Oleanolic acid, rich in antioxidants, is a botanical extract that has been linked to hair growth. Research finds oleanolic acid has the ability to block 5a-reductase, an enzyme that causes hair loss.
Whether we like it or not, hair changes are an inevitable part of aging. Oleanolic acid is emerging as a popular ingredient included in many hair-care products. Not only is oleanolic acid associated with having anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-diabetic effects, but it also may improve your scalp condition and reduce hair fall. Research demonstrates that oleanolic acid helps boost hair growth by increasing the skin’s permeability and limiting the amount of DHT in the bloodstream. Read on to learn more about how oleanolic acid may slow hair fall as you age.
How Your Hair Grows
Hair grows from a root at the bottom of the follicle under your scalp skin. Your scalp has around 100,000 follicles. The blood in your scalp flows to the follicle and supplies oxygen and essential nutrients to the hair follicle, which helps your strands grow. New layers of keratin are added at the bottom of the shaft, which pushes the hair through the skin’s surface. Your hair becomes longer as old layers are pushed through the skin. Once your hair stops growing, the follicle releases the hair. This signals the resting phase before the growing phase begins again.
Understanding Age-Related Hair Loss
Women experience hair loss for a variety of reasons as they age. With age, your hair’s life cycle gradually slows, which causes fine hair to fall out. Eventually, your hair doesn’t regrow at the same speed it falls. During menopause, estrogen, the hormone that stimulates follicle fibers, is diminished, which gives a slight dominance to testosterone. When estrogen levels drop, hair grows more slowly and eventually becomes thinner. Additional causes of hair thinning may include lifestyle factors, stress, a poor diet, tight hairstyles, and medical treatments.
You can expect to lose around 100 hairs a day; however, as you age you may experience hair fall at a quicker rate. As your mane becomes increasingly fine, more of your scalp can become visible and your strands are prone to damage.
Signs of hair thinning may include:
- A widening part
- A thinner ponytail
- Excessive hair fall during the shower or after a night’s sleep
What is Oleanolic Acid
Oleanolic acid is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid. Oleanolic acid is found in many foods and medicinal plants. Oleanolic acid also has a wide range of commercial applications, including food products and cosmetics. Oleanolic acid has become a popular ingredient in skin-care and hair-care products as it reduces inflammation and improves hair growth. Oleanolic acid is also recognized as being able to act as a base to enhance the potency of other active agents in a hair loss treatment formula.
The Relationship Between Oleanolic Acid and Hair Growth
Oleanolic acid is known to moisturize and nourish hair strands, while also increasing the skin’s permeability. Several studies link oleic acid to hair growth as it helps reduce water loss and blocks 5 alpha-reductase enzyme activities in the scalp. Continue reading for the breakdown on how oleanolic acid may slow hair fall.
Oleanolic Acid Has Moisturizing Properties or the Hair and Skin
Oleanolic acid is a skin-soothing ingredient and is known to help your strands lock in moisture more effectively. Oleanolic acid helps control water loss in your locks, which makes your hair softer and more pliable. For this reason, oleanolic acid seemingly improves the condition of brittle, damaged hair. Research also shows that hair treated with oleanolic acid has a shinier appearance and an improved appearance of split ends. Moisture-retention is the secret to healthy aging hair.
Oleanolic Acid is Rich in Antioxidants
As you age, antioxidants are the ultimate hair-saver! Antioxidants are molecules that fight against the oxidation process. During the oxidation process free radicals are released, which disrupts the normal functioning of the hair and skin cells. In the long run, this process may cause damage to the skin and hair. The hair tends to age faster when exposed to an excessive number of free radicals. Large amounts of free radicals can trigger an early onset of the catagen phase, which may eventually result in hair loss.
Oleanolic acid rich in antioxidants plays a key role in promoting healthy hair growth. Oleanolic acid helps prevent free radicals from interrupting a proper follicle growth cycle. Oleanolic acid may have detoxifying effects and protects against environmental stress.
Oleanolic Acid Blocks 5a-Reductase Enzyme
5a-reductase activities are the main culprit of hair loss. 5a-reductase is involved in the formation of steroids, hormone production, and the development of cells. 5a-reductase breaks down testosterone, which results in an increase of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT links to receptors on hair follicles and causes them to shrink and decreases their ability to support healthy hair growth. DHT is the main cause of genetic pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. Some people’s genes make a person more sensitive to DHT. Oleanolic acid-blocking 5a-reductase prevents testosterone from breaking down to form DHT. Oleanolic acid inhibits the 5a-reductase enzyme, which makes DHT less present in the bloodstream.
Oleanolic Acid May Enhance Cell Proliferation
Evidence shows that oleanolic acid may enhance the reproduction of hair cells. Oleanolic acid has been linked to spurring a new growth stage, similar to the anagen phase and longer hair shaft lengths. Researchers have found that oleanolic acid may increase hair growth by stimulating B-catenin, a dual-function protein, in hair follicles, which causes cellular division.
Oleanolic Acid Penetrates Your Hair and Skin
Research shows that oleanolic acid increases skin and hair permeability, which increases the effectiveness of other beneficial hair-care products and topical hair loss treatments. It is likely to increase the potency of active ingredients used. In addition to other ingredients like fatty acids, oleanolic acid may improve the skin’s receptivity to 5a-reductase blockers found in many hair loss treatments. Oleanolic acid for hair loss may offer a natural alternative to chemical DHT inhibitors.
Where to Find Oleanolic Acid
Oleanolic acid is found naturally in many foods and oils. Food rich in oleanolic acid includes olive oil, basil, java apples, honey and mesquite. In addition to natural sources of oleanolic acid, many hair and scalp product formulas include this beneficial ingredient. Better Not Younger’s Superpower Hair Fortifying & Scalp Serum contains oleanolic acid to inhibit the production of DHT and reverse follicle fatigue to promote stronger hair growth. As oleanolic acid is associated with reducing hair loss, this serum encourages new growth, while nourishing your strands.
As you age, it is important to adjust your hair-care routine to fit your hair’s changing needs. From time to time this may mean reaching for a new product, like oleanolic acid. Oleanolic acid has been linked to hair growth as it is known to block the 5a-reductase enzyme. Hair fall is more common than most of us would like, but there are solutions. If you’re noticing more hair fall than usual, it may be time to add oleanolic acid to your hair-care regimen.