Using Sound to Treat Hair Loss

I have followed the hair loss world for over 20 years, and written about it on this site for 8.5 years. Nevertheless, almost every single month, I still read something on hair that totally surprises me. The latest is courtesy of this thread on Reddit regarding a new study on the benefits of ultrasound for hair growth.

Sound Hair Growth
Hair growth after 30 kHz sound therapy. Source: Biomedical Reports. Choi et al.

Inaudible Sound Therapy and Hair Growth

A new study from South Korea that came out last month suggests a role for sound therapy in treating hair loss. It is titled “Induction of hair growth in hair follicle cells and organ cultures upon treatment with 30 kHz frequency inaudible sound.”

According to the authors, these inaudible frequency sound waves positively affect scalp hair via 4-hour treatments that:

  • Induce proliferative and anti‑apoptotic effects in human dermal papilla cells (hDPCs) and outer root sheath keratinocytes.
  • Inhibit the negative effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) upon hair growth.

The authors conclude that:

“Overall, the results suggested that inaudible sound may be effective in treating hair loss and could be used to develop a new hair loss treatment approach.”

They provide two hypotheses on why inaudible sound vibrations are causing hair growth:

  1. The promotion of hair growth occurs due to activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway via the sound waves.
  2. The hair growth occurs as a result of mechanotransduction (mechanical stress) from the cell membrane of hair follicle cells. This stress is a result of modification by the inaudible sound.

Ultrasound Drug Delivery for Hair Growth

Note that ultrasound therapy and related devices are often used to improve drug delivery systems. In 2020, I discussed a study that used ultrasound activated nanoparticles to treat androgenetic alopecia. Also in the same year, I discussed sonophoresis and radio frequency as new potential ways to deliver topical finasteride.

A 2020 study from Taiwan found dual-frequency ultrasound to be effective for transdermal minoxidil delivery and hair growth enhancement. The authors found that ultrasound-mediated microbubble cavitation significantly increased both skin permeability and transdermal drug delivery.

Molecular Vibrations

This phenomenon is not as unbelievable as one would expect. For many years, we have known that even things like low-level laser light (LLLT) therapy, massage/mechanotherapy, scalp wounding, and even friction can lead to hair growth in some.

And in the way-out-there world, we have read anecdotal reports of hair regrowth on people who got unintentional scalp injuries from fire and even lightening. I think I should hereon call all such phenomena as “molecular scalp vibration” spurred hair growth.

The authors of this latest study cite a number of supporting studies. This includes ones that suggest that low-intensity vibrations and sound impact the body at the cellular and genetic level.

40 thoughts on “Using Sound to Treat Hair Loss”

    1. Yes, he mentioned it in one of my past interviews with him. But this concept is a bit different (daily 4 hr sound wave bombardment)!

  1. I need help. I have diffuse thinning. Sides aren’t bald but they have thinned out to. Like my brothers , they have hair on sides but it’s thinned out a lot.

    Question is, will I still be able to benefit from stem cell cures or other treatments out there or will I not be able to fix this type of MPB ?

    1. Josh,

      I don’t think anyone has those answers yet. The stem cell cure isn’t here yet so only time will tell. You’re not alone, that’s all I can say.

      I would think (key word since I really have no idea) that the stems cells they’re referencing can help grow hair anywhere – front, back, sides etc. I fully expect it to be a gazillion dollars (slight exaggeration) at first though. But I don’t see how or why thinning sides would keep stem cells they program from doing their thing.

  2. @admin what was your impression of the interview of Spencer Kobren with Geoff Hamilton? You have a good feeling about Stemson?

    1. I had a great feeling about Tsuji, but it got us nowhere. I have a great feeling about Stemson, but unfortunately it seems like human trials might not even start this year. So a very positive development, but too slow :-(

      1. I think Hamilton is extremely smart and determined – and he actively seeks communication, which is a nice difference to other companies.

        In 2019 he said that trials will be in 2021 – I think he underestimated the size of his project and was too optimistic. He learned from this mistake and is now deliberately talking about long timelines (years of R&D) to lower expectations.

        I do think though that a human trial is not too far away, they will surprise soon. I think 2023 is totally realistic. The team that he build up is now around 20 people without advisors, so that’s a lot of manpower to go forward.

          1. I don’t know, how should I?

            Maybe he sees that Stemson is going to fail?

            Or his position is way too little to implement the hugely complex process from blood sample to growing hair on a scalp? And that’s why a big specialized company like „Dark Horse Consulting“ took over that development.

            1. I mean this can have a million reasons, it doesnt have to mean he thinks their concept doesnt work or anything, but my gut feeling tells me something is not right because the way he talked in december 2022 really seemed to me like he sees his future at Stemson.

      2. Yes the way I understood it is that he said first they need to optimise their solution for pigs including a robot and the perfect scaffold and then they need to build a manufacturing process and then they need to conduct their tests with this exact process and then apply for fda trials, then the fda has to review it and then they have to go through the good old long clinical trial process. I really think that this stuff is decades away from us :/

  3. Interesting approach but it’s not going to give you a full head. We will probably not even here about this potential treatment again the researchers just want to collect grant money and publish papers like spencer and Geoff said. Stemson will cure hairloss!

  4. Off topic: When we talk about finasteride we always and only talk about its negative side effects, my question is: does finasteride have any positive side effects in addition to stabilizing baldness? Why do people who use finasteride “especially those who have been using it for decades” look younger in general? Just to mention one of the things that many have observed …

    1. I would love to know the science behind this . Everything seems to be anecdotal accounts.
      I was on proscar for 25 years and reaped the benefits of looking a decade younger . Then I got alopecia areta and lost almost everything… thought there was no point staying on proscar then my skin went to hell . I wonder if pumpkin seed oil or something would restore it ? What causes the preventative ageing.?

  5. If you look at stemsons research team you will see they are now only noobs who are masters students. They have no true fire power besides at the computational level. Stemson must recruit Chinese scientists. Their funding is running out.

    1. Jan, thats a great point. I saw there team and i saw they only have 5 master students and not really and phd studying the molecular science.

  6. The recovery of the first woman and the third person in the world from the virus that causes AIDS after a stem cell transplant.
    I think the key to treating baldness is stem cells.

  7. I’m not posting this to be political or anything and I’m not posting this about vaccines! I’m posting this because this is probably why we have never had a cure for androgenetic aleopcia I’ve been saying this for a while on here the FDA is corrupt. The FDA probably got a lot of money from merck pharmaceuticals for propecia and slow walk potential new treatments in clinical trials for AGA. Let’s hope Stemson uses a different regulatory agency. If you watch that video the FDA official says quote “The drug companies, the food companies, they pay us millions of dollars a year” and “A Recurring Fountain Of Revenue”

  8. I am interested in trying this approach. I like that it seemed to both positively affect the follicle structure and also reduce DHT. External audio seems like a low health risk thing to mess with. I would think creating a setup that can produce 30khz audio at 144db close to the scalp would be possible at a reasonable, one-time cost. Perhaps we could discuss further in Discord to get educated on the equipment required and share ideas and experiences.

  9. Off topic but I finally watched that last Stemson interview. Good grief, he pretty much says it’ll be many many years before an actual product is ready. That whole last interview was depressing. I get how hard it is but it’ll take several human trials and he couldn’t even give a timeline when they’re starting the first one. Jeesh. I’d say a decade to get anything from Stemson, at the rate.

    1. I don’t share that pessimism. As said before, Hamilton made the mistake to announce a trial for 2021, and now he is forced to “understatement”.

      The entrance of “Dark Horse Consulting” is in my humble opinion very good news, they will traction.

      I am very certain they will start their trials pretty soon, pig testing is being done for a year now, there’s 15 or so people actively working in R&D (how many has Hairclone? 2 or 3…).

    2. There will not be a Cure in 10 years only s like this where you can add 1% regrowth. Or just maintain. Guys don’t keep your hope up. Be realistic. Every official study for regrowth will take 10 years and another 10 years to be affordable. So most realistic is 20 years guys. Stemson did not even start hahaha and here you are celebrating 2022 good year for hair loss over s products like this hahahaha

      1. I’m pessimistic but not that pessimistic. I agree about the past but a) people are really fed up and companies are realizing how much they can make off of an actual cure (vs snake oil people are not buying as often or frequently as they used to) and b) science has come a long way. I don’t think we’re super close but it won’t take 20 years.

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