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.
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What is GHK-Cu?
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 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 . 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 .
- 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 .
- 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 .
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 . 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.
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 .
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 .
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 :
“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 non-human and human studies that show that the peptide is safe and non-toxic . 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.
Where to Buy GHK-Cu Online? | 2024 Edition
GHK-Cu is available for a number of research peptide vendors, and is typically shipped as a lyophilized powder (for injection) or as a cream or serum (for topical application).
To assist researchers looking to buy GHK-Cu online, our team has made small test orders from a range of peptide vendors, before identifying two that sell research-grade GHK-Cu at fair prices.
Here’s why Core Peptides is our top recommendation for high-quality GHK-Cu:
- Peptide Purity: To facilitate transparency and build trust with its customers, Core Peptides gets each peptide batch tested by an independent lab using HPLC-MS analysis. The corresponding lab reports are posted on the vendor’s website so that researchers can verify the purity of a compound before placing an order.
- GHK-Cu Pricing: Topical, 99%+ pure GHK-Cu costs $185 for a 200mg container, while a single 50mg vial of injectable GHK-Cu costs just $55. Discounts are available for bulk purchases starting from five units.
- Quick Shipping: All orders within the U.S. over $200 ship free and typically arrive in 2-3 business days. Incorrect orders are promptly reshipped without charge.
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The experts at Peptides.org likewise recommend Limitless Life, who stand out in these areas:
- Quality GHK-Cu: Limitless Life works with a third-party lab that conducts HPLC-MS testing on all of their compounds to ensure research-grade quality. The vendor’s GHK-Cu is potent and pure.
- Easy, Secure Checkout: The vendor prioritizes a positive buying experience on its SSL-encrypted site, accepting a range of payment methods like credit cards, e-check, Zelle, and cryptocurrencies.
- Customer Care: Limitless Life has a dedicated team to handle customer inquiries via phone, chat, and email. Researchers do not have to wait long for answers to their pressing queries.
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Bacteriostatic Water and GHK-Cu
How can researchers get the most out of GHK-Cu? The proper handling of this and other research peptides calls for a certain set of complementary supplies.
In preparing, administering, and storing peptides, researchers will need alcohol prep pads, bacteriostatic water, and several additional items.
As such, it is important for a researcher to have these items available:
- Bacteriostatic Water
- Insulin Syringes
- Alcohol Prep Pads
- Sterile Empty Glass Vial
- Large Needles + Syringes Combo
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.