Stimulation of Hair Growth

 

Publications on SRCPs and Hair Growth 
Study
Result Reference
Use of GHK-Cu analogs for hair follicle enlargement and stimulation of hair growth

Methods for the design and testing of copper-peptide complexes with hair growth properties are described.

A wide variety of GHK-Cu analogs were described that increase hair follicle size and increase hair growth in mice and rats. 

US Patent 5,120,831   New metal peptide complexes and derivatives used for stimulating growth of hair in warm-blooded animals, especially humans. Pickart US Patent 5,177,061   Compositions for stimulating hair growth containing cupric complexes of peptide derivatives including. glycyl-l-histidyl-l-lysine n-octyl ester. Pickart US Patent 5,214,032   New glycyl-histidyl-lysyl copper compounds used in stimulating hair growth. Pickart US 5,550,183   Metal-peptide compositions and methods for stimulating hair growth. Pickart 
Stimulation of hair growth in mice
GHK analogs with hydrophobic residues were tested and found to stimulate hair growth in rats. The hair follicle stimulating properties of peptide copper complexes. Results in C3H mice.  Fors, Pickart and Uno  Ann N Y Acad Sci 1991  26;642:468-9 
Stimulation of hair growth in mice and rats
The details of hair stimulation by copper peptides was studied by 1) phototrichogram, 2) folliculogram (micro morphometric analysis), and 3) the rate of DNA synthesis in the follicular cells. The effects were essentially a stimulation of the follicular cell proliferation, resulting in an enlargement of the anagen follicles from vellus to terminal type (therapy) or a maintenance of the piebald terminal follicles (prevention). A SRCP (PC1020) had the effect of follicular enlargement on the back skin of fuzzy rats, covering the vellus follicles. Chemical agents and peptides affect hair growth. Uno and Kurata (University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA)  J Invest Dermatol 1993 101(1 Suppl):143S-147S
Minimizing hair loss after cancer chemotherapy

 

Hairloss protection by peptide-copper complex in animal models of chemotherapy-induced alopecia.  Awa and Nogimori Journal Of Dermatological Science, Vol: 10, 1995, 99-104
Human hair growth
Stimulation of hair growth in humans with GHK-Cu analogs Phototrichogram Analysis of Hair Follicle Stimulation: A pilot clinical study with a peptide-copper complex.  Patt, Duncan and Kalis (University of Reims, France)  Dermatological Research Techniques,  (CRC Press), pp-217-226, 1996
Hair growth in rats
Stimulation of hair growth in rats   Quantitative Assessment of Peptide-Copper Complex Induced Hair Follicle Stimulation Using the Fuzzy Rat, Uno, Packard, Patt (University of Wisconsin) Dermatological Research Techniques,  (CRC Press), pp-227-239, 1996
Hair growth in rats
Stimulation of hair growth in rats with GHK-Cu analogs  Evaluation of Telogen Hair Follicle Stimulation Using an In Vivo Model: Results with Peptide Copper Complexes. Timpe, Dumwiddie, Patt (Procyte Corp.)  Dermatological Research Techniques,  (CRC Press), pp-241-254, 1996
Human study of hair growth with GHK-Cu analog
Compared GHK-CU analog in Tricomin with 2% minoxidil. Tricomin 2.5% increased hair count by 97 non-vellus hairs while 2% minoxidil increased count by 73 non-vellus hair  after 3 months  (non-vellus hair count) Procyte Corp. press release  1997
Breakdown resistant, long acting copper-peptides used for stimulation of hair growth
Tested copper complexed with protein peptones for hair growth effects in mice. Copper-peptide mixture produced more hair growth in mice than GHK-Cu analogs Pickart  US Patent 5,554,375   Tissue protective and regenerative compositions. 
Review
Skin remodeling and hair growth Pickart L, Effect of copper peptides on hair growth and condition, Body Language Dermatology 2004, Number 7, pages 20-22
Review
Skin remodeling and hair growth Pickart L, Skin remodeling copper peptides for improving hair growth, Cosmetics & Medicine (Russia) 2004, Number 3, pages 14-29
Study of human follicles in organ culture
AHK-Cu increased follicular cell growth while decreasing progrmmed cell death (apoptosis) Pyo HK, Yoo HG, Won CH, Lee SH, Kang YJ, Eun HC, Cho KH, Kim KH, The effect of tripeptide-copper complex on human hair growth, Arch Pharm Res 2007, vol 7, 834-839.

GHK-Cu Analogs and Stimulation of Hair Growth  

Certain analogs of GHK-Cu have the property of enlarging hair follicles and stimulating hair growth.  These analogs have more fat-like character than GHK-Cu. This increase in fat-like properties is obtained by either chemically synthesizing fatty acids into the GHK molecule or attaching amino acid residues such as alanine, phenylalanine or leucine to the basic GHK structure.       

These analogs originally arose in an attempt to create GHK-Cu analogs which would be retained in body tissues for longer periods of time. However, it was noted that - while such analogs were superior wound healing agents - they also markedly increased hair growth around the periphery of experimental wounds in mice.       

These hair stimulating analogs were created by Drs. Steven Lovejoy, Loren Pickart and Boris Weinstein. Skin repair and hair growth enhancement effects are closely linked. New skin appears to arise from the hair follicle. Certain products based on Iamin can be used to both repair skin, increase hair follicle size, and stimulate hair growth. As a person ages, our hair follicles get smaller, producing thinner hair shafts. A major cause of hair follicle miniaturization appears to be due to the development of striking changes in capillaries surrounding the hair follicles. Comprehensive surveys of the male scalp from birth to senescence find very significant changes in the structure of the blood vessels of the scalp. The number of the blood capillary loops supplying the hair follicle is greatly diminished. The inadequate subepidermal circulation that can develop as males age does not provide a rich nutrition for the follicle. Strong hair growth requires a large flow of nutrients such as such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids so that the follicle can actively synthesize new hair.       

Blood flow impairments to the follicle, and their reversal, may explain why the administration of copper peptides  (such as Tricomin) to the scalp increases hair growth and increase the size of hair shafts. It has long been known that certain copper-peptide complexes strongly stimulate angiogenesis or new blood vessel formation. The increase in hair follicle size and the rate of hair growth caused by the administration of copper-peptides may be due to their causing blood flow changes that provide adequate nutrients to the follicle, producing faster growing hair with thicker hair shafts. Copper ion complexed with certain peptides has both skin repair and hair growth enhancement effects. Examples of this are Tricomin and GraftCyte which are based on Pickart's earlier work (from ProCyte Corporation).

More follicular cell growth and less programmed cell death (apoptosis)

During aging in men and women, there is a progressive decrease in hair follicle size. This produces thinner hair and in time stops new hair growth.

Pyo et al (refererence above) propose, based on studies of human hair follicles, that the actions of copper peptides increase cell growth in cultured hair follicles while decreasing programmed cell death or apoptosis. Copper pepides also decrease the Bax protein which increases apoptosis. Their studies use Ala-His-Lys-copper, as close analog of GHK, that I had found to stimulate hair growth many years ago.

So, the copper peptides may function by slowing the rate of programmed cell death in human hair follicles that ultimately stops human hair growth.
 Mouse
 
 The skin of the mouse to the left was shaved, then treated in three spots with copper peptides. The result is a much more rapid hair growth (the three circular patches of hair) in the three spots treated with copper peptides. While human hair growth will not respond nearly as dramatically as in mice, skin health and hair follicle function are closely interrelated. New skin appears to arise from the hair follicle. As a person ages, our hair follicles get smaller, producing thinner hair shafts. The blood circulation that supplies nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicle send fewer blood vessels to the hair follicle, thus inhibiting the vital flow of nutrients to the hair follicle. Copper-peptide complexes improve skin health and a more healthy skin increases the blood vessel network to the hair follicles resulting in larger follicles that grow hair faster with thicker hair shafts.
 
 
 
 

 


Mouse Follicle
 


 In the microscopic images to the left, the magnifications are identical. The top photo is mouse skin untreated with copper-peptides. The bottom photo is mouse skin treated with copper-peptides. Note the larger hair follicles (the elongated purple columns) in the lower photo, the increased content of subcutaneous fat in the skin (the white material in the center of the skin), and the increased thickness of the skin. When we are young, we have a layer of fat under the skin (part of "baby fat") which is greatly reduced as we age. Hair researchers have noted the accumulation of this fat around healthy follicles that are vigorously growing hair, and its relative lack around dormant follicles, have postulated that these cells serve a supportive function for the hair follicle. It must be emphasized that effects in humans on hair follicle health are not as dramatic.
 

 

 

 

New Hair Follicle Formation?

Mouse Follicle
 
 
 
At times, copper peptides can apparently induce a proliferation of hair follicles, although this phenomena is difficult to reproduce on a consistent basis. The photograph on the top is a microscopic field of mouse hair follicles in an animal treated only with saline. The photograph on the bottom is a similar area of mouse skin treated with copper-peptides and which has a much higher density of hair follicles. Individual experiments on hair follicle multiplication are consistent, that is, the effect is actual when it occurs, but repeated results are difficult to obtain. The variability may be due to different timing in the hair growth cycle or slight changes in the type of, or formulation of, the copper-peptide preparations. Such experiments strongly suggest that, under certain circumstances, new hair follicle formation can be induced in adult animals.

 


 
 
 
 

 

 

Questions or Advice?

Email Dr. Loren Pickart at drlorenpickart@gmail.com

Alternate Email: ghkcopperpeptides@gmail.com

Call us at 1-800-405-1912 Monday through Friday (8 am to 6 pm) PST