Vasolidators and hair growth
Vasolidators and hair growth

VASODILATORS AND BLOOD CIRCULATION TO THE HAIR FOLLICLE 

The hair follicle relies on an adequate blood supply for the exchange of nutrients and waste.  The local microcirculation delivers vital components for cell functions such as glucose and oxygen and removes substances that would cause harm to the cell.

Conditons such as iron deficiency can lead to reduced blood volume if hemoglobin levels start to lower.  A vasodilator dilates the vessels in the scalp and increases the blood supply to the hair follicle.  A vasolidator can be in the form of a laser system, a topical hair loss medication like minoxidil or mechanical therapy such as massage or other types of pressure on the scalp.

Vasoconstriction leads to a reduction in hair growth.   Reduced blood flow will lead to a shorter anagen phase and an increased amount of hair in telogen.  This will appear as thinner hair that sheds easily.

Vasodilation increases blood flow and expression of growth factors.   Increasing the blood flow allows hair to remain in anagen for longer, new hair fibers will emerge thicker and stronger.

VASODILATORS AND EXPRESSION OF GROWTH FACTORS WITHIN THE HAIR FOLLICLE

A study looking at the effect of Sildenafil on hair growth found this vasodilator increased the espression of growth factors essential for hair growth.  When Sildenafil  stimulated the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor when added to hair follicle demal papillas.  The study additonally found that extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation was increased, this accelerated the induction of the anagen (growing) phase of the hair follicle leading.  When compared to controls, murine models treated with a vasodilator grew hair back around 30% faster after hair removal [1].  Massage has also been shown to stimulate collagen production in the scalp, this provides a more robust structure for the hair follicle.

USING VASODILATORS TO ENCOURAGE HAIR GROWTH

A variety of modalities that redult in the increase of blood flow to the scalp have been shown to reliably stabilise hair loss and encourage regrowth.  Depending on the type of hair loss, therapy with lasers, topical agents or mechanical stimulation can regrow hair in most cases.  Techniques relying on vasodilation alone will yield results after around 6-12-months.

REFERENCES

  1. Choi, H.I., Kang, B.M., Jang, J., Hwang, S.T. and Kwon, O., 2018. Novel effect of sildenafil on hair growth. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 505(3), pp.685-691.

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