Can Herbs Help Treat Hair Loss?

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Most over-the-counter hair loss treatments you can put your hands on, irrespective of whether they were designed to treat hereditary forms of baldness or other hair loss conditions are using herbal extracts as their main active substances. Since we now know the main cause of hair loss, being the dihydrotestosterne (DHT) attacks on our hair follicles, most such herbs claim to posses properties that can protect our hair from such attacks. Herbs such as saw palmetto, stinging nettle, pygeum africanum, or even green tea extract and pumpkin seeds oil are believed to contain substances that work by the same mode of action as the only medically approved pill for hair loss - Propecia (finasteride 1mg) in protecting our hair follicles from DHT attacks. Obviously there is no clear answer to whether and how effective such herbal extracts are and how to best apply them. However, some smaller studies have proven that they can be effective to certain degree.

So, assuming they are effective the question emerges how to use them to achieve the best benefits and to avoid harmful side effects. Some researchers suggest we should be using such extracts topically to minimize potential side effects and get them deep in the skin layers so that they can reach our hair follicles where they are needed. Nonetheless, the bulk of the research that has been conducted studied the effects of such substances taken orally. Secondly, the herbal extracts are not individual chemical substances so their hair growth promoting qualities are most likely a result of interactions of their many constituents, which is difficult to describe. Therefore, increasing the dose may not lead to improving the results but can cause negative side effects such as allergies. So then the question arises of whether you should use a combination of treatments such as some multi-ingredient herbal hair loss product or choose one individual herbal extract such as pygeum africanum and use it alone. In order to find out what works best for you amongst an array of herbal products you may need years of testing. So why not cling to the proven remedies such as Propecia and Rogaine if you really wish to do your hair some good?