Hair loss treatment: Three natural supplements proven to boost hair growth
Hair loss: Dr Ranj discusses causes of male pattern baldness
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Androgenic alopecia, also known as pattern baldness, is one of the leading causes of hair loss. According to Harvard Health, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. “The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes,” explains the health body.
All things considered, fighting androgenetic alopecia may seem futile, but natural products have been shown to breach its defences.
Here are three such solutions:
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil contains phytosterols – plant compounds are known to inhibit 5α-reductase, suggests research.
This is significant because the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR) converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the sex steroid that drives hair loss.
One study compared the effects of taking 400 mg of oral pumpkin seed oil daily to placebo for 24 weeks in 76 patients with androgenetic alopecia.
The researchers found a 40 percent increase in hair count versus ten percent for the placebo, and improved patient-reported satisfaction scores too.
Rosemary oil, which derives from the aromatic evergreen herb, has been shown to rival minoxidil in one study.
Minoxidil is one of the main drug treatments used to treat androgenetic alopecia.
In the trial, 100 androgenetic alopecia patients were either told to apply rosemary oil lotion daily or take minoxidil.
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Both groups demonstrated a significant increase in hair count at six months.
Rosemary oil appeared to be a safe non-prescription alternative for androgenetic alopecia, and the results of this study merit further investigation, the researchers concluded.
Saw palmetto is an extract from the berries of the saw palmetto palm tree.
Like pumpkin seed oil, the extract is thought to stop the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme from converting into testosterone and DHT.
A study evaluating the hair growth effect of a topical saw palmetto serum applied for four weeks and a lotion applied for 24 weeks, in 50 men with androgenetic alopecia.
The researchers found the saw palmetto formulation demonstrated increased terminal hair counts at 12 and 24 weeks.
Terminal hairs are thick, strong, pigmented hairs that have fully matured.
Other treatment options
There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are not available on the NHS, so you’ll have to pay for them.
Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
You could also try:
- Steroid injection – injections given into bald patches
- Steroid creams – cream applied to bald patches
- Immunotherapy – chemical applied to bald patches
- Light treatment – shining ultraviolet light on bald patches
- Tattooing – tattoo used to look like short hair and eyebrows
- Hair transplant – hair is removed from the back of the head and moved to thinning patches
- Scalp reduction surgery – sections of scalp with hair are stretched and stitched together
- Artificial hair transplant – surgery to implant artificial hairs.
Some of the above treatments may not be available on the NHS.
“If your hair loss is causing you distress, your GP may be able to help you get some counselling,” adds the NHS.
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