MHRA Medical License | FDA Approval | Food Supplement
Mibelle Biochemistry believes a basil extract may hold the key to combating genetic hair loss. The Basilicum extract features in the company’s newly launched RootBioTec HO product which is a cosmetic formula designed to be used in hair oils, serums and conditioners as well as in anti-ageing haircare products.
This new basil extract ‘cosmetic active’ product is said to stimulate hair papilla cells and reduce hair loss. The company also claims RootBioTech HO gives ‘fuller hair’ and ‘rejuvenates [the] scalp’.
Speaking to Cosmetics Design Europe, the Head of Research for Mibelle Biochemistry, Dr. Daniel Schmid, explained, “It strongly inhibits the activity of 5 alpha reductase II – the enzyme that promotes the conversion of testosterone to DHT, ultimately stimulating demal papilla cells and helps renew hair activity in those that suffer from androgenic alopecia“.
Androgenic alopecia – more commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss – occurs when people have an hereditary sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (‘DHT’) – the hormone that causes this type of hair loss.
If left untreated, DHT will bind to the hair follicles around the top of the head in those with a genetic predisposition, weakening them until the hair gradually thins and sheds. RootBioTec HO is hoping to address this by preventing the formation of DHT, reducing hair loss boosting regrowth.
Product claims and study findings
Studies into this new hair loss product were carried out by its manufacturer, Mibelle Biochemistry. Details of the study findings are as follows:
Reducing hair loss:
According to the company’s marketing information, ‘The effect of RootBioTec HO against hair loss was evaluated on 19 women and 2 men aged between 25 and 67 years (average 51.1 years) suffering from mild to moderate hair loss (daily hair loss >100 strains)’.
This clinical trial lasted two months and required each of the volunteers to apply a fluid containing one per cent RootBioTec HO directly to their scalps, once every evening.
Results were measured at the end of month one and the end of month two. This was done by asking the volunteers to collect the hair they lost from combing every morning, then counting it. The study notes that ‘For the analysis the average was taken from total counts made on three consecutive days’.
The findings showed that the number of lost hairs dropped by 26 per cent after one month and reduced by 31 per cent after two months of using RootBioTec HO. On this basis the manufacturer claims its product ‘significantly reduces hair loss and thus leads to denser hair’.
In order to investigate whether RootBioTec Basilicum extract could be a potent 5α reductase inhibitor, Mibelle states that it ‘was measured and compared to Finasteride’.
Details of how this was tested or who the product was tested on are not contained within the report, however, it is unlikely to be the same group of volunteers from the above mentioned study as finasteride 1mg is a male hair loss treatment and only two men were surveyed previously.
Mibelle says the results showed ‘a clear concentration dependent inhibition of 5α reductase II activity with an IC 50 value of 2.62 mg/ml. Consequently, RootBioTec HO might be able to reduce hair loss in people with androgenic alopecia’.
Hair growth boosting effects:
RootBio Tec’s literature talks about the dermal papilla cells ‘located within the hair follicle bulb’, advising that they are essential for hair growth.
It goes on to explain how multiplication of these dermal papilla cells was investigated, stating: ‘The effect of RootBioTec Basilicum extract on dermal papilla cell proliferation was investigated by the MTT assay.
Human dermal papilla cells were serum starved for 18 hours to stop cell proliferation and then treated with RootBioTec Basilicum extract during a period of 72 hours.’
Further noting that a positive control of cell proliferation of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) was employed.
Providing a chart – pictured – showing the results, the information states that these showed that ‘RootBioTec HO can stimulate the dermal papilla cells to regain their proliferation capacity’.
Whilst RootBioTec HO certainly sounds like a positive addition to currently hair loss product offerings, the scale of the studies mentioned by the company is very small. In order to properly determine the product’s efficacy, we would like to see more research done on a larger scale, with clinical trials into all claims across an equal mix of men and women with similar levels of hair loss.
The fact that RootBioTec HO is listed as a cosmetic active means it would not be eligible for MHRA or FDA licensing given these regulators operate within the medical sector.
Current statistics show how effective their product is at boosting hair growth by comparing it to finasteride – a medication that is designed to inhibit DHT and treat male pattern hair loss when taken in 1mg doses. A more useful comparison would perhaps have been between RootBioTec and Minoxidil, a hair loss treatment for both men and women with hereditary hair loss, which is licensed by the MHRA and FDA for this purpose.
From the lists of ingredients, there is nothing included that has been proven to inhibit hereditary hair loss. Overall, RootBioTec HO seems to operate in a similar way to Azelaic Acid, a licensed medication which is added to some minoxidil formulations in order to boost the efficacy of this topical hair loss treatment.
RootBioTec HO (Oil-based version): Ocimum Basilicum Hairy Root Culture Extract (and) Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (and) Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil