We love it, we hate it, the want more of it, less of it, we want it to do what it doesn’t. The only constant is we want it to look great. We rejoice good hair days, we lament bad hair days. The way we feel about our hair has far emotional reach Trends are set by it. Sheryl Crow Curls, Mr. Clean, the afro, or long haired hippies, The Rachel, The Farrah Faucet, The Trump. People are defined by it. When we don’t feel good about our hair, our productivity at work drops, our social interactions suffer, and even our family life at home takes a hit. Hair is indeed a much bigger thing than skin deep beauty. Losing your hair is an incredible fear and insurmountable obstacle for some. People go to great lengths to keep it, regrow it, or get it.
Hair loss & thinning is a big deal. This single issue had become the biggest concern my salon clients had. Studies show that over 50%, of men and maybe as many women over 40 are suffering with Androgenic Alopecia. By age 35 as many as 2/3 of men will have some level of thinning & loss. Androgenic Alopecia (pattern baldness) is by far the biggest category of hair loss. (source)
This type of hair loss happens when follicles are miniaturized by DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT increases inflammation & restricts the bodies ability to grow hair through inflammation & loss of connective tissue around the follicle, making it thinner, finer, & shortening the growth cycle until the hair is gone & growth is stopped. It has been found that in spite of their normal testosterone levels people suffering from alopecia have higher levels of 5α-reductase, DHT and androgen receptors. In men, the 5α-reductase activity is higher in the balding area.
The majority of hair thinning and loss is caused by DHT. DHT is what testosterone metabolizes into inside your body and both males and females produce it. DHT causes inflammation in the scalp which then causes miniaturization in hair follicles, making the strand smaller in diameter, and shortens the span of time the strand will grow. Eventually reaching zero growth. So, since DHT is the culprit, how can it be counteracted?
There is a relatively new kid on the block that is making people wonder what all the fuss is about. It is called Capixyl. In a few lines of hair care Capixyl is being used to combat thinning and hair loss caused by DHT.
What Capixyl is is a combination of a signal peptide (acetyltetrapeptide-3) and Red Clover extract (Trifolium pratense) which is rich in biochaninA along with a delivery solution of water, dextran, and butylene glycol. Lucas Meyer cosmetics developed Calixyl in 2011 and is distributed by various companies around the globe.
What makes Capixyl work is the synergy of associating the signal peptide and biochaninA. This synergistic match up allows for a reduction in 5-alpha-reductase, and enzyme directly related to DHT modulation. This reduction creates protection from DHT in the scalp, a boost in ECM renewal which increases the anchoring of the hair strand in the follicle at the papilla. A reduction in the inflammation effects a reduction in the damage inflammation causes, resulting in fuller, thicker, healthier looking hair.
Capixyl has yet to come to prominence in the hair care world, but it is getting noticed big time. Next to the newness and not being fully understood, cost is probably the biggest reason for the slow uptake by major manufacturers, but you get what you pay for, right? Progressive companies have been the first to use Capixyl, and the results are hundreds of thousands of happy hair stories around the US, Canada, and the world.
What capixyl does is gives you your normal hair follicle back. It does this by working to reduce the amount of the enzyme 5 alpha reductase, and the modulation of testosterone into DHT. Since people experiencing hair loss often have higher than normal levels of DHT in the areas that are thinning or bald, this reduction affects those areas most.
Once Capixyl has started to work, inflammation is reduced, cellular turn over is increase, the dermal papilla gets bigger around, giving way to stronger more vibrant hair growth. The growth cycle is reset & the hair returns to its pre thinning state.
What is Capixyl?
Capixyl consists of Butylene Glycol, Water, Dextran, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract. Red Clover contains BiochaninA, an isoflavone. Research has demonstrated that Biochanin A modulates chronic inflammation and that red clover’s isoflavones may also function as important antioxidants, limiting free radical damage to the skin and scalp. Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3 works as an extracellular matrix (ECM) stimulator, increasing anchoring of the bulb in the follicle. The remodeling signal will increase the size of hair follicle for increased strand count and vitality.
Capixyl efficacy is based on the combined action of its two ingredients, allowing direct action on DHT preventing the hair growth cycle from shortening and hair follicle miniaturization, improving the ECM proteins in dermal papilla surrounding hair papilla for better anchoring and promoting an increase of follicle size. Capixyl is proven to reduce inflammation which is a contributing factor in hair loss.
You've read 'signal peptide', and you may be wondering what exactly that is.
A signal peptide is a broken piece of protein that lets the body know to make more. These protein pieces, kick the body into gear to replace the broken down proteins they come from. Acetyl tetrapeptide-3 stimulates production of the types of collagen that increase ECM (extra cellular matrix) and anchoring fibers making the hair bulb more securely fastened to the papilla at the bottom of the hair follicle among other things.
This stimulation has a direct effect on improving the structures surrounding the follicle. It effects a repair in the layers of dermis, where anchoring takes place. This works together it increase the length of the follicle, and causes a measurable increase in in the number of hair follicles in active growth, Anagen, while at the same time causing a marked reduction in the number of hair follicles in telogen, the resting phase of hair. Testing showed an increase of 44% more hair in anagen vs a 33% reduction with placebo. (source)
Acetyl tetrapeptide-3 is a signal peptide that stimulates collagen
production for better ECM integrity leading to better anchoring of
the strand in the follicle.
Every hair grows in a cycle.
The cycle is random, and spread out all over your scalp. In healthy scalps, the ratio of hairs in Anlagen (growing) is higher that those is Telogen (resting). With DHT and its effects, that ratio can be flipped so more hair is in telogen than anagen, The diagrams below indicate the normal cycle of hair growth, resting and fall. A healthy scalp has follicles in Anagen for the longest timing part of the cycle, Catagen, is the shortest phase of the cycle and telogen for a period longer than catagen, but far shorter than anagen. As the growth phase is reduced, and fewer hairs are in growth, hair density reduces, and growth slows. Capixyl works to restore the ratio and return healthier growth.
There is controversy around the use and safety of red clover. Red Clover contains isoflavones, which are known as phytoestrogens. The concern is: can phytoestrogens play a part in promoting or encouraging cancer? It is a question best posed to your MD if you have risk factors or concerns. As it turns out, Red Clover has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb. Doing many things from blood purifying, to reducing hot flashes, to anti-inflammatory, to fighting cancer. Research is ongoing and emerging. Cam-Cancer.org has an article that speaks to new research, old research, and the need for more research. In the article ,fighting hormone driven cancer with Red Clover is spoken to, along with a host of other health possibilities. The authors are clear that they do not feel sufficient evidence has been brought forward. There are other researchers and cancer survivors with differing opinions, lauding Red Clover as an anti-cancer herb, and the ability of the phytoestrogens to work against cancer and block stronger synthetic and human estrogens from taking up space on cell receptors, thus being an anti cancer herb. (Source) (Source)
Evidence is growing in favor of Red clover and the beneficial role it plays in different health areas. In Capixyl, the amount of Red Clover is considerably smaller that of an ingested herbal supplement, and is localized to the area of application. In hair care formulation the finished product has low levels of Red Clover, and the isoflavones (coumesterol) are undetectable in testing. I cannot stress emphatically enough that you must address concerns of this nature with your Medical professional. Reading a blog, or asking questions on social media are never sufficient. You always need to take into account the source of the information, and the motivation of providingg opinions opposing or promoting. Source based research is key to sort out the “he said, she said” of information these days.
The Human Result
It isn't uncommon to have promises made by product lines and representatives. After feeling duped on more than one occasion by promises not delivered on, it is easy to fall into a belief that it is all baloney and shampoo is just bubble water. It is a trap I nearly allowed myself to fall into as a professional. I'm so glad I did not allow that to happen. By digging and looking deeply into what is new and emerging, those who trust me for hair care needs can be confident that they can stay on the cutting edge of trends and developments. It's what you want so you can be in the know and take advantage of never before offered benefits from new and unique approaches.
In my hair practice and clientele, I have seen remarkable results of improvement in persons using a capixyl based hair care line that works to protect against the effects of hair loss and thinning. The restored confidence, the sense of relief that thinning has slowed, stopped, or reversed is a delight to see in the peoples faces, and to witness as a professional in the salon industry.
New doesn't always mean better, and it definitely doesn't mean understood. There will always be people how are early adopters and run with what is new. On the other side, there will always be those who are resistant to what is new. Late adopters are most comfortable with the status quo, and I say this with tongue in cheek, those are the types that would love to use a rotary phone instead of the new fangled push button thingies with no wires. The thing I'd like to leave you with is a belief I hold on to very strongly.
Just because something is new, doesn't mean it isn't better.