positive impact on hair growth, although the research is limited. A Chinese study from 2015 found that FGF-1, FGF-2, and FGF-10 fibroblast growth factors promote hair growth. They do so by inducing and extending the anagen growth phase of hair follicle cycling.

A South Korean study from 2016 found that arachidonic acid increased the expression of FGF-10 (and FGF-7). This in turn promoted hair growth.

A Japanese study from 2016 concluded that FGF2 (also known as “basic fibroblast growth factor” or bFGF) seems to have a positive impact on hair growth. Interestingly, when I interviewed Dr. Malcolm Xing, he mentioned that FGF-2 is the preferred growth factor used at this clinic for his work purposes.

FGF5

On this blog, I have covered FGF5 more than any other fibroblast growth factor. Interestingly, this particular growth factor needs to be inhibited in order to promote hair growth.

Evolis Shampoo.
Evolis Shampoo to inhibit FGF5.

An Australian company named Cellmid has been very successful at selling its Evolis line of products. See the science behind their FGF5 inhibiting concept here and in the video below. On Amazon, their FGF5 inhibiting shampoo currently has an average rating of 4.1 out of 4.5. Cellmid seems to be doing well in spite of recent challenges.

The company’s products contain natural botanicals that have been shown to inhibit FGF-5. For example, one of the ingredients is Sanguisorba Officinalis Root Extract, known to reduce FGF5 and prolong the anagen hair growth cycle. A related Japanese patent.

FGF7

FGF7 (also called keratinocyte growth factor, or KGF) is required for hair growth. The well known hair loss researcher Dr. Elaine Fuchs co-authored an important study on FGF-7, hair development and wound healing in 1995.

A 2000 study found keratinocyte growth factor to be an important endogenous mediator of hair follicle growth. Histogen’s now discontinued Hair Stimulating Complex product included KGF as one of the key hair growth factors.

FGF9

An important 2013 mice study from U Penn found that FGF9 induces hair growth after wounding. Dr. George Cotsarelis was a co-author. More here. Reducing FGF9 expression decreased hair follicle formation. In contrast, over-expressing FGF5 led to a two to three-fold increase in the number of new hair follicles.

The researchers think that using FGF9 to treat wounds in people can also help regrow hair. Human skin tends to scar and not regenerate any hair after suffering injury, In contrast, mice skin is much better at also regrowing hair after injury.

Follica licensed the intellectual property rights soon after the study was published. The actual 2009 patent can be seen here. It seems like there exists a window of opportunity after wounding during which:

“The FGF9 pathway could be modulated to potentiate hair neogenesis”.

Cellcurin Topical Fibroblast Growth Factor 9

Interestingly, a 2019 study from South Korea tested a trademarked cocktail containing topical FGF9 (Cellcurin). They used this growth factor cocktail (GFC) in combination with microneedling on patients with androgenetic alopecia. The results (see below image) indicate Cellcurin to have a positive impact on hair growth and follicle thickness. A related article also mentions the addition of NMN.

Fibroblast Growth Factors.
Fibroblast Growth Factor 9 for hair growth. Source: Global Dermatology.

I hope someone can make a topical cocktail of most of the above fibroblast growth factors. At the very least, maybe this will reduce hair loss drastically.

19 thoughts on “Fibroblast Growth Factors and Hair Growth”

  1. My two cents: I used évolis for over a year. Both the shampoo/conditioner and their little crappy over-priced dropper thingo. I can’t speak for others, but it certainly didn’t do a damn thing for me. All it did was fluff up my hair for a few hours and made it smell nice. It seems more of a cosmetic than anything else. (If a topical like this really worked, don’t you think it would knock Min of its perch and be recommended by the medical profession as whole?) Same goes for the UK’s Watermans products. They too are selling like hotcakes. To get a discount on your next purchase, they encourage their customers to provide before and after pics and post them in the review section on their website. If you need a good laugh, I encourage you to check them out. (Don’t strain your eyes looking for regrowth tho.) The testimonials are a hoot. eg: “My husband grew back all of his hair in three weeks!”

    1. @kim Thanks for the honesty. Bro can you believe this we have to wait until the end of the decade to see if stemson therapeutics hair cloning works. And first they said they completed pig trials now there saying they need to start pig trials which will last 2 more years of research man give me a break and where’s ukhairclone I thought they were supposed to be offering there stem cell injections by now what a joke the British humour is weird.

      1. Marc you should to get on the the veterporfin train it’s more realistic at this point than hair cloning because hair cloning will take forever and I want it as much as you.

        1. @woofy97 bro you come across to me as a smart guy I just turned 36 I’ve been waiting for hair cloning since 2012 I’m a Norwood2 maybe3 no balding at all on my vertex just my temples and hairline I guess I’m asking for your opinion should I keep waiting until I’m 40 to see if hair cloning happens or should I just get the fue transplant ? Honestly I don’t see hair cloning happening until around 2028 2030 that’s a long time from now what would you do woofy97 ? In my situation ? Your reply would be greatly appreciated .

          1. Thank you Marc! You seem like a smart guy as well and I genuinely mean that. If you have not taken Fin before and you’re 36 and you are just a Norwood 2 than you can get an FUE or FUT. But it’s best to talk about this with a hair transplant doctor I’m not really an expert at this stuff. I recommend you check with Bernstein medical or hasson and Wong. Take care Marc! I will be temporary taking a long break from these sites. This is my last message
            for now.

      2. I hear ya mate. I personally don’t give hair-cloning a second thought tho. I seriously doubt I could ever afford such a thing anyway. By the time it comes out (if ever) I’ll be sitting in some retirement home with ruggy on my lap wondering what day it is?

    2. Hi Kim, just wondering with your claims, saying the products is ineffective. According to the science, it prolong the anagen phase in the hair cycle, and for people who are about to get bald, it works by preventing it from happening by forcing the hair follicle healthy lifecycle. Thus lesser hair falls is the most obvious and immediate result.

      So your problem with the product is, the product DO NOT maintain your hair volume? Or simply the product do not works, because you do not have hair follicle to begin with ie. the hair stem cells already gone? May I kindly know your situation, as I am about to buy the product.

  2. Admin I appreciate your work but it’s not hair clonibg. This won’t give you a full thick hairlin. We are in the 2020s. We are going to land on Mars in 2024 or 2026 and we eat cloned cows but we can’t clone one human hair and transplant it on human skin. You know after reading these blogs since 2014, I think I’ve gained all the knowledge I need to clone hair myself. All I need is Windex and duck tape.

  3. For some time they had been marketing a toothpaste that actually blocked the advance and cause of cavities, well, that toothpaste has disappeared from circulation. Is it clear for you now? Hair loss is a billion dollars industry. A world full of happy people walking around with a head full of hair. No man, that’s not going to happen.

    1. Very interesting. Although I am skeptical about any strong stress and grey hair connection…else a ton of 15 years olds would have grey hair :-) Would be great if they did a larger-scale study too.

      1. I agree – it‘s mainly genetics and epigenetics…

        Still I see more and more young people under 30 who are turning grey.

        I had my first white hairs at 28, my dad at 40, my mum at 50. Strange somehow.

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