A study published by the National Institute of Health reported that “female pattern hair loss (FPHL) affects approximately 40% of women by age 50, and management can be challenging.” As women face menopausal age and the associated body changes that correlate to aging, consumers are driven to seek options that can deliver results and fit into the clean beauty trend by incorporating natural and sustainable ingredient options.
One such ingredient that has promising results in restoring hair density is Pycnogenol. Sébastien Bornet, VP of Global Sales & Marketing at Horphag Research, explains that Pycnogenol is “a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France in the Les Landes de Gascogne forest.” Further, he added, “it contains a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids, and phenolic acids, which offer extensive natural health benefits.”
Recently, Horphag Research, the exclusive worldwide supplier of Pycnogenol, conducted a study to determine Pycnogenol’s efficacy as a supplement to improve hair density in menopausal women.
As detailed in the study’s results, “hair density increased from the baseline of 225.8 hairs/cm2 to 293.6 hairs/cm2 after two months of supplementation with Pycnogenol, which is a statistically significant increase of 30%.” Additionally, “Pycnogenol supplementation was associated with a decrease in resting flux of the scalp skin by 21% after two months and by 44% after six months. This indicates an improvement of scalp microcirculation, as blood flow was improved.”
To learn more about the study, its results, and their potential impact on the cosmetics and personal beauty care industries, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Bornet for his insights and discussed plans for further Pycnogenol research in this area.
In addition to containing multiple potential health benefits, Pycnogenol is an environmentally sustainable ingredient option for personal beauty care manufacturers and consumers. As Bornet explained, the pine trees where Pycnogenol is sourced from are “a sustainable, cultivated plant and are grown entirely without pesticides.” Further, “Horphag Research only uses the pine bark of trees that have been allocated for use by the timber industry and French law ensures that all maritime pine trees removed for use are replanted.”
After harvest, the pine bark is processed, and Pycnogenol is extracted “by an automated, patented, multi-step procedure which guarantees excellent batch-to-batch conformity.” This procedure ensures an end product that is “of the highest quality and an ideal botanical source because the bark is not subject to seasonal variations, unlike other plants,” he said.
As a realistic option for women seeking to address hair density loss due to menopause, the key takeaway for women considering Pycnogenol is that oral supplementation “offers an all-natural solution backed by research,” Bornet added.
The study and findings
“Research shows Pycnogenol is a promising effective natural option as women can address common menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats, with no impact on hormonal levels while also addressing hair density, with one ingredient,” Bornet stated. The recent study backed this assertion, determining that with daily oral supplementation, scalp microcirculation improved, and so did hair density.
As the first study of its kind, “the magnitude of the results in a short period of time is exciting and promising: after just two months of supplementation, hair density increased 30% from the baseline, which is a remarkable finding from a natural ingredient,” Bornet shared.
Further, Pycnogenol use has been proven to be safe for consumers. Decades of research and peer-reviewed published science support the supplement’s safety and efficacy. “no serious adverse side effects on Pycnogenol have been observed or reported in clinical trials.” Additionally, Bornet explained, “an independent panel of toxicology experts have classified Pycnogenol as ‘self-affirmed’ generally recognized as safe (GRAS) based on clinical safety.”
Future of Pycnogenol supplements
The results of this study are encouraging, and “with these new findings for Pycnogenol to support hair density, we look forward to an expanded audience being drawn to try it,” said Bornet. Further, “while this new study was conducted on menopausal women,” Bornet added, “we’re excited to continue to see further research on how Pycnogenol intake can benefit other audiences looking to improve hair health.”
As more and more women advance into the menopausal age bracket and begin experiencing symptoms like hair density loss, the market for safe, natural, and effective products to address these issues will only grow more demanding. Therefore, hair product manufacturers must take note of studies like these and consider formulating new products or reformulating existing ones to better conform with ingredient innovation and advances.