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Ingredient Spotlight: Capixyl

Red Clover flower
June 8, 2016 Reviewed by Marta 22 Comments

I made an exciting new discovery recently, a hair growth active called Capixyl. Of course, I am a big believer in copper peptides, the key active in my Truth Vitality Advanced Complex. Yet, I always want to be sure that the latest and greatest is on my radar. When I was told about Capixyl, I decided to take a deeper look. 

Capixyl is a blend of a peptide, acetyl tetrapeptide-3 (and) extract of red clover. You’d be forgiven for thinking that these are about face creams than hair growth, after all acetyl tetrapeptide-3 is often marketed as a skin conditioner. As for red clover, I knew that it is full of isoflavones. The mechanism of how these two actives work on hair growth turns out to be really interesting.

Let’s start with red clover extract. I mentioned that it is rich in isoflavones, compounds that have antioxidant properties. Well, it is particularly big on one in particular called biochanin A, which is classified as a phytoestrogen. One thing that biochanin A is good at is inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase.

You’ve probably heard of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It causes hair loss by shortening the growth cycle, producing progressively shorter and finer hair. DHT is formed by the action of 5-alpha-reductase on testosterone. So keeping 5-alpha-reductase in check is a good thing and biochanin A, does a much better job (according to a study) at this than the potent antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) found in tea.

Now for the peptide, acetyl tetrapeptide-3. We are back to DHT again. One of the other side effects of this hormone is loss of connective tissue integrity surrounding the hair follicle, plus there is an increase of inflammation and oxidative stress in the scalp. Acetyl tetrapeptide-3 stimulates extracellular matrix proteins reinforcing the structures surrounding hair follicles, this provides the hair with a firmer anchor and reduces damage to it.

Acetyl tetrapeptide-3 boosts type III collagen synthesis, as well as collagen VII, a major constituent of the anchoring fibrils located in the basement membrane (DEJ) around the hair papilla. Acetyl tetrapeptide-3 is supposed to lengthen the hair shaft (source) and increase follicle length by 35% after only eight days of treatment.

Although Capixyl has been around for a couple of years and won an industry award not long ago, it hasn’t made it into haircare primetime. I believe this is because it is an expensive ingredient and claims about its effectiveness are restricted as the FDA has only cleared minoxidil for hair growth. This could change as I have been testing it for a few months and am impressed by the results. So watch this space.

  • December 29, 2018

    by Stacy

    I’m curious as to why capyxil cannot be used in conjunction with minoxidil (stated by a popular women’s regrowth product)?

  • April 11, 2018

    by Marta

    Hi Dusti, something to consider is that red clover is a phytoestrogen

  • April 10, 2018

    by Dusti

    Thank you for your review on Capixyl. Any thoughts on how it can effect the hormones? During the time I used it my hormones were greatly effected. Shortly after stopping the product that I was using everything went back to normal. I struggle to think this is a coincidence but can’t find any information that links Capixyl to hormone fluctuations.
    Thank you

  • November 3, 2017

    by Mary

    Please help me understand if Capixyl and or the other DHT inhibitors are safe for pregnant woman or those who want to become pregnant. This is a phytoestrogen and I don’t know if this is absorbed through the skin? Or if it can affect women adversely.

  • September 30, 2017

    by Melissa

    Hi Marta, thanks for this detailed information and review. There doesn't seem to be much info around on capixyl and I'd like to find out more about potential side effects and shedding because I am hoping to use it on my 4 year old daughter who has a hair condition called LAS. If you don't have information, could you point me in the direction of where I might find some?

    I'd love to try this product, but I can't move forward in good conscience without finding out as much as I can about its potential effects in young children and after long term use.

  • September 5, 2017

    by Marta

    Hi Ibrar, I have my own brand of hair growth serum with copper peptides and Capixyl. Here is a link for more info:

  • September 4, 2017

    by Ibrar

    Hii!Marta, I am suffering from the problem of extreme hair thinning and is worried of becoming bald. Could you please suggest a solution for the same?

  • June 14, 2017

    by sheryll

    I was wondering if the reduction in DHT hormone caused by capixyl would affect getting pregnant?

  • June 12, 2017

    by stacey

    I second Monat products ! these products help from eczema to alopecia to growing healthy hair back after chemo! Id be glad to answer any questions anyone might have!
    As for those asking, if you stop using the product will your hair return to how it was before? I can only answer with, If something is finally growing your hair, making it healthy, is non toxic all natural and botanically based and it works better then any product you have ever used in your life WHY would you stop using it??

  • May 16, 2017

    by Dianne D B

    I am curious about what happens when you stop using the products ( such as Monat). Does hair fall out? Many that use Rogain have this complaint.

  • April 17, 2017

    by Sandra

    Capixyl is the reason I started selling Monat hair products! The effect on people's hair is amazing!

  • November 23, 2016

    by Angie Frenette

    Great post and very interesting! I have been learning a lot of Capixyl, as it is one of the key star ingredients in MONAT's anti-aging hair line! Do you sell hair line products too with Capixyl in them?

  • October 18, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Sue, there are no contraindications for this condition and so yes you could give it a try.

  • October 16, 2016

    by Sue

    Hello Marta, I have experienced terrible hair loss due to a thyroid condition. Could I purchase your serum with Capixyl? Let me know. Thank you

  • June 28, 2016

    by Marta

    It is in Deciem's Grow Gorgeous Hair Density Serum

  • June 11, 2016

    by Ashley

    so there isnt a product?

  • June 9, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Frank and Sal, it is not a product, it is a raw ingredient. For Karen and Gen, I added the ingredient(s) to my Truth Vitality Advanced Complex and that is the way I am testing it. Definitely giving it a turbo charge and I am considering making it a permanent upgrade to the formula.

  • June 9, 2016

    by Frank

    interesting but what form does it come in (pills,foam,spray,liguid ?)and how and where can you get it

  • June 9, 2016

    by Karen


    I can't thank you enough for keeping the TIA community well informed and always with relevant "cutting edge" information. I will be paying attention to more information or articles you write regarding this. Currently using Dr. Dennis Gross' shampoo, conditioner, & hair serum with AMAZING results. I'm always willing to try something new though, so will anxiously wait for your next report out! Thank you for providing the depth of information that you do on so many products! Greatly appreciated!

  • June 9, 2016

    by Gen

    There used to be a product named Hair Demand with Capixyl. Cannot find that or any other product containing Capixyl. Marta, what product are you trying and where can we get it? Is there any trials we can start?

  • June 9, 2016

    by sal

    Where can you buy it?

  • June 9, 2016

    by karen

    very interesting....VERY interesting. good work...keep us posted. nice science.

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