Objective: To investigate the effect of 6-gingerol, the main active component of ginger, on hair shaft elongation in vitro and hair growth in vivo.
Methods: Firstly, Hair follicles were co-cultured with 3 different concentration of 6-gingerol for 5 days and hair elongation in three groups was measured. Secondly, The proliferative effect of 6-gingerol on DPCs was measured using MTT assay. Thirdly, the expression of Bcl-2 and Bax in DPCs were measured using Western blotting. In vivo study, the influence of 6-gingerol on hair growth in C57BL/6 rats was measured through topical application of 6-gingerol on the dorsal skin of each animal.
Results: The length of hair shaft in 20 microg/ml 6-Gingerol group (0.50 +/- 0.08 mm) is less than 0 microg/ml (0.66 +/- 0.19) mm and 10 microg/ml (0.64 +/- 0.03) mm 6-Gingerol group (P < 0.05). In cell culture, compared to 0 microg/ml and 5 microg/ml 6-Gingerol, 10 microg/ml 6-Gingerol can significantly inhibited the proliferation of DPCs (P < 0.05). Along with the growth inhibition of DPCs by 6-gingerol, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio increased obviously. In vivo study, the hair length and density decreased a lot after using 1 mg/ml 6-gingerol.
Conclusions: 6-Gingerol can suppress human hair shaft elongation because it has pro-apoptotic effects on DPCs via increasing Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. It might inhibit hair growth by prolonging the telogen stage in vivo.