WHAT ARE LIPOSOMAL PEPTIDES?

Liposomal peptides are engineered peptides reacted with lipids (fats) to introduce peptides into living keratin cells.  Liposomal peptides can play the role as both vehicles of cosmeceutical agents and as active agents themselves.

When liposomal peptides are used as carriers for the delivery of active agents, they enhance the penetration, solubility and stability of the active agent.  The stability of the liposomal vehicle enables the targeting of the ingredient to the desired site of action and increase longevity of effect.

In order to penetrate the scalp and hair follicle structure, a successful active agent must possess certain physiochemical properties.  The agent must be of low molecular weight, water and oil soluble and have a low melting point.  As only a few substances match these ideal characteristics, most active agents fail to pass through the skin barrier in effective concentrations to the desired site.  Liposomal peptides, with their small size, similarity in skin lipid composition easily penetrate the scalp to deliver active agents to the hair follicle and the surrounding extra cellular matrix.

Most actives, when applied to the skin, would require regular doses for maximal effect due to the low permeability of the scalp.  Liposomes increase the pharmacokinetics of active agents to increase therapeutic effect when applied daily, making the active agents work for much longer.  The peptides combined with the liposomes are engineered to be identical to peptides produced in the follicle and the surrounding extracellular matrix increasing specificity of targeting without side effects.

LIPOSOMAL PEPTIDES INCREASE HAIR DENSITY AND LENGTH

Clinical trials show keratin stimulating liposomal peptides increase the manufacture of keratin in the hair fibre.  The hair fibre grows when keratin cells from the base layer of the dermis transit to the scalp.  During transit the keratin cells produces lots of keratin and keratin associated protein.  The length and density of the hair fibre is dependent on how much keratin is produced by that keratin cell.

For the short lifetime of the keratin cell (while below scalp level) there is a demand for the synthesis of large amounts of keratin protein.  Keratin cells that produce only mediocre amounts of keratin will produce hair fibres that are significantly thinner than keratin cells that produce lots and lots of keratin.

PEPTIDES AND HAIR FOLLICLE BIOLOGY

A peptide is a short chain of amino acids bound together by peptide bond.  Peptides differ from proteins as they are shorter in length than a protein.  Peptides are generally considered to be a chain of two or more amino acids.   A protein contains more than 50 amino acids.  A peptide chain made up of up to fifteen amino acids is called an oligopeptide, these include dipeptides, tripeptides, hexapeptides, pentapeptides and tetrapeptides.

In cells, peptides such as growth factors and hormones can perform biological functions and provide instructions for the cell.  To produce products such as keratin, a keratin cell will synthesise a peptide from a DNA template, and this will serve as the instruction to produce keratin from the protein manufacturing machinery in the cell.  The instruction to produce keratin will only be given in response to cell binding by insulin-like growth factor and other growth factors.

Insulin-like growth factor is the major growth stimulator of the hair follicle.  Insulin-like growth factor, produced in the liver, is stimulated by growth hormone and inhibited by stress (cortisol), inflammation or nutritional deficiencies.

Liposomal peptides in the same sequence as keratin stimulating peptides will have the same functional effect as the biological protein.  Thus, liposomal can directly stimulate the increased synthesis of keratin within keratin cells without the requirement of biological growth factors.

LIPOSOMAL PEPTIDES WORK FOR LONGER

A limitation of some active agents is the inability to control the release of active agents, like peptides, to the desired site.  Amongst the available molecules, liposomes are the best-known systems for delayed release of active agents.  Unlike other substances prone to oxidation, degradation or loss of performance, liposomes shield the enclosed ingredients in a fatty layer from external destructive factors.

The liposomal structure and composition bear a close resemblance to the lipids found in the scalp.  Topical administration of liposomal peptides leads to the accumulation of the active agent, prolonging the effect of the active agent.

PEPTIDES ARE SPECIFIC AND SELECTIVE

Liposomal proteins are identical copies of biological proteins making them safer and more effective than other keratin stimulating agents.  For keratin synthesis to occur in a keratin cell, there must first be stimulation by one or more growth factors.  Liposomal peptides can pass through the fatty layer of the cell membrane, this means no growth factors are needed for increased keratin synthesis.

Liposomal peptides can only carry out one function, but they can do this as well as the biological equivalent.  Liposomal peptides are seen as safe and well-tolerated as peptides can be easily metabolised by the body.

HOW DO LIPOSOMAL PEPTIDES INCREASE HAIR DENSITY?

Keratin cells continually secrete keratin and keratin associated proteins as they migrate from the basal layer to the stratum corneum.  The mass of the keratin cell increases by a factor of 3 by the time it reaches the stratum corneum.  So, a 100 pg keratin cell should grow to around 900 pg by the time it reaches scalp level.

Liposomal peptides can specifically and selectively stimulate keratin production within the cell increasing the size and weight of the keratin cell by 60-100%.  The length and density of the hair fibre is dependent on this mass increase.  When the keratin cells that make up the hair fibre grows to full potential mass, the hair fibre will be strong and grow faster due to the larger cells within the hair matrix.  When the keratin cells do not increase to full potential mass, the hair fibre will be made up of small cells that produce a finer, slower growing hair fibre due to the small cells that are part of the matrix.

THE FINAL WORD

Liposomal peptides are an exciting and drug-free alternative for increasing hair length and hair fibre thickness. Liposomal proteins can keep keratin cells producing keratin until they reach full potential mass resulting in thicker and fuller hair.