With all the buzz about genetics and DHT causing hair loss, it can be easy to overlook another important aspect of hair care: maintaining the health of your hair follicles and scalp.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS), also called free radicals, damage healthy tissue by oxidizing cellular molecules such as DNA, proteins, and membrane lipids. This phenomenon is known as “oxidative stress” or “oxidative damage.” Antioxidants, or free radical scavengers, are compounds that neutralize the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species.1
Oxygen radicals are produced at low levels in the skin under normal conditions, but certain triggers can lead to much higher levels that can potentially damage skin and hair follicles.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is a well known cause of ROS production, “leading to injury of the putative site of follicular stem cells in the superficial portion of the hair follicle,” and has even been reported to cause hair loss in the form of acute telogen effluvium.2 Oxidative stress is also known to occur in follicular units during hair transplantation.3
In addition to the Avacor Physicians Formulation® with minoxidil, Avacor Laboratories offers two products that are specially formulated to detoxify your scalp and promote a healthy hair follicle: the All Natural Nutricap and the Scalp Detoxifying Shampoo.*
One ingredient in the Avacor® Scalp Detoxifying Shampoo is an extract Silybum Marianum (milk thistle), a plant that naturally produces flavonoid phytochemicals with antioxidant properties.4 A study on the antioxidant effects of silymarin, a polyphenolic component of Silybum Marianum extract, found that it helped preserve the health of hair follicles in rats during oxidative stress associated with burn injuries.5
The Avacor® All Natural Nutricap, a dietary supplement, contains other natural ingredients with antioxidant properties, including resveratrol and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus; European blueberry). In vitro studies have shown that both resveratrol and bilberry extract are able to protect cultured skin cells from oxidative stress caused by UV radiation.6,7
Whether you are pursuing a hair regrowth regimen or just want your hair to look its best this summer, make sure you're doing everything you can to take care of your scalp and hair follicles.
1. Knight JA. Free radicals: their history and current status in aging and disease. Ann Clin Lab Sci. 1998 Nov-Dec;28(6):331-46. Link to Pubmed
2. Trüeb RM. Is androgenetic alopecia a photoaggravated dermatosis? Dermatology. 2003;207(4):343-8. Link to Pubmed
3. Crisóstomo MR, Guimarães SB, de Vasconcelos PR, Crisóstomo MG, Benevides AN. Oxidative stress in follicular units during hair transplantation surgery. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2011 Feb;35(1):19-23. Link to Pubmed
4. Wagner H, Hörhammer L, Münster R. [On the chemistry of silymarin (silybin), the active principle of the fruits from Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (Carduus marianus L.)]. Arzneimittelforschung. 1968 Jun;18(6):688-96. Link to Pubmed
5. Toklu HZ, Tunali-Akbay T, Erkanli G, Yüksel M, Ercan F, Sener G. Silymarin, the antioxidant component of Silybum marianum, protects against burn-induced oxidative skin injury. Burns. 2007 Nov;33(7):908-16. Link to Pubmed
6. Ndiaye M, Philippe C, Mukhtar H, Ahmad N. The grape antioxidant resveratrol for skin disorders: promise, prospects, and challenges. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011 Apr 15;508(2):164-70. Link to Pubmed
7. Svobodová A, Zdarilová A, Vostálová J. Lonicera caerulea and Vaccinium myrtillus fruit polyphenols protect HaCaT keratinocytes against UVB-induced phototoxic stress and DNA damage. J Dermatol Sci. 2009 Dec;56(3):196-204. Link to Pubmed
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.