Titus Thorne

Last Updated March 13, 2023

Titus Thorne

 March 13, 2023

Curious about GHK-Cu for hair growth?

Researchers interested in investigating this have come to the right place.

The latest research indicates that GHK-Cu can enlarge hair follicles and increase hair growth and thickness. The peptide is known to stimulate blood vessel growth, which increases blood flow to hair follicles and prevents them from shrinking.

In this informative guide, we summarize the main findings from past GHK-Cu studies and outline how the peptide can potentially stimulate hair growth in research subjects.

Buy GHK-Cu from the #1 online Peptides vendor in the world...

Disclaimer: Peptides.org contains information about products that are intended for laboratory and research use only, unless otherwise explicitly stated. This information, including any referenced scientific or clinical research, is made available for educational purposes only. Peptides.org makes every effort to ensure that any information it shares complies with national and international standards for clinical trial information and is committed to the timely disclosure of the design and results of all interventional clinical studies for innovative treatments publicly available or that may be made available. However, research is not considered conclusive. Peptides.org makes no claims that any products referenced can cure, treat or prevent any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials.

What is GHK-Cu?

GHK-Cu is a naturally occurring copper complex of a tripeptide that is predominantly found in saliva, blood, and urine, but is also secreted from tissue following an injury [1].

It was first isolated from human plasma albumin in 1973 by Dr. Loren Pickart, who noticed elevated levels of fibrinogen in the liver tissue of elderly patients [2].

Comprising the three amino acids glycine, histidine, and lysine, the tripeptide has a strong affinity for copper and offers both protective and regenerative properties. GHK-Cu plays a significant role in skin regeneration, collagen synthesis, and DNA repair [3].

Researchers have determined that the copper ion in GHK-Cu is coordinated by, among others, nitrogen from histidine and oxygen from lysine, and allows the delivery of copper into the cells [4, 5].

Cooper is vital for numerous biological processes including oxygenation, iron metabolism, and neurotransmission, while changes in copper oxidation are vital to dozens of enzymes including lysyl peroxidase, which controls connective tissue formation. Copper signaling is believed to play a role in GHK-Cu’s biological activity, and a specific level of copper is required for stem cells to function correctly [5].

At the time of writing, GHK-Cu is available to researchers as a reference material for in vitro experimentation only. It is sold as both an injectable peptide and as a topical preparation, with the latter being preferred for GHK-Cu hair growth protocols.

GHK-Cu Hair Growth

GHK-Cu and Hair Growth

According to a 2018 paper by Dr. Pickart and team, GHK-Cu has demonstrated multiple therapeutic benefits and is widely used in skin and hair products [1]. Below, we summarize the main research findings as they may relate to hair growth.

  • Given the necessity of collagen for hair growth, GHK is believed to have a positive effect on hair growth and thickness. A 1988 study by Pickart et al. found that GHK-Cu stimulated collagen synthesis by fibroblasts, noting that the presence of a GHK triplet in type I collagen meant that GHK may offer in situ healing effects [1, 6].
  • A 1993 study by Uno and Kurata found that a similar copper-binding peptide (PC1031) increased follicular enlargement when applied to the back skin of fuzzy rats. The researchers concluded that PC1031 had a comparable effect to that of topical minoxidil, an FDA-approved hair growth treatment [7].
  • A 1994 study by Sage et al. established that GHK and other peptides containing the GHK sequence demonstrated strong angiogenic activity, leading the researchers to conclude that copper peptides such as GHK-Cu—and especially the sequence (K)GHK—can regulate angiogenesis in vivo [8].
  • A 2000 study by Simeon et al. found GHK-Cu to work as a wound healing agent that can increase the production of type I collagen when administered in rate dermal fibroblast cultures [9].

GHK-Cu is well-tolerated and easily incorporated into hair products such as creams and serums that may be applied directly to the scalp. When applied regularly, a topical GHK-Cu formulation may improve the firmness and elasticity of the scalp, and make the hair follicles thicker, stronger, and less prone to damage.

How to Grow Hair with GHK-Cu

GHK-Cu is sold both as an injectable reference material and as a topical product.

In the above-cited fuzzy rat study, researchers had applied a topical copper-binding peptide to achieve hair growth on the rodents’ backs [7]. Both the targeted action and convenience of a topical GHK-Cu product make it preferable for a GHK-Cu hair growth study.

However, there are no universally agreed-upon guidelines for stimulating hair growth with GHK-Cu, so a protocol must be established according to the individual subject’s factors, such as their desired hair growth outcome and individual response to treatment.

Based on the available research conducted by Dr. Pickart and co-researchers, here is a sample GHK-Cu protocol to achieve hair growth in test subjects:

  • Daily Application: Apply approximately one quarter-sized dollop of GHK-Cu cream, ensuring that it lightly covers the target area. The topical preparation should be gently massaged into the subject’s scalp to facilitate absorption.
  • Study Duration: Four to six weeks.
  • Maintenance: For maintenance, apply GHK-Cu cream once or twice weekly to the target area, for four to six months following the initial study.
  • Notes: Topical GHK-Cu should be applied post-washing in the morning, or otherwise in the evening at bedtime, to allow for maximum absorption. Subjects should not be permitted to exercise, shower, or otherwise wet the target area at least three hours after application of a GHK-Cu product.

GHK-Cu Hair Growth

GHK-Cu Benefits

Besides GHK-Cu’s potential to enlarge hair follicle size and stimulate hair growth, this peptide may offer other benefits that may interest researchers working in the field of hair growth [1].

GHK-Cu and Anti-aging

GHK-Cu exerts strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, which may create firmer, more youthful-looking skin. The peptide has been shown to tighten the skin and improve its elasticity, density, and overall health. For these reasons, the peptide is commonly included in anti-aging skin products [10, 11].

GHK-Cu and Wound Healing

GHK-Cu can stimulate wound healing and improve the rate at which both tissue and skin wounds heal. This may be noteworthy for researchers exploring hair growth in the context of post-accident or post-surgery hair loss where the goal is to stimulate hair follicles.

In a 1994 study, Mulder et al. successfully administered topical GHK-Cu treatment to enhance ulcer healing in diabetic patients and reduce the rate of infection, while Dr. Pickart has found that GHK-Cu offers relief for inflammatory skin conditions. A rodent study by Wang et al. showed that GHK-Cu promotes cell proliferation and angiogenesis [12, 13, 14].

GHK-Cu Reduces Photodamage of Skin

While vitamin D from natural sunlight promotes hair growth, overexposure to the sun can result in sunburn. This damages the cellular structure of the skin and stimulates the production of superoxide, a compound that causes hair follicles to stop growing and enter the shedding phase. Further, as hair loss occurs and the scalp loses its natural protection against sunburn, photodamage to the skin may accelerate the rate of damage to remaining hair follicles [15, 16, 17].

GHK-Cu has been found to reduce photodamage in skin and has been shown to reduce skin aging to a greater extent than alternatives such as vitamin K, vitamin C, and retinoic acid [10, 18]. It can also aid the recovery of skin stem cells and reverse the thinning and premature aging of sun-damaged skin. This may be a benefit to test subjects suffering from hair loss and may slow down the rate of hair loss to prevent further hair loss from occurring [18].

Is GHK-Cu Safe?

Based on the available research, GHK-Cu appears to exhibit a favorable safety profile across a variety of subject populations. As noted by Dr. Pickart [3]:

“The molecule is very safe and no issues have ever arisen during its use as a skin cosmetic or in human wound healing studies.”

GHK-Cu’s biological actions appear to be health positive, hence its inclusion in a wide variety of cosmetic products such as hair growth serums, creams, lotions, and even dermal patches.

Researchers cite more than four decades’ worth of research into GHK-Cu, including animal and human studies that show that the peptide is safe and non-toxic [1]. All available studies show that topical products containing GHK-Cu are safe and cause no side effects when applied to the skin [3, 10, 19].

Researchers who opt to administer GHK-Cu via injection should note that most side effects observed, including nausea and redness/pain at injection site, more commonly result from the injections than the peptide itself.

GHK-Cu Hair Growth

Where to Buy GHK-Cu Online

To assist researchers looking to buy GHK-Cu online, our team has made small test orders from a range of peptide vendors before identifying one that sells research-grade GHK-Cu in both topical and injectable form.

That vendor is Peptide Sciences and here’s why they are our #1 recommendation for high-quality GHK-Cu.

  • Peptide Purity: To facilitate transparency and build trust with its customers, Peptide Sciences has every batch of GHK-Cu tested by an independent laboratory, using methods of mass spectrometry (MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). It posts the corresponding lab reports on its website so that researchers can verify the purity of the GHK-Cu before placing an order.
  • Customer Care: Although there is no phone or live chat option, Peptide Science does have a dedicated team to handle customer inquiries via email. They usually reply to peptide- and order-related questions within 24 hours, so you won’t have to wait long for an answer.
  • GHK-Cu Pricing: Topical, 99% purity GHK-Cu starts at $200 for a 200mg container, while a 1,000mg container costs $500. A single 50mg vial of injectable GHK-Cu costs just $70, with discounts available for bulk purchases.
  • Quick Shipping: All orders to the U.S. over $200 ship free and typically arrive in 2-3 business days. Researchers based internationally will have to wait a little longer (7-10 business days).
  • Convenient payment options: Peptide Sciences accepts electronic check, FLEX Payment, Apple Cash, Cash App, Zelle, all major credit cards, bank transfers, and even cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH.

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Bacteriostatic Water for Injection

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In preparing, administering, and storing your peptides, you will need insulin syringes, bacteriostatic water, and several additional items.

Don’t let the search for lab supplies slow your research!

Rather than spending long hours surfing the web to find all the necessary supplies, visit this one-stop-shop solution that provides all you need.


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Check out the convenient starter research kit, replete with:

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GHK-Cu Hair Growth | Verdict

GHK-Cu is known to regenerate skin cells, promote collagen synthesis, and stimulate blood vessel growth, leading many researchers to use this peptide to increase hair growth and thickness in research subjects.

Apart from these potential benefits, GHK-Cu exhibits a favorable safety profile and its topical method of administration makes the peptide a suitable option for researchers looking to investigate hair growth treatment options.

Researchers looking to buy research-grade GHK-Cu are well-advised to visit Peptide Sciences to place an order today.


  1.  Pickart L, Margolina A. Regenerative and Protective Actions of the GHK-Cu Peptide in the Light of the New Gene Data. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jul 7;19(7):1987. doi: 10.3390/ijms19071987. PMID: 29986520; PMCID: PMC6073405.
  2. Pickart L, Thaler MM. Tripeptide in human serum which prolongs survival of normal liver cells and stimulates growth in neoplastic liver. Nat New Biol. 1973 May 16;243(124):85-7. PMID: 4349963.
  3. Pickart, L., Vasquez-Soltero, J. M., & Margolina, A. (2014). GHK and DNA: resetting the human genome to health. BioMed Research International, 151479. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/151479
  4. Pickart, L., Vasquez-Soltero, J. M., & Margolina, A. (2012). The human tripeptide GHK-Cu in prevention of oxidative stress and degenerative conditions of aging: implications for cognitive health. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2012. Doi: 10.1155/2012/324832
  5. Lau SJ, Sarkar B. The interaction of copper(II) and glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine, a growth-modulating tripeptide from plasma. Biochem J. 1981 Dec 1;199(3):649-56. doi: 10.1042/bj1990649. PMID: 7340824; PMCID: PMC1163421.
  6. Maquart, F. X., Pickart, L., Laurent, M., Gillery, P., Monboisse, J. C., & Borel, J. P. (1988). Stimulation of collagen synthesis in fibroblast cultures by the tripeptide‐copper complex glycyl‐L‐histidyl‐L‐lysine‐Cu2+. FEBS letters, 238(2), 343-346. doi:10.1016/0014-5793(88)80509-x
  7. Uno, H., & Kurata, S. (1993). Chemical agents and peptides affect hair growth. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 101(1), S143-S147. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-202X(93)90516-K
  8. Lane TF, Iruela-Arispe ML, Johnson RS, Sage EH. SPARC is a source of copper-binding peptides that stimulate angiogenesis. J Cell Biol. 1994 May;125(4):929-43. doi: 10.1083/jcb.125.4.929. PMID: 7514608; PMCID: PMC2120067.
  9. Siméon, A., Wegrowski, Y., Bontemps, Y., & Maquart, F. X. (2000). Expression of glycosaminoglycans and small proteoglycans in wounds: modulation by the tripeptide–copper complex glycyl-l-histidyl-l-lysine-Cu2+. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 115(6), 962-968.
  10. Pickart, L., Vasquez-Soltero, J. M., & Margolina, A. (2015). GHK peptide as a natural modulator of multiple cellular pathways in skin regeneration. BioMed Research International, 648108. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/648108
  11. Pickart, L. (2008). The human tri-peptide GHK and tissue remodeling. Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, 19(8), 969-988.
  12. Mulder, G. D., Patt, L. M., Sanders, L., Rosenstock, J., Altman, M. I., Hanley, M. E., & Duncan, G. W. (1994). Enhanced healing of ulcers in patients with diabetes by topical treatment with glycyl‐l‐histidyl‐l‐lysine copper. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2(4), 259-269.
  13. Ahmed, M. R., Basha, S. H., Gopinath, D., Muthusamy, R., & Jayakumar, R. (2005). Initial upregulation of growth factors and inflammatory mediators during nerve regeneration in the presence of cell adhesive peptide‐incorporated collagen tubes. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, 10(1), 17-30.
  14. Wang X, Liu B, Xu Q, Sun H, Shi M, Wang D, Guo M, Yu J, Zhao C, Feng B. GHK-Cu-liposomes accelerate scald wound healing in mice by promoting cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Wound Repair Regen. 2017 Apr;25(2):270-278. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12520. Epub 2017 Apr 27. PMID: 28370978.
  15. Saini K, Mysore V. Role of vitamin D in hair loss: A short review. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Nov;20(11):3407-3414. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14421. Epub 2021 Sep 22. PMID: 34553483.
  16. Phillips TG, Slomiany WP, Allison R. Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Sep 15;96(6):371-378. PMID: 28925637.
  17. Stough D, Stenn K, Haber R, Parsley WM, Vogel JE, Whiting DA, Washenik K. Psychological effect, pathophysiology, and management of androgenetic alopecia in men. Mayo Clin Proc. 2005 Oct;80(10):1316-22. doi: 10.4065/80.10.1316. PMID: 16212145.
  18. Abdulghani, A. A., Sherr, A., Shirin, S., Solodkina, G., Tapia, E. M., Wolf, B., & Gottlieb, A. B. (1998). Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin-A pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study. Disease Management and Clinical Outcomes, 4(1), 136-141.
  19. A. A. Abdulghani, A. Sherr, S. Shirin et al., “Effects of topical creams containing vitamin C, a copper-binding peptide cream and melatonin compared with tretinoin on the ultrastructure of normal skin—a pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study,” Disease Management and Clinical Outcomes, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 136–141, 1998.

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