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Synthetic Sandalwood Scent May Stop Hair Loss

Researchers may have "sniffed" out a new hair loss "cure", which is a sandalwood-scented odorant called (Sandalore) that is used in a variety of colognes and perfumes. Researchers have discovered a hair follicle receptor (Olfactory receptor) that activates in the presence of this sandalwood-scented odorant, which initiates a biological response to promote hair growth.

Olfactory receptors

The Olfactory receptors were originally identified in the nose; these receptors capture odorant molecules which generate cellular activity that produces the sense of smell. Olfactory receptors were also discovered in other parts of the body like the kidneys, skin and hair follicles. Scientists found it odd that these receptors would be found in other parts of the body, since they were initially believed to be associated with the nose and sense of smell. 

Prior Olfactory receptor research

Researchers studied the Olfactory receptor found in skin cells, they observed a rapid increase in skin cell production and wound healing. Wound healing and hair growth are connected, which gave researchers the desire to test this sandalwood-scented odorant (Sandalore) on hair follicles. 

Studies on Sandalore and hair follicles

When researchers treated cultured human hair follicles with Sandalore (sandalwood-scented odorant) for six days, they saw an increase in hair production and a prolongation of the hair follicles anagen (growth) phase. The studies concluded that by prolonging a hair follicles growth phase the hair follicle would not be lost, thus, stopping hair loss or the progression of hair loss.

Sandalore already on the market for hair loss

In Italy, Sandalore is already being offered to hair loss sufferers as a cosmetic treatment for androgenic alopecia or genetic hair loss. The product is being offered by a company that has co-sponsored the current study. Researchers are confident that this product may treat several different forms of hair loss and may even re-grow hair in some individuals. A new study is currently ongoing and is expected to see results as soon as 2019. However, more research is needed to figure out the effective dose and to rule out any potential side effects that may occur from using this treatment.

Conclusion

While Sandalore may promote hair growth and prolong the hair follicles anagen (growth) phase, there isn't enough evidence to suggest that it can stop or even reverse the effects of male and female pattern hair loss. Furthermore, androgenic alopecia or genetic hair loss is caused when the 5-alpha reductase enzyme converts testosterone in to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the blood stream, DHT is the hormone responsible for genetic hair loss. There is no scientific evidence that suggests this product will reduce ,inhibit or even block DHT from binding to the hair follicle receptor. Therefore, it is still recommended that hair loss sufferers use the only two FDA approved medications to treat genetic hair loss which are Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). While the studies sound promising, it is too soon to call Sandalore a hair loss "cure", but it may be worth using in conjunction with the aforementiond proven treatments in the future.

Written and published by,

Melvin- Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.