Rubbing sandalwood oil on scalp may stimulate hair growth

Desiree Burns
September 21, 2018

The smell of sandalwood prolongs the growing phase of the hair cycle. This is a chemical produced to recreate the smell of sandalwood and you often find it used in perfumes and soaps.

The researchers used a substance known as zandalar to impact on the receptor OR2AT4 in hair follicles.

United Kingdom researchers found the substances that create sandalwood's smell also stimulate hair growth in human scalp tissue.

The findings could lead to a sandalwood-based balding treatment that may benefit the quarter of men who start to lose their hair by the time they turn 25.

It's thought that despite humans only being able to smell via our noses, the aroma of sandalwood is nevertheless picked up by smell receptors in hair follicles that then trigger the growth of the hair protein keratin. Scalp tissues were taken for this study from patients undergoing a face lift surgery. Within 6 days hair growth was seen in the tissues exposed to Sandalore.

Alibaba's Ma: Creating 1 mil. United States jobs hard
Tensions have escalated this week as China vowed to retaliate against USA plans to levy tariffs on about $200 billion in Chinese goods.

Intriguingly, the results suggest that human hair follicles can "smell", in the sense that they make use of ancient smell receptors to control key functions such as growth. Scientists believe that this is because the oil blocks the genes that cause keratin cell death or apoptosis. Recent tests made by German researchers show that the oil could have a revolutionary new goal - hair growth.

As documented in their Nature Communications paper, this evidence was enough to give the study "substantial, clinically relevant functional hair growth effects".

When the scalp tissue was exposed to both Sandalore and the rose-like odour Phenirat, hair growth stopped. Paus's group determined that OR2AT4 was required for the changes because blocking it inhibited hair growth.

They add this could help them develop a balding treatment for humans.

Researchers from Monasterium Laboratory, Münster, have expressed hope that this new chemical could treat hair loss effectively and are trying the drug for its effectiveness on human volunteers.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article