Updated: Dec 11, 2020
When you think of grapes what comes to mind? A tasty treat? A healthy snack that perfectly complements a turkey sandwich? Maybe a nice glass of wine? How about hair loss?
No, I am no insinuating that grapes cause hair loss, in fact they may do just the opposite.
There are a lot of ingredients that are commonly included in hair loss supplements that do not have research to back them, but there is evidence suggesting that a derivative of the seeds of grapes called grapeseed extract may hold some potential benefits for people suffering from hair loss.
In this article, we are going to take a look at exactly how taking grapeseed extract could potentially benefit your hair loss, taking into account the research and evidence that is available. We didn’t include grapeseed extract as a part of our formula Follicle Foundation by accident, it was for good reason, so let’s get into it.
The benefits of grapeseed extract for your hair
The health benefits of grapeseed extract stretch far and wide. From protecting your liver, to improving kidney function, to enhancing wound healing and more, grapeseed is a very versatile plant. But the way that grapeseed affects your hair is also quite profound.
Grapes are much more than just a delectable snack, huh? How about we dive into each of the different hair benefits.
Increases blood flow
There are many different treatments that work to combat hair loss by increasing blood flow. There is a reason that FDA approved treatments like minoxidil and laser helmets specifically target blood flow; because it is sublimely important to re-growing hair.
Red blood cells are responsible for transporting vital oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles that are used to complete healthy growth cycles. In essence, although scientists do not know if it is the cause or result of hair loss, low blood-flow is strongly correlated with the onset of hair loss (1). And besides blocking DHT, increasing blood flow is the most important thing for re-growing hair, and grapeseed can help.
There was a study done (1) that found that grapeseed helps upregulate nitric oxide in the body. This is important because nitric oxide aids in vasodilation, meaning that it helps relax the blood vessels (opening them up) which therefore increases blood flow. Although this study was not done with the intention of studying its effects on hair loss, the rise in nitric oxide levels has strong implications for being able to benefit hair loss as minoxidil works in a similar way.
Induces the anagen phase
There are three phases of the hair cycle: the anagen (growth), telogen (resting), and catagen (transition). As you start losing your hair, through a process called miniaturization, each time your hair completes a cycle the anagen phase shortens and the telogen phase lengthens. The shortening of the growth phase results in hair not growing as long or thick as it did in the previous cycle, which eventually leads to the hair dying (balding).
One of the important things that you have to consider when you are attempting to regrow your hair is re-lengthening the anagen phase. Grapeseed has been shown to help with that.
This study (1) took a look at proanthocyanidins that were extracted from grape seeds. It was found that these chemical compounds have growth promoting activity by stimulating the induction of the anagen phase of the hair cycle. Essentially, this means that taking grapeseed may be able to help aid in moving your hair from the resting phase into actively growing, which is important because the more hair that you have in the growth phase, the thicker it will appear.
It is important to note that this study was conducted on mice, and although they have similar growth cycle to humans, no human trials have been conducted yet which means that we cannot say for sure that this applies to people.
Contains powerful antioxidants
Oxidative stress is a process that can be very damaging to hair (1) and it is caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. They search the body for electrons and steal them from other molecules. This can cause damage to cells, including hair cells. Although certain levels of oxidative stress are normal, things such as UV, pollution, toxins, and more can cause elevated levels, and as you age your body’s natural ability to fight it off begins to dwindle.
The only way to prevent damage from oxidative stress is to neutralize the free radicals, and that can only be achieved by antioxidants that donate electrons to them. Grapeseed extract contains many antioxidants (1,2), and by protecting hair against oxidative stress it may be able to prevent premature aging and loss of hair.
Again, this hasn’t been studied solely for its implications on hair loss, but any protection against oxidation would prove beneficial in protection against the damage that would otherwise occur from oxidative stress.
There are a lot of microbes on your scalp, and many different kinds. Most of them are beneficial and keep your scalp healthy, but there are also microbes that can cause problems.
One fungus in particular is called malassezia, and it is responsible for dandruff. Other less-common microbes can cause infections, folliculitis, and several other conditions that can be harmful to your hairs health.
If you can reduce the harmful microbes, you may be able to prevent these issues and any hair problems that can be associated with them. Grape seed has been shown to have strong antimicrobial properties and even was effective at reducing malassezia specifically (1).
Grape seeds are one of the more studied plants that may have implications for hair loss sufferers.
There are a lot of ingredients that are included in hair loss formulas that contain little-to-no research for their effects on hair. This puts grapeseed extract far ahead of most, which again, is exactly why we included it in our formula. Hopefully more research is conducted on this botanical berry in the future.