Since hair follicle miniaturization has been studied and understood by modern science through a renovated focus on scalp health, a new door has been open for ingredient efficacy targeting hair loss and hair thinning.
Today we explore the concept of hair follicle miniaturization and the current champion ingredient able to halt hair loss and thinning caused by this process via natural active ingredients targeting the scalp.
What is hair follicle miniaturization?
To understand hair follicle miniaturization it’s first necessary to take a look at what healthy hair growth cycles look like in the scalp. In such instances, hair follicles typically undergo three stages during their full life cycle:
- The anagen phase, which produces rapid hair growth
- Cell death or apoptosis stage, where follicles go into a relapse
- The telogen stage, in which hair follicles ‘rest’ in order to be able to restart the full cycle
Normal rates of hair follicles in the telogen phase are considered to be between 5 to 15%, whereas an escalation of these percentages might lead to what can be regarded as excessive hair loss (Paus & Cotsarelis, 1999).
This is where hair follicle miniaturization comes in. Briefly put, hair follicle miniaturization means that once healthy hair follicles can no longer produce strong hair during their anagen phase. The outcome is an interruption in the healthy growth cycle of hair, where more fragile and less sparse hair strands are produced, resulting in permanent hair loss.
This is why many successful hair loss treatments have been targeting scalp health, taking the necessary steps to increase hair follicles in the anagen phase and effectively reversing hair follicle miniaturization.
The causes for hair follicle miniaturization
Hair follicle miniaturization can take place for several reasons, aging processes of the scalp being crucial.
Research by Matsumura et al. (2016) has linked this process to a lack of Collagen XVII, which ultimately leads to hair follicle miniaturization and hair loss. As a logical consequence, ingredients able to prevent COL17A1 deficiencies are able to reverse this effect and effectively halt hair follicle miniaturization.
Innovative recent studies have also shown how a lack of COL17A1 is also responsible for incomplete melanocyte stem cell maintenance, which ultimately leads to hair graying.
This break-through discovery means an active ingredient able to preserve COL17A1 will not only prevent hair follicle miniaturization and strengthen hair follicles but also inhibit hair graying processes and improve overall scalp health. All in all, the recipe for the definitive “well-aging” hair formula has thus been outlined.
Kerascalp™: stop hair follicle miniaturization and embrace well-aging
Kerascalp™ is a natural active ingredient directly targeting scalp health to prevent hair follicle miniaturization by increasing Collagen by increasing both the gene expression (COL17A1) and the synthesis of Collagen XVII protein and reducing its proteolysis.
It thus presents the ultimate potential for a hair rejuvenation treatment that has proven efficacy for inhibiting hair loss and improving hair health in general.
In fact, ex vivo studies performed by Provital have demonstrated how Kerascalp™ maintains proliferative states in hair bulbs, thus facilitating a healthy scalp that results in successful anti-aging effects, as well as minimizing hair follicle miniaturization and increasing the synthesis of Collagen XVII protein. In vitro studies, on the other hand, confirm how Kerascalp™ is able to activate and limit degradation in COL17A1, while in vivo trials confirm an overall improvement in hair health, both for men and women.
Provital’s in vivo studies took place during pandemic times and with a panel of voluntary participants that were showing signs of stress. As research confirms how stress hormones impair stem cells necessary for hair growth (Ya-Chieh Hsu, 2021), the studied active ingredient showed proof to be able to halt such processes as well as hair pigmentation issues (Tanimura et al. 2011. 2011.“Hair Follicle Stem Cells Provide a Functional Niche for Melanocyte Stem Cells.” Cell Stem Cell 8(2):177 87).
All in all, stronger, shinier hair that presents a bigger volume is the proven outcome of this active ingredient’s effect in counteracting hair follicle miniaturization and hair graying, generating a healthy environment for both hair follicle stem cells and melanocyte stem cells.
Additionally, this counterbalance of hair aging processes culminates with new understanding on the role of COL17A1 in hair graying, with in vitro studies confirming the effects of Kerascalp™ in hair darkening and capacities for reverting the number and ratio of gray hair.
Originating from the amla (Phyllanthus Emblica) fruits, Kerascalp™ is linked to other traditional Ayurveda cosmetic remedies, its large antioxidant contents ensure rejuvenating effects and tap into new consumer interest in natural, traditional remedies.
Moreover, as scalp health remains a growing trend, targeting hair follicle miniaturization and pigmentation presents the potential to become a top claim that appeals to informed consumers looking for effective, sophisticated and science-based hair health formulas.