Oxytocin, Cinnamic Acid and Hair Growth

In October 2023, Japanese researchers (led by Junji Fukuda and Tatsuto Kageyama) published an interesting paper that concluded that oxytocin has a positive effect on hair growth via upregulation of dermal papilla cell signature markers. These findings were later covered by a NHK News video report from Japan.

Oxytocin (OXT) is better known as the “love hormone”. It is produced and released by women during childbirth and lactation. It is also produced during skin stimulation, such as when hugging or getting a massage. OXT is also called the anti-stress hormone.

In this study, OXT treatment resulted in the upregulation of genes that were associated with hair growth promoting factors. These included VEGFA (a protein encoded by the VEGF gene), PDGFB, FGF7 and BMP2. This ultimately results in peg-like hair sprouting via the improved hair growth ability of dermal papilla cells.

Oxytocin Hair Growth
Oxytocin and Hair Growth. Source: Nature, 20 October, 2023. Fukuda et al.

Oxytocin, Cinnamic Acid and Hair Growth

I was 50/50 about writing a post on oxytocin and hair growth. We have seen numerous such past unusual examples that ultimately lead to no actual hair loss products.

However, in February 2023, the same researchers from Japan published yet another study that found cinnamic acid to promote hair growth via the activation of oxytocin receptor (OXTR) expression. Cinnamon is officially known as Cinnamomum cassia, and cinnamic acid is a component of Cinnamomum cassia.

“Treatment with cinnamic acid led to upregulation of OXTR and trichogenic gene expression in human dermal papilla (DP) cells.”

Three people e-mailed me the story about these findings that was published on phy.org several weeks ago. And a few others also posted blog comments about this news. No-one seemed to connect both these Japanese studies if I recall correctly.

Cinnamic Acid Oxytocin Hair Growth
Cinnamic Acid, Oxytocin Receptor Activation and Hair Growth. Source: Nature, 27 February, 2024. Fukuda et al.

Note that cinnamic acid can also be derived naturally from a number of plants. The most famous being cinnamon, shown in the image above. Yet one more ingredient to add in the list of natural treatments for hair loss.

A 2012 study from Japan found that cinnamon extract promotes Type I collagen biosynthesis via the activation of IGF-I signaling in human dermal fibroblasts. Also from 2012, a study from Taiwan concluded that cinnamic aldehyde (a constituent of Cinnamomum cassia) has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2018 study from Taiwan found that Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kanehira (COK) leaves caused dermal papilla cell proliferation and increased hair growth in mice.

13 thoughts on “Oxytocin, Cinnamic Acid and Hair Growth”

  1. Where can I buy Cinnamic Acid? It is not available anywhere Is cinnamon oil useful?
    Are Cinnamic Acid pills or topical?
    I want interaction from admin and forum members.

  2. Admin
    Thank you for the useful website in the field of hair loss.
    I believe Cinnamic Acid is the first real step in treating baldness.

  3. Admin, please delete prior, use this edited:

    One of the topicals I use happens to have oxytocin, I dump so many different things on my cranium can’t say if it helps or not, mainly use it for the minox/dut. Here’s what they say: Minoxidil 7%, a well-studied and proven molecule to induced hair regrowth; and, Dutasteride, a potent 5-alpha reductase inhibitor to promote all-inclusive hair growth, even in individuals with severe degrees of hair loss. This product also contains Oxytocin, a hormone with stress-reducing and confidence building, pro-social activities. In addition, Horse Placenta extract in this formulation provides much needed nutrition for healthy hair growth and improved scalp health. Ingredient delivery is optimized via liposphere technology which penetrates deeper and longer into the scalp to maximize exposure to all actives

  4. Were these studies completed on mice or humans? Getting Cinnamic Acid through the skin to having an effect is the challenge. So much of these topicals are really useless because they can’t penetrate the skin.

  5. Okay..when the hair is lost the derma papilla is lost too no ? At least if that follicle has not grown hair in twenty years ?

    Also about cinnamon, it has also a similar effect to metformin : it is good against insulin résistance.

    Insuline résistance triggers an increase in androgens in both men and women : syndrome X for men / PCOS for women and a handful of other conditions.

    Metformin is a treatment for diabetes and PCOS.

    Metformin has been studied recently as a topical for cicatricial alopecia and is also being studied as a topical for AGA, it also works on the derma papilla ..

    Admin, you should Google metformin for hairloss, it will be the next topical treatment available out there I am sure..

      1. So if progenitors cells are lost…it means you cannot regrowth hair anyway? Derma papilla cells or not.

        1. Many of the companies I covered in the past 10.5 years seem to be able to regrow hair with their technologies.

          As do some of the medications in those who get the best results.

          1. well…I am a female, AGA set off not long after puberty…I was treated once…everything grew back, then I was told I did not have any issue and I went off treatment, I lost all the gains and more …was treated again, the hairless stopped but I never got regrowth, it has been stopped for almost 20 years…

            I am still grieving…so not everybody is lucky enough for treatment to work for them…minoxidil does not work for me..I tried a stronger treatment that did not go well with my skin, allergic reaction, another one that was not working on the good androgen receptors and so on…

            I am crying less but sometimes it come back and I feel like a monster…


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