Pilot study shows potential of goat weed formulation to support hair health


Pilot study funded by Gencor shows that an extract of Ageratum conyzoides L., also known as goat weed, may be a viable way to support hair health.

hair loss

Photo © AdobeStock.com/diego cervo

A recent pilot study1 funded by Gencor (Austin, TX) found that topical application of an extract derived from Ageratum conyzoides L., also known as goat weed, significantly improved symptoms of hair loss, and inhibited biomarkers of hair loss. In the open-label, randomized, parallel, and in vitro study, 28 healthy male and female subjects over 18 years of age exhibiting pattern baldness received either a 0.5% or 1% strength Ageratum conyzoides L. gel formulation to be applied topically twice per day for eight weeks.

Results showed that subjects saw significant improvements in quality-of-life scores. Among males, hair distress questionnaire scores fell significantly from 13 at baseline to 7 at week eight in the 0.5% group, and from 11.1 baseline to 7.5 at week eight in the 1% group. Temporal recession in men went from 9.1 cm to 8.6 cm in the 1% group and from 8.6 cm to 7.5 cm in the 0.5% group. While temporal recession reductions were not statistically significant, they did trend toward significance, say the researchers. In self assessed improvements of hair, 64% of men and 100% of women self-reported an improvement in hair loss symptoms in the 1% group, and over 65% of both men and women saw an improvement in their hair related to quality of life. Additionally, more than 90% of men in the 1% group observed new hair growth in the hair card test.

In vitro, researchers found that exposure of human hair dermal papilla cells (HHDPC) to Ageratum conyzoides paste significantly reduced the expression of 5α-reductase type 1 compared to the negative control. Exposure to Ageratum conyzoides also significantly inhibited Prostaglandin D2 Production (PGD2) in HHDPC. 5α-reductase is an enzyme that converts testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a major driver of androgenetic alopecia (pattern hair loss), and PGD2 inhibits hair growth.

“Hair loss is a billion-dollar industry with projections showing continued growth,” said Chase Shryoc, vice president of sales & business development for Gencor, in a press release. “This is an exciting next step for Gencor as we launch our first innovation in the cosmetology market.”


  1. Clayton P et al. “Ageratum conyzoides L. extract inhibits 5α-reductase gene expression and prostaglandin D2 release in human hair dermal papilla cells and improves symptoms of hair loss in otherwise healthy males and females in an open label pilot study.” Journal of Cosmetology & Trichology, vol. 7, no. 1 (2021)
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