Have you noticed your hair is thinning on top? Don’t be a bystander anymore – do something about it. Could one calming oil be the solution?
Evidence published in one scientific journal suggests it could possibly be so.
Clinical researchers from Changwon Moonsung University, Korea, determined the “hair growth effects” of a certain oil.
The hair structure
The researchers noted how hair follicles “are depressions in the scale… created through the continuous proliferation of matrix cells”.
The hair cycle – consisting of the anagen, catagen and telogen phase – is repeated up to 20 times during a lifetime.
For their experiment, the research team observed the effects of four products – jojoba oil, lavender oil, minoxidil and saline.
Minoxidil is “the most commonly used drug for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia” – in other words, hair loss.
Topical applications of minoxidil “shortens the telogen phase, prolongs the anagen phase, and increases the volume of hair follicles”.
To clarify, the telogen phase is the resting phase, whereas the anagen phase is the growth phase in the hair cycle.
Experimenting on six-week-old lab mice, they were randomly grouped to receive topical applications of either jojoba oil, lavender oil, minoxidil or saline.
To asses the effect of hair growth, the back of each mouse was shaved one day before the beginning of the experiment.
Then, for four weeks, 100μL of test samples were applied using pipettes once a day, five times a week.
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At weeks one, three and four, the backs of the mice were photographed to evaluate hair growth.
By week four, the minoxidil group showed 99.8 percent hair growth, whereas the lavender group showed 95 percent hair growth.
These two groups “showed a significantly increased number of hair follicles, deepened hair follicle depth, and thickened dermal layer” compared to saline.
The jojoba oil group fared better off than saline but didn’t compare to lavender oil.
Why do researchers use mice in their hair experiments?
Mice are widely used in hair physiology studies because they have the advantage that all hair follicles enter the growth stage after birth.
The growth stage can also be determined by skin colour, because melanocytes exist only in hair follicles.
This makes it easier to notice hair growth effects of different topical treatments.
In humans, the researchers recognised the important role hair plays – functionally and emotionally.
“Hair serves as a cushion against external shocks, as a means to keep the head warm, and a shield to protect the scalp from ultraviolet rays,” they noted.
The research team continued: “In cases of severe hair loss, there can be negative psychological consequences, such as lowered self-esteem and anger.
“This can then lead to depression, social withdrawal, and inappropriate personal relations.”
In order to combat this, the researchers hope to verify effective hair loss remedies, such as lavender oil.