Efficacy of a Complex of 5-Aminolevulinic Acid and Glycyl-Histidyl-Lysine Peptide on Hair Growth

Ann Dermatol. 2016 Aug;28(4):438-43. doi: 10.5021/ad.2016.28.4.438. Epub 2016 Jul 26.


Background: Pattern hair loss is a very common problem. Although effective therapeutics for the treatment of pattern hair loss have been used, novel therapeutic modalities are still required to enhance hair growth.

Objective: We investigated the efficacy and safety of a complex (ALAVAX) of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) and glycyl-histidyl-lysine (GHK) peptide for the treatment of pattern hair loss.

Methods: Forty-five patients with male pattern hair loss were treated with ALAVAX 100 mg/ml (group A), ALAVAX 50 mg/ml (group B) or placebo (group C) once a day for 6 months. Total hair count, hair length, hair thickness, patient's assessment and adverse events were evaluated at month 1, 3, and 6.

Results: An increase in hair count for 6 months was 52.6 (p<0.05) in group A, 71.5 (p<0.05) in group B, and 9.6 in group C. The ratio of changes in hair count between group B (2.38) and group C (1.21) at 6 months showed a statistically significant difference (p<0.05). The proportion above good satisfaction was higher in group A (26.7%) than in the other groups (group B: 14.3%, group C: 7.1%). There was no statistically significant difference in hair length and hair thickness among 3 groups at 6 months. There was no adverse event in 3 groups.

Conclusion: Our study showed that a complex of 5-ALA and GHK peptide may be considered as one of the complementary agents for the treatment of male pattern hair loss.

Keywords: 5-aminolevulinic acid; Glycyl-histidyl-lysine peptide; Pattern hair loss.