Topical Products for Human Hair Regeneration: A Comparative Study on an Animal Model

Ann Dermatol. 2016 Feb;28(1):65-73. doi: 10.5021/ad.2016.28.1.65. Epub 2016 Jan 28.


Background: Hair loss and hair growth is the subject of tremendous amount of research.

Objective: This study investigated the efficacy of three chemical treatments used in humans for hair loss, using a rat model of hair regrowth. The products tested were 2% minoxidil, Hairgrow (Dar-Al-Dawa Pharma), Aminexil, Dercos (Vichy Laboratoires), and Kerium, Anti-chute (La Roche-Posay).

Methods: Thirty-two adult female Wistar-Bratislava rats were assigned to 4 groups. Two rectangular areas (2×4 cm) were shaved on either sides of the mid dorsal line (left side - control; right side - test area). Group I was treated topically with 2% minoxidil, group II with Aminexil, and group III with Kerium. Each rat received 0.3 ml of substance applied topically to the shaved dorsal skin every day for 28 days. Rats in group IV served as sham controls receiving no treatment. Hair regrowth was evaluated by trichoscopy (with a dermatoscope), grown hair weight (from a surface area of 1 cm(2)), and histopathological examination for skin thickness, follicle count, and percentage of anagen induction (morphometric assessment).

Results: Treatment with 2% minoxidil significantly induced hair regrowth as assessed by trichoscopy, hair weight examination, and morphometric evaluation. Hair weight examination and morphometric assessment demonstrated the lowest hair growth effect with Aminexil among the tested products. Treatment with Kerium was found to significantly induce hair regrowth (p<0.05 as compared to the control group).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that hair regrowth efficacy of products recommended for human use is not similar when tested on an animal model.

Keywords: Hair regrowth; Rat model; Topical therapy.