The first clinical trial of topical application of procyanidin B-2 to investigate its potential as a hair growing agent

Phytother Res. 2001 Jun;15(4):331-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.800.


Procyanidin B-2 is a compound we have identified in apple which acts as a growth-promoting factor on murine hair epithelial cells. This report describes our investigation of the hair-growing effects of 1% procyanidin B-2 tonic after sequential use for 4 months. A double-blind clinical trial was performed, involving a total of 29 subjects (procyanidin B-2, 19 men; placebo, 10 men). No adverse side effects were observed in either group. In the procyanidin B-2 group, 78.9% showed an increased mean value of hair diameter, whereas only 30.0% in the placebo group showed any increase (p < 0.02, Fisher's exact probability test). The increased ratio of hairs measuring more than 40 microm in diameter after 4 months of procyanidin B-2 treatment was significantly higher than that of the placebo controls (p < 0.05, two-sample-t-test). The increase in number of total hairs in the designated scalp area (0.25 cm(2)) of procyanidin B-2 subjects after a 4 month trial was significantly greater than that of the placebo controls (procyanidin-B-2, 3.67 +/- 4.09 (mean +/- SD)/0.25 cm(2); placebo, -2.54 +/- 4.00/0.25 cm(2); p < 0.001, two-sample t-test). Procyanidin B-2 therapy shows potential as a promising cure for male pattern baldness.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Alopecia / prevention & control*
  • Biflavonoids*
  • Catechin / administration & dosage
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / therapeutic use*
  • Hair / drug effects
  • Hair / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Proanthocyanidins*
  • Scalp / drug effects


  • Biflavonoids
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • procyanidin B
  • procyanidin
  • Catechin