Capsaicin for Treating Hair Loss?

Hi Dr. Rassman,
What is your take on using capsaicin for hairloss? It’s my belief that Zhang Guang 101, a Chinese “herbal” product that is popular overseas, contains only capsaicin as its active ingredient. Having used a few bottles myself, I’m fairly certain that this simple molecule found in chili peppers is responsible for any hair growth effects that the product claims. I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks, so I can’t give a definitive testimonial. There has been research done on the effect of capsaicin on hair growth. It supposedly promotes the release of IGF-1, which is crucial for hair growth. It also stimulates pain receptors and releases substance P. Can you take a look and tell me what you think? Thanks.

Administration of capsaicin and isoflavone promotes hair growth by increasing insulin-like growth factor-I production in mice and in humans with alopecia

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PeppersFrom the article:
“These observations strongly suggested that combined administration of capsaicin and isoflavone might increase IGF-I production in hair follicles in the skin, thereby promoting hair growth.”

Capsaicin is found in chili peppers and even in pepper spray. I don’t have any experience with this, though I read the article and will wait to see if it may become a treatment modality. I’m not opposed to new treatments by any means, but I will need to see actual proof before I throw my support behind it. At any rate, I’d think it would cause incredible tingling in your scalp, just as eating a very spicy pepper can numb your lips.

Tags: peppers, chili, capsaicin, hairloss, hair loss

4 thoughts on “Capsaicin for Treating Hair Loss?

  1. Injected Growth Hormone turns into IGF-1 in the body. I thought you always said GH can contribute to MPB. What gives?

  2. Hello,

    If you want to experiment yourself, buy some tobasco sauce and rub it into your scalp. I tried this myself. Use it very sparingly as the heat generated can become VERY INTENSE. Was so hot I had to run my head under a cold tap for half an hour. That was using about 1 teaspoon of tobasco sauce rubbed over the top of my head and temples. Very painful.

    Apply a few drops, massage it in. Wait 5 minutes before applying more until you find the pain threshold that you can tolerate.

    Wash your hands properly after application too as a slight rub of your eye will result in an irritating sting if some residue is on your fingers. Keep it away from sensitive tissues…

    It is too early to notice results but my head feels nice after only the second day of trial. The nice kind of feeling as if something is happening. These things take time.

    Tobasco is so cheap, a couple of dollars a small bottle and if the studies have any merrit then this is a very cheap treatment. Will combine it with minoxidil.

    So far PROMOX is the best product I have used. I also had good results with minoxidil and finasteride combined but the finasteride resulted in gynecomastia which is MUCH WORSE than going bald.

    Dont use anything that messes with your endocrine system. It is much better to go bald like men have for thousands of generations than to grow your hair back at the cost of becoming some sought of chemically castrated eunich like creature. Seriously.

    You can still look attractive and be bald. Work out hard and your face will take on a more masculine look.

    Keep your hair short.



  3. Hello again,

    I bought some ZOSTRIZ which contains 0.025% capsaicin. It feels about 1/5th the strength of regular TOBASCO sauce.

    It has been 10 days since the last post. My head feels pretty good. Have some small vellous hairs on my bald patches but that could be due to the minoxidil.

    I just did a pretty strong dose of TOBASCO on my head. It burned pretty good. It wore off recently now my scalp feels really good. The feeling is quite habit forming.

    The tobasco makes my head a bit red from the burning sensation for a while and of course the TOBASCO is also coloured orange/red so I have saved the doses for night time and weekend applications.

    I will give it another month and see if there are any conclusive results. As I said, the feeling after the burning resides is very comfortable and hence makes me want to do it again.

    You can feel it in your scalp when your hair is falling out from MPB. You feels small bruise like pains in your scalp in differing areas at different times. I know when I drink a lot of coffee, the little pings seems to increase. A good TOBASCO burn relieves this well, even if only tempararily, it feels really good.



  4. Just mix one or two drops of tabasco in a small cup of mineral water, use a pipette and distribute it over the scalp. It gives a nice and comfortable warm feeling then. Hope it will produce a lot of growth factor!

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