Grapes, seeds and oil on a table

Can You Use Grapeseed Extract for Hair Growth? | Study Results

There are many natural hair loss treatments on the market that claim to stop thinning and loss and even induce hair growth. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these claims are unfounded with no scientific evidence to back them.

Grapeseed extract, on the other hand, is one ingredient which may just have the research available to back its claims.

Without further ado, let’s look at the benefits associated with grapeseed extract for hair and how you can get the most from this holistic ingredient.

What Is Grapeseed Extract?

Grapes have been used for 6,000 years, both as a delicious edible treat and for the treatment of a number of medical conditions (1). But what is it about these sweet, round berry fruits that lends itself to medicinal use, and what provides them with their curative powers?

The answer, of course, is their abundance of vitamins, nutrients, and complexes which can be found within the skins and seeds.

Grapeseed extract is the product of crushed grape seeds, and it’s been a staple in the diets and medicine cabinets of cultures all around the world.

How Can Grapeseed Extract Be Used to Prevent Hair Loss?

Grapeseed extract has a number of general health benefits (2).

From its use in the treatment of gout to its ability to control sugar levels, there’s no doubt that grapeseed extract has a number of extraordinary benefits (3, 4). But what about its use in the treatment of hair loss?

Well, there’s a number of ways in which supplementation with grapeseed extract can help individuals with male-pattern baldness, and the below ways are just a few.

Grapeseed Extract Increases Blood Flow

Grapeseed oil

 

Blood flow is the most important factor when it comes to the health of your hair. When blood flow is restricted then the miniaturization of the hair follicles is sure to follow.

This means the follicles are no longer able to support strong and healthy hair growth. One way to reverse these effects, however, is to increase the blood flow to these follicles. This will allow them to receive the nutrients they require.

With grapeseed oil extract supplementation, you can not only increase blood flow to the scalp and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles, but this may also enable you to stimulate hair growth (5).

Grapeseed Extract Promotes Hair-Cycle-Converting Activities

You know that the miniaturization of hair follicles can make it difficult for hair to regrow, but what exactly leads to the miniaturization of hair follicles?

For individuals suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia (also known as male-pattern baldness), sensitivity to the sex hormone DHT leads to the miniaturization (6). As the follicles become smaller, the hair cycle shortens.

A diagram of hair follicle miniaturization

 

Grapeseed extract, however, has actually been proven to jumpstart the hair cycle and push the follicle from telogen (the phase in which the most hair is lost) to anagen (the phase in which active hair growth occurs) (7).

Thus far, these results have only been seen in mice. But as the hair cycles of mice and men are quite similar, there’s good reason to believe these results may be applicable to humans, too.

Grapeseed Extract Is Full of Antioxidants

Antioxidants play an important role in the fight against hair thinning and hair loss. And, fortunately, grapeseed oil is one natural and easy-to-obtain source of these free radical fighting molecules (8).

Grapeseed Extract is Antibacterial

MRSA is a difficult-to-treat infection which is seen in humans.

Scientists have been researching treatment options for years, and in 2010, researchers found that grapeseed extract is actually an effective treatment for this debilitating, and sometimes fatal, bacterium (9).

If grapeseed extract is effective at treating MRSA, then surely it’s an effective treatment for a number of less deadly bacterium found throughout the human body and on the scalp.

For those with hair loss, one of the most important things you can do is to keep your scalp and hair follicles healthy and free of infection.

This will make treatment for hair loss more effective, and it will keep your hair follicles from irreparable damage.

What Does the Research Have to Say About Grapeseed Extract and Hair Loss?

While no research has been done to directly link the use of grapeseed extract to hair loss treatment in humans, a few studies have shown the numerous benefits that grapeseed extract contains and how it can help to minimize hair loss and encourage hair growth.

grapeseed extract hair growth in miceOne such study, performed in 1998 by Japanese researchers, has proven that grapeseed extract is successful at promoting hair cycle conversions (10).

The study consisted of three groups of mice. All mice in the study were of the same age (8 weeks at the start), and the three groups each received topical applications of either A) control, B) 1% Minoxidil, or C) 3% proanthocyanidins purified from grape seeds.

The age of the mice is actually vital to the results of this study, as scientists know exactly when each phase of the hair cycle occurs at different ages.

For example, from ages 5 weeks to 14 weeks, the dorsal hair of C3H mice is in the telogen phase.

This is known as the resting phase and is actually the hair cycle phase where hair loss is most common.

This study lasted for 19 days, and the results can be clearly seen to the left.

Group A, the control group, showed the smallest amount of hair growth (about 30 – 40%). Group B, the minoxidil group, saw a hair coverage of about 90 – 100%. And, astonishingly, Group C, the group which received a topical application of 3% proanthocyanidins from grape seeds, saw hair coverage of about 80 – 90% of the shaven area.

What does this have to do with the hair cycle?

Considering that the mice were receiving applications from 8 weeks old to 10 weeks old, the researchers knew that, naturally, the mice’s dorsal hairs would be in the telogen (resting) phase.

The applications of 1% Minoxidil and 3% proanthocyanidins actually caused hair to grow much quicker than in the mice who received applications of the control.

This means that the follicles in groups B and C actively went from the telogen phase (resting) to the anagen phase (active).

Is It Possible to Use Grapeseed Extract for Hair Growth in Men with Male-Pattern Baldness?

While no human studies have been done, the above research study does highlight the abilities of grapeseed extract to promote hair growth.

This means that grapeseed extract has a very promising future as a treatment for men with male-pattern baldness.

Are There Side Effects Associated with Grapeseed Extract Supplementation?

Grapeseed oil extract is a safe supplement for the majority of individuals.

Keep in mind, however, that an allergic reaction is possible with any form of supplementation, and it’s best to be aware of the warning signs.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to grapeseed oil extract include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth, tongue, lips, or throat, and increased temperature.

Should you experience any of these symptoms, it’s vital that you seek emergency medical help right away.

Prior to supplementation, it’s best to speak with your doctor about your preexisting medical conditions and current medications.

Certain individuals, such as those with a blood clotting disorder, should speak with their doctor about possible side effects and whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

And, as always, women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or who are currently nursing should consult with their obstetrician before use.

How to Increase the Effects of Grapeseed Extract for Hair

Whether you’re applying it to your scalp directly, or using a shampoo or other hair product that contains grapeseed extract, you’ll want to be sure you’re using it most effectively so as to increase the chance of good results?

How?

That’s where scalp stimulation comes in.

Scalp stimulation is just what it sounds like. And the two easiest ways to do it on your own are scalp massage and microneedling.

Scalp Massage

Scalp massage is manual stimulation of the scalp which involves the use of a specialized massaging tool, or your fingertips.

These techniques have been used for years as a way to reduce stress and relieve pain and inflammation (11, 12). However, more recent research has come out that shows just how beneficial massage can be to hair growth.

The scalp is a complex “organ” which consists of multiple layers. These include the skin, subcutaneous, galea, subgalea, and pericranium layers.

But what does this have to do with hair loss? According to the tension theory, quite a bit actually.

The galea is a fibrous layer that covers the entirety of the scalp from just above the eyebrows to behind the ears. The tension theory postulates that tension which is put upon the galea by the nearby muscles can activate Hic-5, an androgen receptor co-activator which improves the function of a cell’s androgen receptors (13).

A diagram of scalp tension
Source.

An increase in androgen receptor function means that DHT is more easily able to attach to the follicles, and trigger even further miniaturization in those with AGA.

So, where does scalp massage come into play?

Well, if tension on the galea is the problem, muscle relaxation is the solution.

Scalp massage has been shown to stretch the dermal papilla cells in the subcutaneous tissue and, as a result, increase the surrounding hair thickness (14).

But there’s also reason to believe that massage would also alleviate tension on the scalp so as to regulate Hic-5 activation and reduce the amounts of DHT which can attach to the follicles.

This practice can also increase blood flow – an obvious side effect of manual stimulation – which is useful for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the follicles.

Microneedling

If increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation is important to you (as it should be), then microneedling is the next logical step in your hair growth journey.

Microneedling is a procedure that involves the use of tiny needles attached to a base.

The tool is then either rolled over the scalp, or ‘stamped,’ so as to induce temporary wounding to the area.

As these wounds heal, the surrounding skin and follicles undergo a three-step process which includes inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling (15). This leads to an increase in skin collagen levels and it can also trigger new skin cell proliferation (16).

And if it seems counterintuitive to use microneedling to grow hair, you’ll be happy to know there is a body of research that supports the practice.

A variety of studies have shown that not only can microneedling induce hair growth in men and women with alopecia, but it can even do so in those who were resistant to more conventional treatment methods (17, 18).

The procedure can also be combined with topical treatments – whether that be minoxidil, or even grapeseed extract – to enhance results (19).

Conclusion

So there you have it.

Grapeseed extracts and oils may be an effective addition to your hair care routine.

Even if it doesn’t directly induce hair growth, its anti-microbial and antioxidant properties are likely to play a beneficial role in the health of your scalp and hair.

You can even combine it with other techniques, such as scalp massage and microneedling, to increase results.

Do you have questions about the information laid out above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

10 thoughts on “Can You Use Grapeseed Extract for Hair Growth? | Study Results”

  1. Let me know if you’ve got any questions about this article and using grapeseed oil yourself – I’ll try to answer it within 24 hrs.

  2. Am very happy for this information and I feel I will start on grape oil without the shampoos first. Thanks.

  3. Hi, I’ve been using this shampoo and it’s been making my hair really greasy even after rinsing thoroughly.

    • Hi Steven, please reduce the amount of oils in the mixture and increase the amount of cleansing agent. That should help.

  4. Hi Will a great site thanks. I worry about the treatment of the mice. The way they huddle together. I feel uncomfortable with the testing on them. Do you have any details on their treatment? Kind regards Tony I

    • Hi Tony, yes it’s certainly not ideal. Hopefully they are well treated aside from the shaving. I am happy to say that we don’t do animal testing for any of our products. (That’s left for our brave group of volunteers)!

  5. Hi, my name is Camilo. First thanks for all this valuable information. I’m interested in this subject of Grape Seed Extract. I would like to include this extract in a capilar preparation, but I need to know what is the required amount of the extract to exert an effect on the hair. For example, If I want to prepare a product with this extract, what concentration of the extract would be adequate? Thanks for your help and if you have more sources of information it would be a great help for me.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.