For the purpose of discovering natural products which possess hair growing activity, we examined about 1000 kinds of plant extracts concerning growth-promoting activity with respect to hair follicle cells. After an extensive search, we discovered that proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds promote proliferation of hair follicle cells isolated from mice by about 230% relative to controls (100%); and that proanthocyanidins possess remarkable hair-cycle-converting activity from the telogen phase to the anagen phase in C3H mice in vivo test systems. The profile of the active fraction of the proanthocyanidins was elucidated by thiolytic degradation and tannase hydrolysis. We found that the constitutive monomers were epicatechin and catechin; and that the degree of polymerization was 3.5. We demonstrated the possibility of using the proanthocyanidins extracted from grape seeds as agents inducing hair growth.
Acta Derm Venereol 1998 Nov;78(6):428-32