I stumbled upon some information which suggests that extracts from pea sprouts have demonstrated the ability to impact hair growth. A solution of pea sprout extract was tested on 20 volunteers. At the end of the study, it was determined that the extract had the ability to "increase the number of hairs in anagen (growth) phase while reducing the number of hairs in telogen (resting). In telogen phase, our hair is attached but not growing. When this phase is complete, the hair sheds and a new cycle begins.
After three months, a pea sprout solution called AnaGain used during the study promoted fuller, thicker hair.
- 80% of the volunteers found their hair less breakable.
- 95% of the volunteers noticed a slight to strong deceleration of their hair loss.
- 95% of the volunteers noticed a slight to strong improvement in the look of their hair.
Peas were selected for this study for their high levels of phytonutrients. Sprouts have the highest level of phytonutrients of any plant. Which makes the sprout much more desirable than the actual pea itself.
AnaGain will likely be marketed as an ingredient for use in hair regrowth products. Which means that we commoners will not have direct access to the active solution used in the study. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and get to the source. A trip to my local Whole Foods store led me to the nutrient dense pea sprouts. I enjoy topping my sandwiches with healthy greens so I made a yummy salmon burger with honey mustard and (of course) sprouts! The taste is very mild which made it a nice compliment to my meal. If that wasn't enough, I pulled out my juice grinder and made a green juice cocktail of bean sprouts and sunflower seed sprouts which are also extremely high in nutrients and minerals.
Although I enjoyed consuming the sprouts. My guess is that the folks in the study applied the solution topically to achieve the best outcome. The solution they used was basically the sprout extract mixed with water & preservatives. If I wanted to replicate this process and use topically, I probably mix fresh juice water and mist my scalp in the morning before conducting a brief scalp massage to work it in even deeper. Since I won't be using a preservative, I'd have to have a continuous access to the fresh sprouts. At this point I have a few options:
1. Make regular trips to a health food store to purchase ready made sprouts.
2. Find a local grower who offers sprouts at a lower cost. In this case, the local grower would be my mother who has an amazing green thumb and a garden full of fresh veggies.
3. Grow them myself. Apparently, peas can sprout all year round and are pretty easy to grow. I have the opposite of a green thumb but even I feel comfortable experimenting with sprouting pea seeds.
Even if this pea sprout hair solution doesn't give me any noticeable hair benefits, just the act of eating and drinking it alone will be tremendous for my health. I'm ready to try it! Another thing I learned during my research is that I can purchase mineral solution to add to the soil which will allow the sprouts to be even more nutritious as they grow.
Check out details of the study here.