Geneva—Oral intake of Pycnogenol can significantly increase hair density, decrease transepidermal water loss in scalp skin, and optimize resting flux of the scalp. That's the finding from a double-blind, placebo-control study published in Health Sciences Reports. The research was conducted with menopausal women, suggesting that the branded ingredient can be a safe, effective natural option for women dealing with the hair thinning that is common during menopause. 

"Hormonal changes during menopause can affect hair growth rate, hair diameter and diameter distribution," says says author and renowned natural physician, Dr. Fred Pescatore. "Scalp hair density often decreases with age, leading to a heightened perception of hair thinning. Poor hair quality can have a significant psychological impact and may even lead to increased anxiety and depression. For women seeking hair health support and those frustrated by hair loss during menopause or a continued pattern of hair thinning, this study reveals a new application for an ingredient that has proven antioxidant and circulatory benefits, in addition to its already established benefits in menopause and skin care."

The study analyzed 63 menopausal women, aged 45-60 years old. Women in the supplement group took 150mg of Pycnogenol a day (50mg three times a day, with meals). Hair status and response were documented at baseline, two months and six months. Among the findings:

Significant increase in hair density

  • Hair density increased from the baseline of 225.8 hairs/cm2 to 293.6 hairs/cm2 after two months of supplementation with Pycnogenol. This is a statistically significant increase of 30%.
  • The Pycnogenol group also experienced a 23% increase in hair density after six months. The placebo group experienced a non-significant increase in hair density after two and six months.

Improvement of scalp microcirculation

  • Analysis of the blood volume variations (measured by resting flux) showed  that the increase of hair density after Pycnogenol supplementation was associated with a decrease in resting flux of the scalp skin by 21% after two months and by 44% after six months. According to the company, this indicates an improvement of scalp microcirculation.

Reduction of transepithelial water loss

  • Researchers observed a significant transient decrease of TEWL (transepidermal water loss) in scalp skin in the Pycnogenol group, but not in the placebo group.
  • A significant decrease of TEWL values of 2.5 was detected after two months of Pycnogenol intake and an increase of 6.0 was determined for the placebo group, according to the report.
  • After six months, the placebo group saw an increase of 4.8 and Pycnogenol resulted in an increase of 1.0. Measurements were taken with a Vapometer.

"This study included various complex and sophisticated measurement tools, which embeds an added layer of trust in the results of this study for those looking for a natural path to address female pattern hair loss or overall hair health," said Dr. Pescatore. "Pycnogenol is a leading ingredient for circulation, healthy skin, joint health and more, supported as safe and effective by 40 years of research. This study reveals an exciting new application of a trusted and effective ingredient with powerful antioxidant properties to benefit hair quality."

Horphag Research shared that the company is committed to further investigate how Pycnogenol intake improves hair density in future clinical trials.