Hair Loss News | PGD2 Future Hair Loss Treatment

hair loss news pgd2 future hair loss treatment

Prostaglandin D2? I’ll add a label when you’ve found me a name I can work with

The Research

One of the biggest hair loss news items of 2012 came early in the year when dermatologists from the University of Pennsylvania announced that they had found an enzyme, called prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), that they believe instructs hair follicles to stop producing hair.

After screening 250 genes implicated in hair loss they concluded that the one responsible for levels of PGD2 played “the major role”.   In 17 men with hair loss, PGD2 levels were found to be three times higher in bald spots than in hairy areas.

When the original study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine in March, George Cotsarelis, head of dermatology at Pennsylvania University, noted: “We really do think if you remove the inhibition [caused by PGD2}, you get longer hair.”

If PGD2 does prove to be the culprit, there may be two further reasons to celebrate:

1.The finding may provide an answer to not only stopping hair loss, but enabling bald men to regrow full heads of hair

2. Drugs are already available that reduce PGD2 levels; the presence of those treatments should help accelerate the time it takes to appear in a chemist near you

Hey, I’m Trying to be Mature Here

The Pennsylvania University team first applied the lotion to mice and found that it was effective in both stopping hair loss and in regenerating follicles that had stopped producing longer hairs.

“During normal follicle cycling in mice, Ptgds and PGD2 levels increase immediately preceding the regression phase, suggesting an inhibitory effect on hair growth,” the study reads. “We show that PGD2 inhibits hair growth in explanted human hair follicles and when applied topically to mice.”

Earlier work by the same team found bald men have cells capable of making hair; they have just failed to mature.

It is thought that PGD2 prevents the cells maturing.  Blocking this action would allow hair to grow again.

Time to Market? Sometime During Your Next Anagen Phase

‘Blockers’ of the enzyme have already been formulated as pills to cure asthma and allergic conditions.  There are already 10 drugs available that block the receptor that allows PGD2 to work.  These could be turned into a lotion which could be applied to the scalp.

Dr. Cotsarelis commented: ‘The nice thing about dermatology and hair loss in general is that you can take compounds that maybe are being used as a pill and put them in a topical formulation’.

In August 2012, he said he was ‘in talks’ with several pharmaceutical companies about developing treatments and hopes to start clinical trials as early as two years time.

The Bottom Line

Notwithstanding the above, the research team also noted, ‘We certainly think it would be good at preventing hair loss but we don’t know for sure that it would regrow.’

Future studies are expected to investigate whether a protein inhibitor could also help women with androgenetic alopecia (female pattern baldness).

So, watch this space …

HTTT View: This is not the first time that Dr. Cotsarelis has heralded a ‘breakthrough’ cure for baldness.  Although undoubtedly an expert in his field, the proof will be in the pudding.  If it does prove to be something more than ‘premature congratulation’ then, in theory, we only have to wait another 2 – 3 years (give or take) to see the results.

To see what ultimately worked for me go here.

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    • admin says

      As ever, it’s a game of ‘wait and see’ I’m afraid. I’m going to review another potential hair loss treatment from the team at Penn U soon which looks like it could be a more definitive treatment than this (from what I’ve seen so far). That too is supposed to have shorter lead time to market than the typical early stage research drugs / treatments.

      Watch this space.

    • HTTT says

      I haven’t seen anything as yet. Appreciate it if any other visitors to this site can leave a comment if they’ve heard anything.

  1. Amit says


    There is any estimated time for this Hair prevent lotions. It is more then 2 years and yet not to release in market. We are waiting the product name of this lotion so can buy and try to use it.

    There is any update ?


    • HTTT says

      I’ve got a google alert set up to tell me if there’s any more recent news. So far I haven’t heard anything. Has anybody else stumbled across an update?

    • HTTT says

      I have now 🙂 Until you posted, however this had never come on my radar. Will take a look and welcome any further comments you might have if you choose to research it (or already have further information you can share.)

    • HTTT says

      I have heard any updates, unfortunately. I’ve got a google alert set up for this though so when I hear something, you’ll be the first to know! 🙂

  2. Luiz Cruz says

    I have just bought Mr. David McKenna’s Hair Loss Protocol system (regular and advanced), after seeing his video promoting his solution to slow down and then revert hair loss by lowering PGD2 levels in the blood. The video is at
    Later i found that his product is also at

    After purchase, I downloaded a bunch of videos and diet files, that he stated that can lead me to actually block the PGD2 enzyme production after 5-6 weeks, in order to “regrow hair”, but in their website (I just saw), they claim to “slow down, halt and in some cases reverse hair loss”.

    Let’s see what is going to happen.

    • HTTT says

      Yes, pdg2 is already used as an active ingredient in pills to treat asthma and other allergic conditions. Probably too simplistic to assume that simply breaking a pill on your head will help with hair loss. That said, if anyone tries it, please let us all know!

  3. Tony R says

    Do you guys really think Mckennas treatment works? He would be the richest man in the world if it did. He wouldn’t have a BS ad on the internet where you have to watcha half hour snake oil video. He would bring it to the attention of major marketers and the media and become a billionare overnight. At this point the only thing showing some signof help is Platlet Rich Plasma treatment and that’s only somewhat effective when used with A-Cell Matrix.

    • HTTT says

      My take is the same. Seen this kind of marketing too many times. The results rarely, if ever, come close to the claim.

  4. says

    Hair loss researcher, George Cotsarelis made some overview comments some time ago regarding male pattern baldness about the time his study was released. He believes the damaging effects of DHT, include an imbalance of the hair cycles where follicles spend way too much time in telogen (resting phase). The enzyme, prostaglandin D2 inhibits hair growth and is elevated in balding scalp. A theory goes like this; when follicles are in telogen, they become saturated in this growth inhibiting enzyme. Some researchers have stated that these hairs are so damaged that the body no longer recognizes your own follicles as part of your body, causing your own immune system to attack your follicles in your genetically predetermined areas of hair loss. I believe this immune response can be responsible for the itchy scalp MPB sufferers experience.

    Here is my own experience and what helped me… Several years ago, I got into some poison ivy and the only treatment that helped the resulting eczema was triamcinolone acetonide cream. Triamcinolone acetonide is a medium-strength steroid that inhibits your body’s immune reaction. It has a listed side effect of “excessive hair growth” and it’s used to treat alopecia areata and alopecia universalis. I noticed after using triamcinolone acetonide cream, hardly any of my hair falls out. I only use it twice per week because topical steroids can cause skin thinning.

    Balding scalp according to studies have less blood vessels and adipose (fat) than the more permanent areas of hair like the sides and back of your head. Working at Dr. Cole’s office over the years, I have noticed that patients using Avodart or finasteride have a relatively normal layer of cushy fat under their scalp where men usually go bald. There is something you can do to improve the volume of blood vessels in your scalp. Simply put, exercise stimulates neovascularization (generation of new blood vessels). Exercise your scalp by moving the muscles in you scalp with your head tipped down (more blood to your scalp) and resisting against your hands forcing in the opposite direction. Increased blood flow will improve hair growth. Improved blood supply is an overlooked factor in improving hair growth. For example, many patients who have lost transplanted hair over decades usually still have growth at the frontal hairline where there are usually more blood vessels. Minoxidil originally prescribed for hypertension, dilates blood vessels and improves hair growth. Nicotine, on the other hand, constricts blood vessels and studies have shown that it accelerates hair loss in men genetically programmed to lose hair. PRP (platelet rich plasma) improves hair growth in most people. I have seen the HairCheck data on many patients that confirm an improvement in hair growth. Hair loss researcher, Valerie Horsley believes after evaluating the results of her hair loss study that the adipose layer (fatty layer) signals blood platelets to release growth factors. Diminished growth factors = hair entering the resting phase (telogen) where the follicles are soaked and further weakened in PGD2 (prostaglandin D2. The immune system finishes off the hair by attacking the damaged hair follicles. One time while in the surgery room video taping Dr. Cole extracting beard hair grafts, he commented that it is rare to see a beard hair in telogen. Place your fingers on your beard area and notice the fatty layer. Now place your fingers on the balding, or thinning areas of your scalp and notice how it feels like skin stretched over bone. I would say that scalp resistance exercises have improved my own hair density by about 40% over the 3 years I have been doing them regularly morning and night. Remember, it can take decades before male pattern baldness runs its course arriving at say, a Norwood 6. Improving hair growth can take longer that most men have the patience for sticking with a treatment. BTW, you can buy hydrocortisone 1% over the counter. This will address the itching because it inhibits your own immune system attacking damaged hair follicles.
    Chuck at Dr. Cole’s office

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