In this article, we’ll examine how using a device called a dermaroller can help stimulate new hair growth for those suffering from diffuse thinning, androgenetic alopecia, and alopecia areata.
It’s important to read carefully — incorrect use of the dermaroller can lead to additional hair loss.
Used correctly, studies show this simple device can be quite effective to increase the overall quality and quantity of hairs.
The Dermaroller — A History of the Device
Originally used for skin rejuvenation, the dermaroller has been around since 1905 when German dermatologist Ernst Kromeyer used dental burrs to abrade and resurface skin to remove scars and hyper pigmentation (1).
By 1995, Canadian plastic surgeons André Camirand and Jocelyne Doucet noticed that patients benefited from the use of needling on surgical scars (2).
In 2006, South African plastic surgeon Dr. Des Fernandes presented a paper regarding his results in collagen stimulation from using a small stamping device fitted with fine needles. Dr. Fernandes would later go on to invent what we commonly call the dermaroller (3).
Since then, various studies on the efficacy of dermarolling, also called microneedling, have shown that this simple technique is quite effective in stimulating cell turnover, collagen production, increase stem cell activity, and deliver topical products into the dermal layer to increase their effectiveness (4).
The Mechanism of Hair Growth Using a Dermaroller
Because the dermaroller works directly on skin cells, it can be used to stimulate hair growth and thickness by applying it to the skin of your scalp.
Using a dermaroller regularly can stimulate blood circulation to the scalp, encourage cell turnover, and increase the effectiveness of topical hair growth formulae (5)(6).
Let’s explore some of the science-based research that touches on the ways the dermaroller and similar tools like the dermapen and dermastamp, can help you to regrow your hair.
The dermaroller has been found to increase collagen production in the skin through the tiny, subcutaneous wounding that occurs during use (7).
After the skin is pricked by the roller, the body increases circulation to the area to fight inflammation and increase healing (8).
A by-product of this process is collagen production. This is important, since collagen is essential in increasing cell proliferation in the skin (9).
Importantly, the wounds caused by the dermaroller are so subtle that no scarring results from them. They do not penetrate deeply enough to cause the skin to build scar tissue in response (10).
Now that collagen is stimulated in the scalp, the cells in the wounded area begin to heal and mature, and stem cells begin to proliferate, contributing to follicle regeneration (11)(12).
It’s well known that adult stem cell proliferation is firmly linked with hair follicle maintenance and proliferation, a process that’s regulated by something called the Wnt/β-catenin pathway (13).
Activating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway can result in greater cell proliferation and better results for those using dermarolling to increase hair growth.
To prove this, South Korean researchers used mice to study the effects of microneedling stimulation on hair growth and proliferation.
They tested several needle lengths – 0.15mm, 0.25mm, 0.5mm, and 1.0mm – to determine which had maximum effectiveness.
To begin the study, the researchers shaved the hair from the backs of the mice and took magnified photographs at regular intervals after each microneedling session to chart results.
They found that the group of mice that were needled with the 0.5mm needle saw best results in hair growth. After taking blood samples, the researchers were able to confirm their hypothesis that the growth was a result of the upregulation of various proteins, including Wnt3a, VEGF, and Wnt10b.
Dermarolling to Increase Efficacy of Other Topical Products for Hair Growth
Androgenetic alopecia affects mainly men, but also women. For men, it remains the leading cause of hair loss (14).
Besides a hair transplant, the current line of treatment for hair loss in men and women is Minoxidil. Men can also use Finasteride, an oral supplement.
Because of the many potential adverse side effects of both topical Minoxidil and oral Finasteride, more people are seeking safer, more natural ways to get thicker hair.
There are a number of safer, natural products you can purchase that will give you similar results without the side effects.
Microneedling has been proven to assist the penetration of topical products through the skin for enhanced efficacy and increased benefit — at least for skin rejuvenation and anti-aging products (15).
Can microneedling therapy also help increase the effectiveness of topical products for hair loss? The answer is — yes.
Through ground-breaking research, microneedling has been shown to be effective in increasing hair growth in both men and women using topical formulas for androgenetic alopecia.
One study conducted in 2013 followed two groups of 50 patients with mild-to-moderate hair loss from androgenetic alopecia (16).
The first group used Minoxidil (5%) twice daily alongside received weekly microneedling treatment while the second group used only Minoxidil (5%).
Photographs were taken to serve as a baseline, then all participants had their hair shaved to ensure equal length of hair shaft.
The researchers were most interested in the change from baseline hair count at 12 weeks.
At the conclusion of the study, the results showed that while the mean hair count of patients in both groups improved, the improvement was more significant in the group that included microneedling therapy.
In 2015, researchers studied the effects of microneedling on men with AGA who didn’t respond to conventional treatments (such as Rogaine and Propecia) (17).
While the study was small, it is still indicative of the effects of microneedling on increasing topical product efficacy for hair growth.
The four participants had been using Finasteride and Minoxidil 5% for anywhere from two to five years. While they were able to maintain the hair present, they were not growing new hair.
While continuing their current regimen, the patients added microneedling sessions to their hair growth therapy for six months.
At the end of the six-month period, three of the patients expressed more than 75% satisfaction with the results, while the fourth patient expressed more than 50% satisfaction with his increased hair growth.
While the study is small and the data not rigorous, the results show that microneedling is a promising adjunct therapy to topical hair regrowth formulas.
How to Use a Dermaroller for Best Results
Now that you’ve seen the results that using a dermaroller can bring to your hair regrowth regimen, you’ll want to learn how to properly use this tool.
Improper dermaroller use can result in increased hair loss and damage to the scalp.
You should always use your dermaroller on a clean scalp that has been thoroughly cleansed and subjected to a gentle peel to remove dead skin and debris to allow the dermaroller close access to skin and to prevent debris from being pushed further into the dermal structure of your scalp.
A peel is especially necessary in the thinning areas of the scalp, which generally appear at the hair line.
To apply a peel to your scalp in preparation for dermaroller use, you can use salicylic acid. However, be aware that most salicylic acid products contain alcohol as a carrier substance and can dry your scalp (18).
For this reason, it’s recommended to use safe, natural alternatives for this purpose. Natural scalp peel mask formulas will contain ingredients such as:
Using a scalp exfoliant of any sort, either natural or commercially-prepared will condition your scalp in preparation for dermarolling.
A scalp peel does this in several ways. For example, it:
Cleans the scalp to reduce the chance of infection
Removes the layer of dermal plaque that contains DHT, oils, and dead cells that can reduce hair health
Boosts circulation in the scalp.
Unclogs and unblocks the hair follicles allowing for more growth (19).
Allows the scalp mixture to penetrate deeper into the scalp making it more effective.
After you’ve exfoliated your scalp, you’re ready to use the dermaroller.
Using the Dermaroller
To use a dermaroller, gently roll the device through the thinning areas of your hair, being careful not to pull or break nearby hair or press too aggressively into your scalp.
You may feel discomfort when rolling, but you shouldn’t feel pain.
To ensure that you cover the entire area, roll back and forth, then side-to-side, then diagonally over one area before moving on to the next spot.
Increasing Dermaroller Benefits
After you’ve used the derma roller on the right area of your scalp you can carefully apply any topical solution you are using to promote hair growth.
As mentioned, above, the microneedling effect of the dermaroller will increase the efficacy of any topical treatment in your regimen.
Of course, due to the side effects of Minoxidil, it’s recommended to use safer, natural treatments.
Some natural ingredients that have proven hair-growth benefits are:
There are, of course, many others, but this will give you an idea of how easy it is to find topical treatments to replace your Minoxidil regimen.
To increase the benefits of whatever topical serum you choose to use, wait six hours after using your dermaroller. Then, apply the mixture, using a finger to gently rub it in until you get an even and generous covering.
It’s best to do this one hour before bedtime to give your topical mixture enough time to dry on your scalp. The serum you use will enter the tiny wounds made by the dermaroller and begin to work on your scalp, stimulating and feeding new hair growth directly.
Dermaroller vs. Dermastamp — Which is Right for You?
While the dermaroller is the most well-known microneedling tool, it’s not the only one that exists.
The dermastamp is another tool for microneedling that offers some benefits over the dermaroller.
Looking much like a traditional rubber stamp, the dermastamp is a rectangular block on the end of a handle. The stamp end of the block contains thin needles, just like the dermaroller.
This device is used for the same reasons as the dermaroller, and like the dermaroller, the stamp can also be used on the scalp and face.
The dermastamp is much easier to use if you’re self-administering a microneedling treatment, especially for hard-to-reach areas, such as the sides and back of the scalp.
Because the stamp is stable and non-rolling, there is less risk of damaging the surrounding hair follicles and removing healthy hair strands, which is a recurring problem with a dermaroller when hair gets tangled in the roller as it glides across your scalp.
Dermastamps are also adjustable, while a dermaroller is not. With a dermastamp, you can decrease and increase the needle length as necessary for best results.
Using a dermastamp gives you more control over pressure as you press it into your scalp, which is essential to avoid permanent damage to your hair follicles.
Is Dermarolling Safe for Everyone?
While dermarolling, when done correctly, is safe and effective for most people, there are some contraindications. Researchers have found that the following conditions preclude its use (24):
Patients with conditions such as vitiligo, lichen planus, and psoriasis should avoid home dermarolling as it may aggravate their disease. However, some researchers have used microneedling with topical latanoprost to treat vitiligo. This should be done under medical supervision only.
In patients with blood clotting disorders or who receive anticoagulant therapy like warfarin and heparin, dermarolling can cause uncontrolled bleeding.
Rosacea can be aggravated.
Check your scalp carefully for skin malignancy, moles, warts, and solar keratosis. Dermaroller needles may disseminate abnormal cells by implantation.
Other chronic skin diseases like eczema are aggravated by dermarolling
Patients who have a history of taken isotretinoin within 6 months
Infected areas such as sores from impetigo or herpes labialis should not be microneedled
Patients with a tendency toward keloid scarring
Patients on chemo or radiotherapy
While this list may seem extensive, most healthy individuals will have no issues associated with correct use of a dermaroller or dermastamp.
Even though this article was relatively extensive regarding the ins-and-outs of dermaroller/dermastamp use and its benefits for hair regrowth, you may still have unanswered questions.
Hopefully, these will be addressed here.
Which dermaroller should I choose?
There are many styles, shapes and sizes of dermaroller, but they essentially all do the same thing. What’s most important is to get a roller with high-quality metal pins.
Look for devices with pins made of surgical steel to ensure you’re getting the best quality.
Read reviews and testimonials online to determine which brands have durable, long-lasting needles.
Whats is the best size of dermaroller?
The best size dermaroller for use on your scalp is 1.0 mm. Needles smaller than 0.50 mm will have a reduced effect and those larger than 1mm could cause too much damage and actually promote hair loss. You may find that trying a few different sizes and finding which size you prefer is actually the best option.
Can the skin get infected from the dermaroller?
Infection is rare, but it is a distinct possiblity if you don’t properly steralise your device.
To avoid contamination, it’s very important to properly wash the dermaroller each time you use it. If the pins aren’t washed properly, you increase the chances of infection.
To cleanse your dermaroller, pour boiling water over the roller before using it, but make sure it cools before applying to your scalp.
You may also use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to cleanse the needles. Be sure to wash the alcohol off the roller before using it.
An antibacterial wash can also be used.
If irritation occurs, use your judgment about whether or not to continue. For extra caution, see a dermatologist to ensure you don’t have a lasting infection.
If you have a scalp infection before using the dermaroller, wait until this clears up before continuing.
Will the dermaroller pull any hairs out?
The tiny pins of the dermaroller are not long enough to damage any existing hair follicles, however you should monitor usage carefully to ensure it isn’t causing undue damage to the scalp.
Typically you’ll be using the dermaroller on an area of scalp that is already bald, or along the hairline where there are less hairs.
If you’re using the dermaroller for diffuse hair loss, then its important to make sure hair doesn’t get caught in the roller.
To make sure no hair tangles in the roller, use short strokes and move slowly and methodically across your scalp.
Remember to take your time for optimal results.
How do I clean the dermaroller?
As noted above, It’s important that you clean the dermaroller each time you use it to prevent infection. If the pins are dirty, you will increase your chances of getting an infection or irritating the skin.
To clean your dermaroller, use an antibacterial wash and mix with water in a mug. Place the dermaroller inside the mug and leave for 1 minute and swish around.
You can also use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to wash the roller. After you’ve cleansed with antibacterial wash or alcohol, remove the roller and rinse with boiling water.
Dry it thoroughly and place it back in its case or in a clean container.
How firmly do I press the derma roller into my scalp?
You should press it into your scalp firmly enough so that it penetrates the skin down to the depth of the pin.
This equates to a light pressure, similar to applying a roll-on deodorant. it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable but it may sting/tingle slightly.
You shouldn’t draw blood, and it shouldn’t leave any visible sign when viewed from 30cm away. For best results, use light pressure on the first round and gradually apply more pressure as you get comfortable with the tool.
What motion, direction and how many times should I apply the derma roller to my scalp?
You will want to get a good even covering of pin pricks which means using the roller in multiple directions across the scalp.
Starting with a small area of scalp, roll the dermaroller back and forth, then use a side-to-side motion over the same area, then finally go horizontally until the entire area has been covered.
This will ensure plentiful, even coverage in all your thinning areas.
Can this method be used for Alopecia Areata?
Yes, this method has been successfully used by researchers to improve hair growth in male and female patients with alopecia areata (25).
A dermaroller or dermastamp is a simple, safe, effective tool that will help you regrow more hair.
Used alone or in combination with commercial or naturally-prepared topical products, a dermaroller can boost the effectiveness of your current hair growth regimen.
The technique that makes dermarolling effective, microneedling, has been proven effective in regrowing hair in both men and women. This is a particularly useful technique for women, since it also helps combat diffuse hair loss — the type most commonly experienced by females.
Research further shows that men who did not do well on minoxidil therapy found microneedling an effective way to boost hair growth
These tools are inexpensive, easy to find, and scientifically proven to work — there’s no reason not to add one to your hair care toolkit today.
Minoxidil, commonly sold under the trade name Rogaine, has long been held as the “gold standard” for topical hair regrowth treatments.
And despite the many adverse side effects, men and women who struggle with hair loss still take their chances with the product on a daily basis (1).
Yet there are substances touted as “safe,” “natural,” and “effective,” by many online sources — but are they, really?
This article will delve deep into the research to determine which, if any, products can give you results equal to — or better than — minoxidil.
Before examining purported alternatives, it’s important to understand the mechanism by which minoxidil encourages hair growth.
In cases of androgenetic alopecia, the most common cause of hair loss among men and women, a build-up of di-hydrotestosterone (DHT) builds up at the base of the hair follicles, causing inflammation. As inflammation builds, circulation is affected and the hair stops receiving needed nutrients and oxygen (2).
Over time, this lack of nourishment leads to a phenomenon known as “hair miniaturization,” in which the hair gradually becomes thinner, weaker, and eventually stops being produced.
Minoxidil is believed to work by boosting circulation to the scalp and hair follicles, temporarily overriding the damage caused by DHT. As the hair follicles begin to receive nourishment again, they revive, and hair regrowth is seen (3).
Two things that are important to note about minoxidil: Results are temporary, that is, they disappear when you discontinue therapy, and there are adverse side effects.
With all these potential side effects, it’s no wonder many people search for a natural way of regrowing hair.
But are there any safe, natural therapies that are also effective?
Natural Alternatives to Minoxidil
If you look at the mechanism of hair loss, you’ll see that there are three main contributors to follicle damage and hair miniaturization: DHT build-up, resulting inflammation, and circulation restriction.
Minoxidil works by boosting circulation, but effective results can be found through therapies that reduce inflammation or work by reducing — or removing — DHT build-up on the scalp.
Let’s look at each category of alternatives, beginning with those that work in the same way as minoxidil — by increasing blood, nutrient, and oxygen circulation to the hair follicles.
Circulation Boosting Alternatives
Since minoxidil works directly to increase circulation to the scalp, one of the best ways to find a suitable alternative is to find a substance that replicates — or surpasses — this effect.
Fortunately, there are several all-natural, safe substances that have been scientifically proven to work as well as, or better than, minoxidil — without toxic side effects.
A native plant in Europe, peppermint (Mentha piperita) has been used around the world for food and health purposes. Some of the ways peppermint has been used are:
Essential oil for fragrance and cosmetics
And now a study has examined looked at the effect of peppermint oil on hair growth in mice (5).
Researchers divided the animals into four groups upon which were tested saline solution, jojoba oil, 3 percent minoxidil and 3 percent peppermint oil.
Out of these groups, the group receiving peppermint oil showed the greatest results including:
Increased follicle number
Increased dermal thickness
Increased follicle depth
Increased expression of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
No weight changes, food efficiency, or other toxic effects were noted in the peppermint oil group(6).
Another study showed that topical menthol had significant blood-vessel widening properties, which contributed to greater blood flow for increased circulation (7).
Another natural substance recently tested by researchers as a replacement for minoxidil topical therapy is lavender oil from the lavender (Lavandula) plant.
In an experiment similar to the one for peppermint oil, above, researchers found that lavender oil, at 5 percent concentration, produced results equal to the 3 percent minoxidil solution used as a contrast (8).
Additionally, the lavender oil groups did not exhibit an toxic changes, while there was an increased spleen weight noted in the minoxidil group (9).
An additional benefit to lavender oil is its use as an aromatherapy agent.
One randomized, double-blind study of aromatherapy for the treatment of alopecia areata found lavender oil, among others, to be beneficial for hair regrowth (10).
Another aromatic herb, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has been found to have hair growth qualities on the same magnitude as 2 percent minoxidil.
Researchers comparing the two substances found a similar increase in hair count at the end of the study period, with the subject assigned to rosemary oil experiencing significantly less scalp itching than the minoxidil group (11).
According to results, the rosemary group’s hair count increased nearly twice as much as the minoxidil group.
The oil from rosemary plants contains bioactive antioxidants including rosmarinic acid, ethanolic acid, 1,8-cineole, carnosic acid, and camphor. These compounds may have a number of effects on the growth of hair.
In fact, due to the combination of these bioactive agents, rosemary oil can help:
Besides helping to moderate oxidative stress, rosemary oil also exhibits hepatoprotective characteristics. That means that rather than being toxic, it protects your liver from other toxicity. (16)
Another way to increase the circulation to your scalp is through massage.
One Japanese study showed a significant increase in hair thickness after just 24 weeks of scalp massage for just four minutes each day (17).
This was attributed to the stretching of the dermal papilla, which contributed to gene expression that open potassium channels, and accelerate the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle. (18)
Although this experiment used a device to conduct the massage, the Panasonic EH-HM75-S, you can get similar results using your own hands.
Spread your fingers as wide as is comfortable and place each hand on the side of your head, reaching through the hair to your scalp.
Now, move your fingers in a circular motion using gentle pressure with the pads of your fingers.
Continue massaging the sides of your scalp for one to two minutes, and then slowly move your hands towards the crown (top) of your head.
Massage the crown for one to two minutes, and then place your fingers on your hairline. Begin massaging at the top center, above your forehead, and slowly work out to temples, keeping your fingers in the hairline area.
Move from the sides to the center of your hairline and back again for one to two minutes, then move your hands to the back of your scalp.
After you finish with one to two minutes of massage on the back of your scalp you can revisit previous areas if you feel you missed a spot or you need extra benefit in an area.
Not only will massage stimulate your scalp’s circulation, but it will provide stress relief, which is also important for people suffering from hair loss.
DHT Build-up Reducers
Minoxidil does nothing to tackle the root cause of androgenetic alopecia — the build-up of di-hydrotestosterone (DHT) on the scalp. (19)
When DHT accumulates on your scalp, it connects to the androgen receptors at the base of the hair follicles. For those sensitive to DHT, this leads to miniaturization of the hair follicles and, eventually, hair thinning and loss.
You can use natural products to block DHT or to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase to prevent the production of DHT (20).
Rosemary oil gives you a double-boost by increasing circulation, as shown previously, and by inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase.
Research has shown that rosemary oil is even more effective than finasteride in preventing DHT build-up (21).
To get rid of the DHT present in your scalp, try saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). This native American plant produces a substance that, according to research, can inhibit 5-alpha-reductase and prevent DHT from forming.
It can be taken orally or topically, and has also been found to have significant anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit scalp and hair health (22)(23).
Flax (Linum usitatissimum) seeds are packed full of plant lignans, a kind of polyphenol that has powerful benefits for your hair.
Flaxseed is by far the richest source of lignans, which are proven to balance hormones and aid in the blocking of DHT through the inhibition of 5-alpha-reductase (24)(25).
Moreover, in animal studies, flax seed was shown to have a positive effect on hair density and no adverse effects were noted, making it safe for consumption and topical use (26).
Both of the most recent studies showed that flaxseed supplementation had significant benefits for hair growth.
The first study measured the effects of various plant-based lignans on DHT. These plants included flaxseed, sesame, safflower, and soy (27).
The study was performed on castrated male rats, with a focus on prostate weight, as lowered weight indicates less androgenic activity.
Flax was connected with decreased prostate weight as well as lower testosterone levels — both strong indicators of 5-alpha-reductase inhibition.
Building on this, the second study specifically measured flaxseed’s hair growth benefits (28).
The group of animals that received flaxseed supplementation rather than just plain feed had improved length, width, and weight of hair.
Finally, flaxseeds hormone-balancing ability, while useful for men with androgenic alopecia, can also be of great benefit to women with this condition (29).
Best of all, flaxseed is delicious ground on cereals and in smoothies or, if you don’t like the taste, you can purchase flax oil capsules.
Another delicious source of 5-alpha-reductase-inhibiting lignans is the humble sesame seed.
These seeds were included in the 2013 study of plant-based lignans and their effect on testosterone levels that also included flaxseed.
The study showed sesame seeds were close to flaxseed’s effectiveness in reducing 5-alpha-reductase, along with safflower oil and soybean oil (30).
Sesame seeds and their oil are also versatile and easy to incorporate into a balanced diet. The seeds can be sprinkled on salads and stir frys and mixed into smoothies while the oil makes a delicious salad dressing and cooking oil.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is produced from the hulled pumpkin seed and it provides an incredibly rich source of hair-nourishing fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants.
Pumpkin seed oil has been proven to have powerful anti-inflammatory benefits (31). It is also anti-microbial, which is important if your hair loss has a bacterial component (32).
Pumpkin seed oil can be applied topically to provide gentle cleansing and maintain a healthy scalp.
However, for those looking to treat male-pattern baldness, ingested pumpkin seed oil has been scientifically proven to reduce the activity of 5-alpha-reductase (33).
In a study involving pumpkin seed oil, 76 male subjects with mild to moderate received either a supplement containing 400 mg of pumpkin seed oil per day while the other half received a placebo capsule.
At the end of the 24-week study, 44.1% of the men in the supplement group saw a mild-moderate improvement in hair growth. This same improvement was seen in only 7.7% of the placebo group.
While pumpkin seed oil was not the only ingredient present in the supplement studied, its strong anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties in concert with DHT blocking capability are all possible contributors to its efficacy in encouraging hair growth.
Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw, roasted, or sprinkles on salads and other foods. For those who prefer capsules, pumpkin seed oil is readily available in stores and online.
Green tea, besides being a delicious beverage, can also reduce inflammation, scavenge free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and contribute to hair regrowth (34)(35)(36)(37).
One study of mice given green tea extract in their drinking water showed a statistically significant hair growth after 6 months (38).
Green tea is a source of epigallocatechins (EGCG). These plant phenols show a variety of beneficial properties, one of which is the ability to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase (39)(40).
What is interesting about the catechins in green tea is that they are type 1 isoenzyme selective — that is, they work mainly upon the conversion of testosterone to 5 alpha DHT in skin.
The type 2 isoenzyme is the one finasteride works on, and it is found in the prostate, epididymis, and seminal vesicles (41).
Theoretically, this means that green tea could work more effectively upon hair follicles, since the dermal papilla are present in the skin (42)(43).
To reap the benefits of green tea supplementation, you could increase your tea intake or add in a green tea supplement.
The bark from the Pygeum africanum, a tree native to Africa, is a powerful DHT blocker. It’s been shown in numerous studies to reduce the symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)
BPH is an enlargement of the prostate, and DHT is a prime aggravator of the condition. When DHT is reduced, the enlarge prostate shrinks and symptoms are minimized (44).
In a study completed in 1998, pygeum bark was shown to play a part in the reduction of BPH symptoms (45).
Interestingly, one of pygeum’s constituents is beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol that’s also found in cashews, canola oil, almonds, and avocados.
Beta-sitosterol can assist in blocking DHT, leading to improved hair thickness and growth (46). It also helps boost scalp circulation, ensuring that vital nutrients and oxygen are available to nourish your hair follicles. (47)
An edible brown alga that’s found off the coasts of Japan and Korea, E. Cava is a promising new lead when it comes to the cessation of hair loss and growth of new hair.
Composed of polyphenols, this anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-packed alga is used commonly throughout Asia and consumed on a regular basis (48)(49).
While E. Cava may make a delicious addition to your soups, its topical use has been proven to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase and, therefore, DHT. When applied as a whole, E. Cava was shown to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase up to 61.5% (50).
Even better, though, was the inhibition results of the polyphenol extract dieckol. Dieckol is found in abundance within the alga. The highest concentration tested (100 mg/mL) actually proved to be just as effective as finasteride.
This means that E. Cava and its extracts are a good option to consider if you’re looking to block DHT and encourage the proliferation of new dermal papilla cells (51).
Some of the alternatives previously discussed help reduce inflammation as well as increase circulation or block DHT. These double-duty alternatives include:
Pumpkin seed oil
Flax seed oil
However, one of the best ways to fight inflammation in your scalp is to reduce the inflammation in your entire body.
To do this, you must eat an alkaline diet.
The Alkaline Diet
Having the correct pH (pH is a measure of acidity and alkalinity like Celsius and Fahrenheit are a measure of temperature) in our bodies is crucial to strong health because our cells, hormones, mitochondria and just about everything in our bodies work much more efficiently in the right conditions
Our natural and healthy pH is slightly alkaline 7.36 (52).
Useful enzymes and hormones must have precise alkaline conditions to be effective, whilst some destructive enzymes, hormones and diseases thrive under acidic conditions (53)(54).
There is research to support that eating an alkalizing diet — that is, one high in whole foods like fruits and vegetables — results in a reduction in whole-body inflammation (55).
In fact, ensuring that your body’s pH is on target increases dietary polyphenols, as an anti-inflammatory diet relies on a colorful array of fruits and non-starchy vegetables (56).
In addition, controlling the pH of your body is paramount for reducing inflammation and 5-alpha-reductase.
Studies have shown that the optimum pH range for type 2 5-alpha-reductase, the kind that appears in the typically balding areas of men’s scalps, is 5 to 5.5 (57).
Outside of this pH range this enzyme can’t function and do its job of binding to testosterone to make DHT.
That means if our bodies are more acidic, pH 7 or below, then the enzyme type 2, 5-alpha-reductase functions much more efficiently, creates more DHT, and consequently we lose more hair.
On the other hand, when we alkalize our bodies, the pH in our scalp becomes greater than 7. The enzyme can’t do its work of converting testosterone to DHT and, as a result, we experience less — or no — hair loss.
Our bodies evolved so that the foods we ate most often — fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts legumes, fish, meat — created the best conditions for our bodies and specifically our enzymes to function in.
When we eat processed or pasteurized foods like grains and dairy, our bodies are pushed out of balance.
To create an alkaline environment in your body to halt hair loss, you’ll need to consume foods with alkaline values over foods with acidic values.
The very best way to do this is through vegetable juicing and avoiding processed, acidic foods. Some examples of acid-producing foods are:
Processed or packaged foods
Grains, especially refined and GMO
Certain dairy products
Too much animal protein
Soda and other sugar-filled drinks
Refined white salt
Not only will eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables lower inflammation and help prevent the other processes associated with androgenetic alopecia, but it will provide proper nutrients to support body-wide health.
While minoxidil remains the most common topical product for hair loss, there are many natural alternatives that can provide the same — or better — results without the toxic side effects.
Minoxidil works by increasing circulation in your scalp, but effective alternatives focus on three ways of halting hair loss: boosting circulation, lowering inflammation, and blocking the production of DHT (58).
Among these alternatives to minoxidil therapy, you can choose topical treatments such as rosemary or lavender oils, or ones you ingest, such as pumpkin seed oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame seeds.
Finally, one enormous contributor to hair health and retention is to adopt an alkalizing diet heavy in non-starchy vegetables and fruits and low on processed, prepared foods, some types of dairy, salt, sugar, and grains.
For the more than 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States alone, androgenetic alopecia is a stark reality. (1)
At the root of this problem is the substance di-hydrotestosterone, or DHT, a derivative of the hormone testosterone.
And as much as it wreaks havoc with your hair, even topical treatments like minoxidil do nothing to block DHT from attacking your hair follicles.
But there are some ways you can remove DHT from your scalp to give your follicles what they need to grow and flourish.
To begin, let’s look at how DHT impacts your hair’s growth.
DHT and Your Hair
DHT is made from the naturally-occurring hormone, testosterone. DHT is formed when an enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase, or 5AR, converts testosterone into di-hydrotestosterone (2).
Lowering testosterone levels to control DHT is not an option. Whether you’re male or female, your body needs a certain amount of testosterone to function properly, and you don’t want to upset the natural balance of your hormone levels (3).
Men and women who suffer from male pattern baldness don’t necessarily have more DHT; instead, they have a sensitivity to it — one that causes their follicles to miniaturize and weaken (4).
So, although one approach to controlling DHT would be to control the amount of 5AR circulating in your body or to slow the action of the enzyme, a better option might be to reduce the sensitivity of your follicles to DHT.
This, in concert with topical ways of reducing your scalp’s level of DHT, can help your hair grow stronger and thicker (5).
However, in order to reduce your scalp’s DHT levels, you’ll need to make sure there’s no build-up of waste products or sebum on your scalp.
This excess debris, called a plaque, is quite common in people suffering with androgenic alopecia, and can block hair follicles and weaken hair growth.
What’s Causing Your Sebum Build-up?
There are several things that can be contributing to a build-up of hair-stifling plaque on your scalp. Let’s look at three of the most common.
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss, and it’s believed to be triggered by DHT, a natural hormone found within the body(6).
As mentioned, those suffering this condition are sensitive to the hormone, and this sensitivity triggers a process known as hair follicle miniaturization.
As hair miniaturization occurs, the sebaceous gland grows. A larger gland causes more oil to be produced, and sebum buildup becomes more likely (7).
As more sebum is present within the scalp, more DHT becomes trapped within the follicles. If untreated at the earliest signs, it can be difficult — or even impossible — to reverse (8).
High-fat, greasy foods are a large part of the modern Western diet. These can contribute significantly to the overproduction of sebum and can trigger irritation, inflammation, and blockage of the hair follicle.
In fact, studies show that the three largest dietary contributors to pore-blocking sebum production are (9):
Milk and dairy products
Saturated fats including trans-fats and deficient ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
The best way to keep your diet from interfering with your hair growth is to change how you eat.
You should cut out foods in the above categories and replace them with foods that are known to alkalize the bloodstream and, therefore, alkalize the scalp’s pH.
Alkalizing diets are low-glycemic diets, a way of eating proven to reduce sebum production, thereby reducing DHT accumulation on your scalp (10).
Poor or Improper Hygiene
It’s commonly believed that washing your hair too little can lead to an oily scalp, but the opposite is true. Washing your hair too much is more likely to cause overproduction of sebum (11).
When you wash your hair with shop-bought products, you strip your hair and scalp of natural oils. This means the sebum must be replaced, causing the sebaceous gland to activate.
Washing your hair too frequently leads to a constant production of sebum. This means you’ll need to wash your hair more often, continuing the cycle of overwashing.
There are two things you can do to break the cycle.
Wash your hair less often, four or less times per week
Use gentle shampoos with only natural ingredients
The ingredients in such shampoos are not as harsh, so your natural oils won’t be completely stripped away. Using gentle, natural shampoo cuts down on sebaceous gland activities, and ensures your scalp has the right amount of oil.
Step One: Scalp Exfoliation for Topical DHT Removal
In order to remove DHT from your scalp, you must first remove the waste products that have built up on the epidermis.
Without cleaning this debris, new hairs will be less likely to be able to push through, making it more difficult to grow strong hair.
By cleansing your scalp, you’ll be removing:
These substances mix together on your scalp and become a plaque that prevents hair growth and causes miniaturization of existing hair follicles.
If you are bald or your hair is thinning, you may notice the skin of your scalp becoming shiny. That shininess is evidence of a plaque of debris.
The plaque also contains DHT crystals that are secreted through the epidermis, creating a perpetually inhospitable environment for hair growth.
Removing this plaque is the object of exfoliation, a dermatological technique proven to remove dead cell build-up and waste by-products (12).
In fact, certain exfoliants have been used effectively to remove hardened sebum and cleanse the skin of your scalp (13).
There are several techniques you can use to effectively exfoliate the skin of your scalp to remove debris. They range from gentle acids to natural products that are safe enough to eat.
Any of these substances is safe for the skin of your scalp will not damage the roots of your hair. Hair follicles grow at a deeper layer that is unaffected by these types of topical solutions.
Salicylic acid is a gentle acid that’s miscible, or able to mix, with lipids like the sebaceous and epidermal liquids that surround your hair follicles (14).
In fact, studies show that salicylic acid can help shed dead cell buildup without affecting the normal functioning of your scalp’s cells (15).
Along with this, salicylic acid can stimulate the renewal and growth of new cells without damaging, or in any way affecting, nearby follicular cells. Being part of the compound that forms aspirin, it also provides anti-inflammatory benefits to your scalp and hair follicles (16)(17).
Still other studies show salicylic acid to have anti-fungal and anesthetic qualities, both of which can be useful in treating androgenetic alopecia (18).
To use salicylic acid as a scalp peel, shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly, then apply coconut oil to your scalp to moisturize and protect the scalp from the drying effects of the acid.
After 30 minutes, take an eye dropper and apply a solution of 15% salicylic acid to your scalp one section at a time. Be sure to cover areas that are thinning or have dandruff.
Leave the acid on your scalp for 10 minutes, then rinse well. If there is any salicylic acid left behind, just peel away.
This peel is safe enough for monthly use to keep your scalp free of plaque.
Natural Scalp Exfoliators
By far, the most effective way to remove the epidermis plaque is to use a homemade scalp exfoliator to gently and naturally remove the plaque making the method more effective.
There are several safe, effective ingredients that can be used to remove plaque build-up on your scalp.
This natural and minimally-processed salt is antibacterial, and can draw bacteria and mites from the pores of your scalp (19)
It is gently abrasive to help loosen the build-up of plaque without damaging your skin.
The salt also balances excess acidity in the scalp by neutralizing acids that may have formed and would otherwise be damaging the hair follicles.
Activated Powdered Charcoal
Activated charcoal is created by burning wood, coconut shells, or other debris — basically, any source of carbon.
The intense applied heat removes all oxygen to “activate” the charcoal with gases. This process then fills the final product with millions of tiny pores.
Activated powdered charcoal is a well-known cleansing agent because of its ability to adsorb toxins. Adsorption is different from absorption (20).
The tiny pores in charcoal cause the toxins to stick in their crevices and edges, or adsorb. This ability to draw out toxins not only aids in removing grease and impurities from your scalp, but helps with wound healing.
If you have any irritation on your scalp, charcoal can help soothe the inflammation and help it heal (21).
Activated charcoal, besides helping to remove impurities, is fairly ‘rough,’ meaning it can help to gently exfoliate the scalp by rubbing against any plaque and gently removing it (22).
The charcoal also helps to neutralize molds which can grow on the embedded plaque (23).
Lemon juice is a weak tricarboxylic acid that can break down oils, dead skin cells, and leftover cosmetics attached to the scalp (24).
The citric acid contained in the lemon juice is a powerful, but gentle, cleanser that removes flaky skin and cleans the pores without damaging hair or scalp.
Studies show that lemon oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. These can help soothe any inflammation or scalp irritation present (25).
The active ingredient in ginger juice, 6-gingerol, has amazing therapeutic properties — including the boosting of blood circulation, which is essential for scalp health (26).
In addition, a study published by Xu Y, entitled Dermatology in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Donica Publishing Ltd.; 2004) successfully used an herbal mixture including ginger root to treat androgenetic alopecia.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is important in providing an environment for the synthesis of extracellular matrix molecules and in encouraging healthy epidermal cell interaction with the surrounding environment (27).
Hyaluronic acid modulates allergic reactions and boosts cellular immunity. It’s also crucial for tissue regeneration and health cell turnover (28)(29).
Importantly, it can hold a large amount of moisture for hydrated skin. As we age, we lose HA in our skin, contributing to dry skin and wrinkles.
Using HA on your scalp can prevent dry, itchy scalp and decrease allergic inflammation (30)(31).
Emu oil is a potent anti-inflammatory with anti-fungal capabilities. It is clinically effective in improving scalp conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, and can be a useful adjunct in preparing your scalp for a topical DHT blocker (28).
In addition, it’s well-known that alpha linoleic and gamma linoleic fatty acids help inhibit 5-alpha reductase from making DHT.
Oleic acid is also a known 5-alpha-reducatase inhibitor, but in most forms, like flaxseed oil, its large molecules can’t penetrate the skin to reach the follicle (32).
Emu oil consists of primarily oleic acid with about 20 percent linoleic acid and a small percentage of linolenic acid. In addition, it’s an effective anti-inflammatory with good skin penetration (33)(34).
Step Two: Reducing DHT Sensitivity
There are several things that can affect your follicles’ sensitivity to DHT.
Understanding how your body reacts to DHT will allow you to take measures to offset this sensitivity through proper nutrition and hormone balance.
Proper Nutrition to Lower DHT Sensitivity
Hippocrates once said, “Let your food be your medicine.” This is especially true for those suffering from androgenetic alopecia.
What you put in your body has an enormous impact on the growth and health of your hair. If you’re trying to regrow hair or prevent hair thinning, you need to think carefully about the foods you eat.
For some, hair loss from eating certain foods can be as a result of a subtle allergic response, as in food sensitivities.
Rather than a severe allergy, as sometimes induced by foods such as tree nuts, shellfish, and even eggs, food sensitivities cause low-level inflammation that persists over days, weeks, and month (35).
While inflammation may be unnoticeable, over time it is cumulative, and can wreak damage to many systems of your body, including your hair follicles.
Also, food sensitivity may crop up at any time. New research has found a link between common reoviruses and sensitivities to food proteins (36).
For many, specific foods have an strong impact on hair and follicle health because they make the environment of your body acidic — an environment in which DHT thrives.
Alkalizing Blood to Lower DHT Sensitivity
After our body metabolizes the foods we eat, there is a leftover substance known as metabolic waste.
This waste is either acidic or alkaline in nature, depending on what sort of food was eaten. Sometimes, the process is counter-intuitive. Just because a food is acidic in nature doesn’t mean it will leave acidic waste.
For example, lemons are acidic, but have a highly alkalizing effect on the body.
Our body has evolved eating certain foods that leave an overall stable and healthy pH. But, due to our modern diets, the foods we eat are often heavily weighted on the acidic side of the spectrum.
Many of the foods found in our modern diet — grains, meat, dairy, and refined sugars — are acid-forming. After habitually consuming large quantities of these foods, your body becomes more acidic.
A recent study showed that, in the scalp, alkaline conditions inhibited the effect of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase converting testosterone into DHT, reducing the likelihood of hair loss taking place (37) I believe this is the study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9068725 THANKS, STEPH!
This means eating an alkalizing diet to keep your body at its correct pH — 7.4 pH is healthy — will minimize DHT in the scalp (38).
The foods that are most alkalizing are mainly fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, grasses, and raw, soaked nuts and seeds.
Shifting your diet from acid-forming foods to alkalising foods will naturally lower the DHT levels in your scalp.
Reducing the Allergy/Immune Response to Lower DHT Sensitivity
Allergies and autoimmue responses lead to increased hair follicle sensitivity to DHT.
For some, hair loss from eating certain foods can be as a result of a subtle allergic response, as in food sensitivities.
While inflammation may be unnoticeable, over time it is cumulative, and can wreak damage to many systems of your body, including your hair follicles (39).
One of the most prevalent food sensitivities is to gluten, the protein found in grains. It’s called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and can present a host of problems such as heartburn, indigestion, gas, diarrhea, and others. (40)
Also, many people are sensitive to dairy, a condition known as lactose-intolerance. This condition can also be sub-clinical, particularly in overweight people, causing oxidative stress and inflammation quietly (41)(42).
I would also be sure to mention dairy, even if only briefly DONE- SEE ABOVE
While this is the most widely-studied food sensitivity, there are plenty of others.
Everybody responds to these delayed allergic reactions differently. For some, the allergies can increase sensitivity to DHT.
The best way to determine if you’re having any food sensitivities is through an elimination diet, where you remove suspect foods completely from your diet for at least four weeks, then reintroduce them to gauge your body’s reaction (43).
Balancing Blood Sugar Levels to Lower DHT Sensitivity
Blood sugar level spikes are another dietary mistake that can cause sensitivity to DHT leading to hair loss.
Studies show that androgenetic alopecia is associated with metabolic disorder and insulin resistance — both disorders having do with blood sugar (44).
Another study showed a causal link betwen hyperglycemia, Type 2 diabetes, and hair fall. Even if you don’t have diabetes, the research is clear in presenting a link between high blood sugar levels and thinning hair (45).
This means that a good hair-promoting diet would be high in low-glycemic foods and contain few or no products with added sugars.
Step Three: Blocking DHT from Accumulating
Once you’ve removed as much DHT from your scalp as possible and you’ve begun eating clean to promote good hair health from within, you can add some natural topical DHT blockers to your hair growth regimen to accelerate results.
Natural DHT Blockers
It’s important to use natural products on your hair to minimize side effects and adverse reactions.
There are a few research studies which highlight the anti-androgen activities of saw palmetto.
One of the most in-depth studies showed a combination of gelatin-cystine and saw palmetto was effective in reducing free radical levels and inducing hair growth (46)
This study followed 48 volunteers (24 male and 24 female) as they applied lotion (either active or placebo) over a period of 50 weeks.
Some participants (12) also took an oral supplement which did not contain saw palmetto, but did contain gelatin-cystine.
All of the patients were previously diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia, ranking anywhere from a stage III to IV on the Norwood-Hamilton scale.
The 48 volunteers were split into five groups:
Group 1: Active lotion A;
Group 2: Inactive (placebo) lotion B;
Group 3: Active diet supplement C;
Group 4: Inactive (placebo) diet supplement D; and
Group 5: Active lotion A and active diet supplement C
There is no “one size fits all” formula for hair regrowth since there can be many causes for thinning hair. For some people, an insidious nutritional deficiency might be at the core of their hair loss problems.
And for that segment of the population, there’s a safe, natural product that can help reduce thinning and help regrow hair — it’s called magnesium oil.
This article will explain how and why it works using proven, scientific evidence. It will also discuss the benefits of using magnesium oil, and how to use it properly to grow — and maintain — your hair.
Why Magnesium is Important to You — And Your Hair
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps with over 300 essential processes in your body, including blood glucose and blood pressure regulation, protein synthesis, and nerve and muscle control (1).
Although most of the magnesium in your body (50 to 60 percent) is found in your bones, about one percent is accounted for in blood serum, with the rest inhabiting your soft tissues (2).
Despite its essential function, magnesium deficiency is rampant in today’s populations, both due to soil depletion and poor dietary habits (3).
Signs of magnesium deficiency can range from subtle (4):
Obviously, magnesium can have a profound impact on your body. But it can also have an important — and impactful — effect on your hair.
Magnesium is, in part, responsible for the protein synthesis that contributes to healthy cell growth and “ripening.” In addition, it contributes to the repression of inflammation that can be associated with hair shedding(6)(7).
There is also reason to suspect that magnesium can be a potent weapon in combating scalp calcification — a leading cause of scalp conditions that contribute to hair loss and shedding.
Magnesium, Inflammation, and Hair Loss
Inflammation is your body’s natural reaction to foreign invaders, injury, and trauma.
Magnesium deficiency has been found to be a culprit in widespread chronic inflammation, and supplementation with magnesium is critical in subduing the inflammatory process (8).
While some inflammation is necessary, chronic inflammation can cause a host of undesirable health consequences, one of which is hair loss (9).
When inflammation is present in the scalp, microscopic changes show lymphocytic folliculitis present at the base of hair follicles (10).
What this means is that the inflammatory process is contributing to the deposit of various substances, like calcium, fat, and platelets into the scalp and follicles in an attempt to control the inflammation.
Magnesium can efficiently disrupt the cycle of inflammation to help scalp and follicles return to normal. In addition, magnesium has an impact on up-regulation and down-regulation of certain genes, some of which are related to the regulation of inflammatory pathways (11).
Importantly, magnesium supplementation has wide-ranging anti-inflammatory benefits, with extracellular magnesium standing out as the most important form for protection against inflammation (13).
This means that for the large number of people whose hair loss is caused or exacerbated by inflammation, magnesium can slow, halt, and even reverse the inflammatory process to allow hair regrowth to recur.
Magnesium, Calcification, and Hair Loss
Along with inflammation comes a build-up of calcium and other substances that can cause plaques on your scalp that inhibit hair growth.
In this mechanism, poor circulation due to calcification keeps follicles from receiving nutrients and oxygen through blood flow and contributes to a build-up of DHT, free radicals, and other substances that block the natural functions of your hair’s follicles.
Studies show that excess calcium in the blood contributes to mineralization (in other words, calcification) of follicle tissue when inflammatory changes are present (12).
Tap water commonly contributes to calcification.
Magnesium is important in controlling calcium imbalance. This is accomplished, in part, by regulation of three important hormones in your body — the parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, and vitamin D (13).
Through this regulation, magnesium prevents and reverses soft tissue calcification by removing excess calcium from the bloodstream and transporting it to your bones to help build strong bone material (14).
One study showed that magnesium has a powerful effect on calcified tissues, effectively reversing the process and returning the tissue to normal, healthy function. In this study, the magnesium was applied topically over calcifications in joints, ligaments, and tendons (15).
Over the 20 week study, most calcifications disappeared entirely (16).
As scientific evidence for the efficacy of topical magnesium has mounted, it has earned a new name: transdermal magnesium therapy (17).
Topically-Applied Magnesium Oil and Hair Regrowth
You can see how important magnesium is to both controlling the inflammation that causes hair loss and preventing and reversing the scalp calcification that prevents new, healthy hair from growing.
Fortunately, getting magnesium into your hair care routine is a simple and cost-effective way to encourage new hair growth.
Magnesium oil in not a “true” oil. Instead, it is a solution of magnesium chloride flakes dissolved in water that takes on an oily feel when prepared. On average, magnesium oil provides approximately 2400 mg of magnesium per ounce when applied topically.
One ounce (30 ml) should be enough to deliver powerful benefits to your scalp and hair follicles. Make sure to apply a dilute amount in a small area first, to test your sensitivity.
If your magnesium oil comes in a pour bottle, you might consider decanting it into a spray bottle to cover a larger area of your scalp with a more even distribution of product, although this is entirely a personal decision.
The best way to apply magnesium oil for hair growth is to combine application with a scalp massage, which will stimulate circulation.
Increased circulation brings blood closer to the scalp’s surface where it can access the magnesium and transport it to your skin’s cell matrix to encourage growth.
It’s common to feel a tingling sensation when applying the oil. Don’t panic — this is a sign the magnesium is stimulating circulation and the sensation should eventually disappear.
After massaging it in, leave the oil on your scalp for at least 30 minutes before wiping or washing it off. Don’t leave it on for more than 30 minutes, however, or it could have a dehydrating effect on your scalp and hair.
Repeat this process a few times a week. If you want, you can use it daily to accelerate results.
Depending on the current ratio of magnesium to calcium in your body, it may take weeks, months, or years to see results.
Increasing the Effectiveness of Topical Magnesium Oil for Hair Regrowth
One of the best — and most effective — ways of increasing the effectiveness of your topical magnesium oil solution is to find a way to get it deep within the dermal structures of the scalp.
That’s where an inexpensive and easy-to-use device — the dermaroller — comes into play.
A dermaroller is a small, metal drum-like roller with tiny, hair-thin sharpened pins attached. When you roll the device over the surface of your scalp, the tiny needles penetrate the skin to cause mild damage to skin’s surface.
A similar device, the dermastamp, is a handle with fixed (non-rolling) pins. Because the device doesn’t roll, it gives you more control and is less likely to tear nearby hair.
When the cells of your scalp are damaged in this way, your body rushes to increase blood flow to the area, increasing circulation as well as absorption and distribution of the magnesium oil.
As an added benefit, your body increases cell production in the wounded area, further aiding hair regrowth.
When using the dermaroller technique with magnesium oil, be sure to wait at least three hours between use of the dermaroller and application of the magnesium oil to prevent discomfort.
Hair Regrowth from the Inside Out — Supplementing with Magnesium
Because there are studies supporting magnesium’s anti-calcification and anti-inflammatory benefits for both topical and oral magnesium, you should use both for best hair regrowth results (17)(11).
Taking an oral magnesium supplement has many benefits for your health in addition to increased hair growth, including the prevention of (18):
The daily recommended amount of magnesium for adults in 400 mg. Magnesium is available in foods like (18):
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
Fruit, particularly figs, avocado, raspberries, and bananas
Nuts and seeds
Black and kidney beans, chickpeas
Peas, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, artichokes, brussels sprouts
Tuna, salmon, mackerel
However, today’s modern diet, full of fast and processed foods, means that most people don’t get a sufficient amount of magnesium from the foods they eat.
Therefore, it’s important to take a magnesium supplement daily for optimal hair and body health.
One of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium is magnesium citrate, which studies show is more effective than magnesium oxide and magnesium chelate. Magnesium orotate is another well-tolerated form of magnesium with proven health benefits (19)(20).
It’s best to take your magnesium in the evening, because it contributes to feelings of calm and a restful sleep. (21)
Spotlight: Adding Magnesium to Your Hair Care Regimen
This article has already discussed two important things you can do to help incorporate magnesium in the form of oil into your hair care routine — scalp massage and dermarolling (also called microneedling).
Now, we’ll take a closer look at both of these techniques and explore the scientifically-proven reasons behind the good results they produce for sufferers of androgenetic alopecia.
Scalp massage is an easy, non-invasive way to stimulate your scalp and increase circulation to your hair follicles. Increased circulation has many benefits, and one of them is to more efficiently transport topical agents like magnesium oil into the skin.
To massage your scalp, you can use the pads of your fingers in a circular, rhythmic motion. You can even pinch the skin lightly to increase scalp mobility and flexibility.
If you wish, you can purchase inexpensive scalp massagers online that might help you to massage longer for maximum benefits.
Best of all, this simple technique is scientifically proven to increase hair thickness with just four minutes of daily massage over a 24-week period of time (22).
Researchers noted that the mechanical stress (massage) caused the dermal papilla cells of the scalp to increase stem cell action through gene expression (23).
Scalp Massage: A Primer
Fortunately, learning scalp massage doesn’t require classes or expensive equipment. All you need is a few minutes of time and your own two hands.
Here’s a brief overview of one effective way to massage your scalp.
Spread your fingers as wide as is comfortable and place each hand on the side of your head, reaching through the hair to your scalp.
Now, move your fingers in a circular motion using gentle pressure with the pads of your fingers.
Continue massaging the sides of your scalp for one to two minutes, and then slowly move your hands towards the crown (top) of your head.
Massage the crown for one to two minutes, and then place your fingers on your hairline. Begin massaging at the top center, above your forehead, and slowly work out to temples, keeping your fingers in the hairline area.
Move from the sides to the center of your hairline and back again for one to two minutes, then move your hands to the back of your scalp.
After you finish with one to two minutes of massage on the back of your scalp you can revisit previous areas if you feel you missed a spot or you need extra benefit in an area.
Adding magnesium oil to your massage routine is an excellent way to provide your hair with two hair re-growing benefits: increased circulation and magnesium oil.
Microneedling with a Dermaroller
Earlier, this article discussed the benefits of using a dermaroller to increase absorption of magnesium oil in your scalp.
Microneedling is a safe, easy, minimally-invasive therapeutic technique that was originally used for skin rejuvenation. After much study, however, microneedling was found to be effective in a number of clinical applications, including (23):
Burn scar treatment
Stretch mark removal
Drug delivery (penetration through skin)
Notice that microneedling works for both alopecia (hair loss) and providing increased delivery of drugs (or any solution) through skin penetration.
This makes microneedling therapy the perfect adjunct for delivering magnesium oil to the skin of your scalp for increased absorption and better hair regrowth results.
With microneedling, a specialized tool called a dermaroller or dermastamp is rolled across the scalp to mike tiny wounds in your skin.
As these wounds heal, they go through a three-stage process which involves:
This can aid in an increase in new skin cells as well as the development of collagen. Studies show that collagen in essential in the regeneration of new hair follicles and has been associated with an increase in hair growth (24,)(25).
Most importantly, microneedling has been proven to be effective in inducing hair growth in humans. Microneedling increases growth factors and stimulates stem cells in hair follicles.
One study showed that adding microneedling to a Minoxidil therapy regimen produced better hair regrowth results that Minoxidil alone (26).
If you’d like to add microneedling into your routine, here’s how.
First, you’ll need to choose a tool. Currently, the two most popular for home use are the dermaroller and the dermastamp.
Most of the studies conducted on microneedling used a dermaroller, but if you choose to use this tool you must be extra careful when rolling it across your scalp.
The dermaroller is contains needles placed on a wide, rolling drum. You roll the needles over the scalp, and the needles puncture the skin. You must be careful not to use it too energetically, because it can dislodge nearby hairs and puncture too deeply.
On the other hand, the dermastamp, a tool with needles placed on a square or rectangular block at the end of a handle, like a traditional rubber stamp, gives you much more control over the process.
To use the dermastamp, you just snug it against your scalp and press lightly down. The lack of back-and-forth movement allows you to target an area more effectively without the chance for accidental damage.
Microneedling may be a bit uncomfortable, but it should never be painful. A painful treatment means your needle is too long or you are applying undue pressure.
Best results are seen when you start with a scalp that’s clean and free of sweat, sebum, and product build-up. To properly cleanse your scalp, use a salicylic acid peel to remove any layer of build up that’s present.
This requires you to apply coconut oil to the scalp for 30 minutes, and then add a few drops of salicylic acid (15% solution or less). After 10 minutes, rinse and peel away the excess salicylic acid.
Next, using the tool of your choice, apply it to the area of hair thinning and apply pressure.
If you’re using a roller, roll over the area in different directions (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal) four to five times. If using the stamp, place the tool in different directions upon each pressing.
Repeat this on all areas of hair loss.
You should then clean the tool (using an antibacterial wash and boiling water) so it’s ready for your next session.
If you’re using magnesium oil, wait until eight to 12 hours after you’ve completed your microneedling session. This will give your scalp time to begin to heal, but the wounds will still be delicate enough where oil can easily penetrate.
While it’s possible to get remarkable results from adding magnesium, both oral and topical, to your hair care regimen, you should have realistic expectations regarding this therapy.
For example, if magnesium deficiency is not playing a part in your individual hair loss situation, you may see minimal — or no — results from supplementation.
However, since magnesium is relatively well-tolerated, adding it is an easy and healthy way to potentially boost the effectiveness of your current regimen.
Magnesium oil can be a powerful tool to fight hair loss, encourage regrowth and hair thickening, and contribute to overall health. Best of all, magnesium is a safe, effective, and natural substance that your body needs for optimal health.
You can easily add magnesium to your hair regrowth regimen by applying the oil directly to your scalp with a circulation-boosting scalp massage or after a microneedling treatment you can do at home.
It’s best to supplement with oral magnesium as well, so you are treating your hair loss from the inside and the outside. However, remember that if your hair loss isn’t stemming from, or exacerbated by, a magnesium deficiency you may have limited results.
Magnesium oil is readily available from online sources or you can make your own by mixing equal parts of magnesium chloride flakes with distilled water.
A therapy this simple and effective is a must-have for anyone who is experiencing hair thinning or loss.
While stopping hair loss is a major concern for people experiencing shedding and balding, stimulating new hair growth is perhaps even more important. But it’s also a more difficult step, and one that requires a bit more patience and persistence.
This article will introduce the variety of natural ways to both stop hair fall and stimulate growth. These can be used to treat some of the most common causes of balding, including Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), and perhaps even reverse its effects.
Hair Loss: A Quick Overview
What is the main cause of hair loss, and can it be reversed?
These are the questions that thousands of hair loss sufferers ask everyday, and it’s also one that scientists and drug manufacturers have been researching for years.
Unfortunately, the answers aren’t so clear cut. That’s because hair thinning and balding can occur for many reasons and regrowth of lost hair is dependent on many factors.
However, the most common cause of hairline recession and balding is Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), also known as Male-Pattern Baldness (MPB) (1). It affects 30-50 percent of men by age 50, but it can also occur in women known as female-pattern hair loss. Interestingly, the exact cause is still unknown.
There’s quite a bit of debate surrounding this topic, though most researchers believe there is a combination of factors. These may include (2, 3):
Lack of blood flow to the scalp
Sensitivity to DHT
In particular, the theory of sensitivity to DHT has a lot of credence and is believed by many doctors to be the cause. After all, DHT sensitivity has been shown to miniaturize the follicles and this can reduce blood flow (4).
Eventually, the follicle will have no access to nutrients and oxygen, which will further miniaturize the hairs until they can no longer be produced.
Fortunately, there are plenty of natural methods and ingredients that can help you to stimulate hair growth.
Use a Dermastamp
Microneedling is a technique often used by dermatologists and even general practitioners to reduce signs of scarring and even wrinkles (5, 6). However, did you know it can also be used to stimulate hair growth (7)?
The method involves the use of tiny needles which puncture the scalp. As the small wounds heal, a three-step process occurs all without scarring (8):
And while the technique may seem counterintuitive, it does have proven benefits!
Foremost, microneedling works because it induces collagen production which is crucial for the hair growth process (9). It also stimulates new cell production, which is required within the hair follicles (10).
These concepts were both proven in a 2013 study that compared microneedling + minoxidil to a minoxidil-only group (7). At the end of the 12-week study, the group that received both microneedling and minoxidil saw benefits greater than the group to receive just minoxidil.
How to Use the Dermastamp
The dermastamp is a microneedling tool that consists of a rectangular block with micro needles on the end of a handle. It’s pressed against the scalp to induce the process mentioned above.
To use the tool, clean the scalp with a gentle shampoo. Then press gently into the targeted area of hair loss, and hold in place for a few seconds. Repeat the pressing vertically, horizontally, and then diagonally.
You can place the stamp in areas of balding or even in areas with thinning.
To clean the stamp, you can wipe off the needles and block with an alcohol wipe or soak in an antibacterial soap and then rinse after a few minutes. You may repeat the procedure once per week.
Practice Scalp Massage and Exercises
The dermastamp is a great way to increase blood flow to the scalp while also stimulating new cell production. However, there are two other practices which you should be sure to incorporate into your hair care routine – scalp massage, and exercises.
These techniques can be performed daily and they work by increasing blood flow as well as stretching the Dermal Papilla Cells (DPCs) (11). These help to naturally stimulate the follicles.
How to Perform Scalp Massage
There are two ways to massage your scalp. The option you choose is up to you, as it’s largely a matter of preference.
With a Scalp Massager
A scalp massage is a metal tool with rubber caps that can be used to massage the scalp in multiple places at once. To use, place the massager on the outer edges of your hairline and around the scalp, and slowly move the tool up and down.
With Your Fingers
While the scalp massager can be useful, it isn’t the most effective at targeting specific areas of the scalp. To do that, you can use your fingertips.
Begin by placing your thumb, index, and middle fingers on the sides of your scalp. Use gentle, circular motions to move your fingers around the area, and then slowly move them towards the crown.
Continue these movements for one to two minutes in each location, and then move onto the hairline, back to the sides of the head, and finally to the base of the skull.
In total, the massage should take 10 minutes per session.
How to Perform Scalp Exercises
To further increase blood circulation and to reduce tension, scalp exercises can also be included in your hair care routine. These will help to improve skin elasticity as well.
To perform scalp exercises, place your thumb and index finger on your scalp a few inches apart. Gently pull your thumb and index fingers together without lifting them from the skin. You can then slowly increase the distance between the fingers until they’re back in their original positions.
These movements will slowly stretch the skin. You can also use your muscles – namely, your eyebrow muscles – to further induce stretching. Here’s how.
Using your eyebrows, slowly lift them up towards the hairline as high as they can go. Hold in place for one minute, and then return them to neutral position. You can repeat this movement 5 – 10 times per session.
Next, furrow your eyebrows deeply and hold in place for one minute. Return them to neutral position, and repeat as needed.
You can also alternate exercises, first by lifting your brows and then furrowing them without stopping in the neutral position first.
Add Essential Oils to Your Routine
Essential oils are the by-products of plants and usually come from the flowers, seeds, or berries. They are used in a variety of industries and they’ve recently become more popular among health enthusiasts.
In terms of hair growth, there are various essential oils which can be used to stop hair loss and perhaps even reverse it.
Best of all, essential oils can be used in your scalp massage routine for additional benefit.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin Seed Oil (PSO) is extracted from the hulled pumpkin seed and it’s one of the more nutrient-dense oils on this list. It includes antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and minerals, and its nutty flavor and aroma make it a popular addition in foods and cosmetics (12, 13).
As far as health benefits go, PSO runs the gamut. The oil is proven as both an anti-diabetic and anti-carcinogen, and its also an effective anti-inflammatory (14, 15, 16). But what about its use in treating hair loss?
If its many health properties aren’t enough, there’s also been a study that shows that PSO may contribute to significant hair regrowth in men with AGA (17).
This 24-week study – published in 2014 – consisted of 76 male subjects with mild to moderate AGA. One half of the participants were given a daily supplement containing PSO, among other ingredients, while the other half was given a placebo.
The supplement Octa-Sabal Plus, which contains pumpkin seed powder but also other beneficial components. These include Octacosanol (from vegetable powder), Gamma linolenic acid (from evening primrose), and Lycopene (from tomato powder).
To keep track of hair changes throughout the study, including hair counts and diameter, phototrichography was used.
As was suspected by researchers, the group to receive the PSO-containing supplement saw significant increases in hair count over the placebo group. This was theorized to be due to the inhibition of 5AR.
Does this mean that PSO is the answer to hair loss? No.
However, it does show that PSO and the other ingredients within the supplement may have contributed to growth. And while further studies are needed, PSO’s other health benefits can still be received from topical application to the scalp.
Peppermint is a plant hybrid of spearmint and watermint and it’s known most commonly for its minty fresh scent. However, Peppermint Essential Oil (PEO) has also been proven beneficial in the treatment of various health ailments, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and muscle and nerve pain (18, 19).
But what is it that makes PEO so intriguing to sufferers of male-pattern baldness?
Well, it also has numerous properties that may contribute to the health of the scalp, and even hair growth.
Namely, PEO may be useful in stimulating anagen phase and increasing cutaneous blood flow wherever it’s applied (20). Though, its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties may also be appealing to the hair loss community (21, 22, 23).
However, one study did show it to be effective in treating hair loss in mice directly (24).
The study was performed in 2014, and it consisted of 20 male mice split into four groups. The mice were shaved (to standardize telogen phase) and then were given one of the following applications:
Jojoba Oil (JO)
3% Minoxidil (MXD)
3% Peppermint Essential Oil (PEO)
The mice received these topical applications for six days per week over a period of four weeks.
To track results, photos were taken throughout the four weeks. They were then categorized as follows:
0: no hair growth
1: less than 20% growth
2: 20% to less than 40% growth
3: 40% to less than 60% growth
4: 60% to less than 80% growth
5: 80% to 100% growth
Skin biopsies were also taken, which was helpful in seeing the hair follicles.
In the end, it was the minoxidil and peppermint oil groups that saw the most hair growth beginning at week 2 and continuing throughout the study. The saline and jojoba oil groups saw minimal growth.
Even further, the mice to receive peppermint oil had ongoing hair growth. This indicates that peppermint oil was able to induce anagen phase.
But can these results be useful for humans? The researchers certainly think so.
As they concluded, “PEO effectively stimulated hair growth in an animal model via several mechanisms and thus could be used as a therapeutic or preventive alternative medicine for hair loss in humans.”
An oil extracted from the Rosmarinus officinalis plant, rosemary oil has been found to be useful in the treatment of various ailments. More specifically, studies have shown it to be helpful in stimulating hair growth for patients with Alopecia Areata (AA) and AGA (25, 26).
The first study, published in 1998, consisted of 84 subjects with AA divided into two groups (25). The first group received received daily scalp massages with an essential oil blend containing thyme, rosemary, lavender, and jojoba among others. The second group received daily scalp massages with carrier oils (such as jojoba and grapeseed) only.
So, how did patients respond to the treatment?
At the end of the seven-month study, 44 percent of the participants in the treatment group saw improvement (i.e. reduction in the size of bald patches). This was compared to 15% in the placebo group.
And while this doesn’t definitively link rosemary oil to the treatment of hair loss, it does provide hope to essential oil users.
But what about in the treatment of AGA?
In 2015, researchers recruited 100 male AGA patients for a study which would compare the efficacy of rosemary oil and minoxidil 2% (26). The men were split into two groups of fifty, and the patients received either rosemary oil or minoxidil 2% for six months.
To track progress, a microphotographic assessment was taken at baseline, three months, and six months.
As was expected, hair growth was seen in the minoxidil group at both three months and six months. However, growth was also significant in the rosemary oil group.
And even more importantly, the difference between growth amounts wasn’t significant for either the rosemary oil or minoxidil group.
So, what does this mean? As researchers concluded, “the findings of the present trial provided evidence with respect to the efficacy of rosemary oil in the treatment of AGA.”
While magnesium oil is actually a carrier oil, it’s too good of a topical not to be mentioned.
Magnesium oil is a combination of magnesium chloride flakes and water. It’s able to be absorbed transdermally, but can also be taken orally (27).
So, why should magnesium oil be used on the scalp? The answer is calcification.
Calcification is the accumulation of calcium deposits in areas where calcium is not usually present – for example the scalp. This is most often due to an excess of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), but may also be from external sources (such as tap water) (28). As the calcium builds up on the scalp, it begins to harden the tissues (29).
As you might imagine, this makes it rather hard for hair to grow. And, in the case of hypercalcemia, it also begins to cut off the blood supply to the follicles (as the calcium plaque is formed.
In short, calcification is a no-go if you want to grow your hair.
Interestingly, magnesium oil has been shown to reduce calcification in smooth bovine muscle tissue (30). This means when applied topically, it may help to reduce calcification of the scalp.
Will this reverse hair loss completely?
Unfortunately, calcification is often a sign of long-term hair loss. If the follicles have been exposed to calcium deposits for too long, and they’ve been unable to function, they may have died.
However, the magnesium application can still help to break down tough tissues and give your follicles a fighting chance. Even better, since magnesium oil is a carrier, you can use it in combination with any of the above-mentioned oils.
Improve and Alkalize Your Diet
While topicals such as essential oils can help to stimulate hair growth, it’s also important to work from the inside, out. This means focusing on your overall health and nutrition, so that your hair and other non-essential organs will receive the nutrients and minerals they require.
In short, the foods you eat are essential to your overall wellbeing. If you’re eating poorly, then your non-essential organs will be neglected and this can result in numerous symptoms, including hair fall.
This is where minerals, nutrients, and alkalization come into play.
Foremost, a balanced diet will enable you to receive the nutrients that your body desperately needs. So, what nutrients in particular should you focus on?
Increase Nutrients and Minerals
While there are many nutrients that play a role in hair growth, there are a few which play a more significant role. These include:
Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Zinc and selenium
And while nutrient deficiencies are rare in developed countries, they can occur as a result of poor diet, undiagnosed medical issues, and medications (31, 32, 33).
You can increase these nutrients by simply increasing your dietary intake, or with the use of a supplement.
Alkalize Your Diet
As mentioned previously, there are many factors that contribute to hair loss (and AGA specifically). One such factor is blood pH levels, which can contribute to increased activity of 5AR if too acidic (34).
This is because the human body functions optimally on the more alkaline side of the pH scale, falling between 7.35 and 7.45 (35). Diet is one factor that alters pH levels, and the more acidic the diet the more acidic the levels.
As such, it makes sense that consuming more alkaline foods will alkalize the bloodstream and return the body to optimal functioning (36). It will also reduce the activities of 5AR, which is beneficial for those with DHT sensitivity or AGA.
Add Enzymes and Probiotics
When healthy, the human gut includes millions of bacteria and other flora (37). These help to aid in the process of digestion and can contribute to your overall health (37). But many factors, including diet and prescription drugs, can wreak havoc on the gut’s natural environment.
Fermented and cultured foods are a good source of probiotics.
When this happens, the balance between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria has been thrown off. This may lead to digestive problems, and even reduce the nutrients and minerals that your body absorbs (38).
So, what can you do to bring your gut back to its former glory? Add enzymes and probiotics into your routine.
Probiotics are found in many foods, mostly those that are fermented (39). These include kimchi, kombucha, and kefir. When consumed regularly, they can help to balance the bacteria in your gut, and bring it back to the ‘good’ side.
Use Natural DHT Blockers
While some of the essential oils above may inhibit 5AR or reduce DHT, that isn’t typically their main mechanism. So, what about ingredients that work directly to reduce DHT levels in the scalp?
Perhaps the most well-known DHT blocker among hair loss sufferers is saw palmetto. It’s a berry-producing plant that has been shown to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase (40).
A 2016 study, performed on Syrian hamsters, looked to answer this exact question (41).
Syrian hamsters were randomly divided into groups and the lower back of each was shaved to expose flank organs. The groups were then set to receive either a control (ethanol only), GNC Herbal Plus SPS (HLLP), Jarrow Formulas SPS (HLHP), or Doctor’s Best SPS (HMLP) daily.
Even further, the hamsters were to receive either testosterone or DHT.
The results of the study showed that saw palmetto when combined with testosterone was better at reducing pigmentation of the flank organ than when combined with DHT. This is a sign of androgen activity, and it indicates that saw palmetto is better able to inhibit 5AR than it is to reduce DHT.
This means that saw palmetto can be used to reduce the activities of 5AR and, as a result, indirectly block DHT production.
But best of all, saw palmetto won’t completely block DHT. This can reduce the risk of side effects, such as those associated with finasteride (42).
Hair loss is a devastating condition and one that is largely still misunderstood. As such, there are many new drugs springing up that may offer a viable treatment option, even if the exact mechanism is unknown.
One such drug is latanoprost, which is currently used in the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension (1).
In this post, the past and current research on the topic of latanoprost for hair growth will be discussed.
The process for drug approval will also be introduced, which may help to indicate when, if ever, latanoprost will be available on the market for the treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA).
What is Latanoprost?
Latanoprost, also known under the brand name of Xalatan, is a prescription medication used in the treatment of glaucoma (1). It can also be used in other conditions that increase pressure within the eye, such as ocular hypertension.
Latanoprost is FDA approved to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
How Does It Work?
The drug is classified as a prostaglandin analog, and it works as an agonist, a chemical that activates a receptor to induce a biological response, at the prostaglandin F receptor (FP) (2, 3).
Prostaglandins have been shown to lower intraocular pressure, which is critical in the treatment of glaucoma (4).
They do this by increasing the permeability of the sclera, the white part of the eye connected to the cornea, to allow aqueous outflow (5). This reduces fluid buildup, and therefore lowers pressure.
But prostaglandins have other roles in the body, including reducing inflammation, pain modulation, and reducing allergies (4). And prostaglandins have even been implicated in both hair loss and hair growth (6, 7).
Is Latanoprost a Viable Hair Loss Treatment?
While it’s currently only approved for use in glaucoma patients, researchers have found that latanoprost has an interesting side effect – hypertrichosis (8). That is, it promotes hair growth, sometimes excessively.
But does this mean it’s a viable treatment for balding and, if so, what are its odds of treating AGA successfully?
To answer these questions, numerous studies have been conducted over the years. These include initial trials of the drug’s hair-growth-promoting effects on macaque monkeys and, more recently, even human studies (9, 10).
The first study was small – consisting of just eight monkeys – but it shed light on latanoprost and its use in treating hair loss (9).
The monkeys were split into two groups, of which one received a daily topical application of 50 microg/ml of latanoprost for five months and the other received a placebo.
Two monkeys from each group were then given 500 microg/ml latanoprost daily for an additional three months. The results were tracked via monthly photographs and photo-trichographic analysis.
At the end of the study, the results were clear.
Fifty microg/ml latanoprost daily induced minimal hair growth, but the 500 microg/ml dose induced moderate to marked regrowth. According to researchers, there was a “5-10% conversion of vellus hairs to intermediary or terminal hairs.”
But how does this translate to treatment of AGA in humans?
In 2012, researchers recruited 16 men with mild AGA (Hamilton II-III) (10). For a total of 24 weeks, each of the men were given two treatments in different minizones of the scalp:
The topicals were applied daily and measurements including growth, density, diameter, pigmentation, and anagen/telogen ratio were tracked.
At the end of the 24-week study, the results showed that the latanoprost-treated zones saw increased hair density when compared to baseline and the placebo-treated zones
As researchers concluded, these results indicate that “Latanoprost could be useful in stimulating hair follicle activity and treating hair loss.”
NOTE: This study was performed on men with mild AGA, and the results may not be similar for more advanced stages of the condition. As such, further studies need be done.
When Will Latanoprost Be Available?
While latanoprost is current available by prescription for the treatment of glaucoma and similar conditions, it’s not yet FDA-approved for use in treating AGA (11). Will it ever be?
This question is nearly impossible to answer, as drugs must undergo various stages of rigorous testing before FDA approval. This process can take years and, many times, drugs fail to successfully complete the process for one reason or another.
Here’s just a brief run through of the process, and the various trial phases that the drug must go through to be approved (12):
Phase I – These trials focus on the safety of a drug, and they usually only consist of a small number of healthy individuals (less than 100). This usually only takes a few months.
Phase II – These trials will test the efficacy of a drug, and they often contain a larger number of subjects than the Phase I study. These are commonly carried out on affected individuals (i.e. those affected with the condition that the drug is believed to treat), and they can take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
Phase III – With a larger range of participants, usually several hundred to several thousand, Phase III trials can take several years to complete. These look to further understand the drug’s efficacy, but also determine what possible side effects may occur.
After Phase III trials, the pharmaceutical company is likely to seek approval from the FDA. If approved, the drug will enter the market.
Phase IV – The final phase of trials occurs after a drug has entered the market. This phase tests longer-term efficacy of the drug while also comparing it to similar drugs that are currently available. The results of this phase of trials will determine whether dosage changes should be made or whether the drug should be removed from the market altogether.
As you can see, the FDA approval process is long and it requires many steps prior to the pharmaceutical company even applying for approval. This means that if manufacturers do want to see latanoprost approved for use in hair loss, it will be several years before that happens.
However, this assumes that the pharmaceutical company is interested in FDA approval, as well as whether the drug will pass the first few clinical trials.
Is There a Natural Alternative?
There’s no doubt that current research on latanoprost in treating hair loss is promising. But is there a natural alternative which can provide the same, if not better, results with minimal side effects?
The exact cause of AGA is still unknown, though researchers believe that multiple factors play a part (13). In particular, they are:
Sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
It makes sense, then, that many treatments (such as finasteride and dutasteride), natural and synthetic, aim to reduce DHT levels or at least make it possible for the follicles to thrive in a DHT-sensitive environment (such as minoxidil) (14, 15).
However, it’s also possible to reduce DHT levels and improve your scalp’s overall health without drugs.
Use Natural DHT Blockers
The most direct way to treat AGA is to target DHT, which can be done with various topical and oral DHT blockers. These include pumpkin seed oil, reishi, and saw palmetto just to name a few.
By blocking DHT or at least minimizing its production, you can effectively reduce inflammation that is commonly seen in the follicles of AGA patients (16).
Be aware that completely blocking DHT can have adverse effects, including loss of sexual function and depression (17, 18). This is why topical blockers are recommended, as they have less systemic effects.
Increase Blood Flow
Blood flow is intricately linked with hair loss, as the inflammation that’s so common in AGA sufferers tends to cut off circulation to the follicle and ‘strangle’ the hair bulb (19).
A dermaroller can be used to increase blood flow to the scalp.
In turn, this can lead to progressive hair loss as the follicles are unable to obtain oxygen and nutrients and even irreversible baldness.
The answer, then, is to increase blood flow to the scalp.
You can do so with various topical treatments, such as peppermint essential oil. However, there are mechanical methods, including scalp massage and microneedling, which have been proven to effectively improve blood flow (20, 21).
Improve Oxygen Levels
As mentioned, the poor circulation that occurs as a result of follicle miniaturization can lead to lack of oxygen delivery to the follicles. But oxygen plays a more important role in hair growth than was once known.
Oxygen is needed for many biological processes, and the conversion of testosterone and 5AR to DHT is no different (22).
But DHT actually needs less oxygen to be produced than other conversions that occur within the follicles (such as estradiol, which has been shown to promote hair growth) (23, 24).
This means that low oxygen levels can actually increase the levels of DHT being produced, as there’s not enough oxygen available for the other common conversion.
To increase oxygen levels, you first have to focus on blood flow. After all, Red Blood Cells (RBCs) deliver oxygen throughout the body (25). However, you can also work on improving your oxygen levels with meditation, yoga, and even exercise (26, 27).
There are many drugs on the market – including Rogaine, Propecia, and dutasteride – which claim to treat the underlying cause of androgenetic alopecia, and even reverse its effects (28). However, new drugs are being developed and discovered every day that can offer hope to sufferers of balding.
Is latanoprost one such drug? While initial trials seem promising, there is still much research that needs to be done.
And even if latanoprost is later approved for use in treating AGA, it’s not the only option available. Instead, natural options can be a much better way to treat, and even reverse, hair loss.
There are many causes of hair loss and, as such, many viable treatment options.
Some options have better results than others, and some even have less side effects than the more conventional treatments – including Propecia and Rogaine.
One such option for treatment? Peppermint Essential Oil (PEO).
This article will discuss the leading cause of hair loss – Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), and how peppermint oil can be used to treat and, perhaps even reverse, its effects.
It will also introduce the scientific proof behind these claims, and how you can use it effectively in your daily hair care routine.
What Is Peppermint Oil?
A cross between spearmint and watermint, peppermint is a hybrid plant within the Lamiaceae family (1). It’s used often in food (in flavoring tea, gum, mints, and ice cream), but it has also begun to find its place in the cosmetics and health industry.
Can It Treat Hair Loss?
To understand the ways that peppermint oil may be useful in treating thinning and balding, it’s important to know why hair loss occurs.
While there are many causes of balding – from illness and injury to hormonal changes to stress – the main cause is Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) (2). This occurs in both men and women, and it’s also known as pattern hair loss.
But what’s the cause?
The exact cause has yet to be pinpointed by scientists. Though, there are a few factors which are believed to play a role. These include:
Androgen (DHT) sensitivity
But the last one, in particular, is of interest to researchers.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen hormone that’s a by-product of the interaction between testosterone (the male sex hormone) and 5-alpha-reductase (5AR), an enzyme (3).
It’s produced mainly in the testes, though free testosterone (fT) which travels throughout the body can also be converted to DHT.
Where does fT travel?
The hair follicle is one such place where fT dwells and is converted to DHT, which is of importance to hair loss sufferers.
In many people, this conversion causes no harm. However, men and women with AGA will experience a process called follicle miniaturization (2).
Of course, the process of hair loss isn’t quite so straightforward. There are many other factors which contribute to hair loss, including poor blood flow and lack of oxygen, both of which are side effects of miniaturization (4, 5).
So, what role can peppermint oil play?
As proven by research, quite a few. For example, it can (6, 7, 8, 9):
Stimulate the anagen growth phase
Improve blood supply
Treat antifungal and antibacterial infections
Prevent and treat inflammation
When combined, these abilities make peppermint oil a powerful option.
The Scientific Proof
Let’s look closely at a few studies which seem to support PEO’s use in treating hair fall.
The most promising study, which showed the direct results of PEO use on balding, was performed in 2014 on mice (6).
The mice – 20 in total – were shaved on the dorsal area and then split into four groups. The groups received different topical treatments, which were:
Jojoba Oil (JO)
3% minoxidil (MXD)
3% Peppermint Essential Oil (PEO)
The treatment was applied to the dorsal area six days per week for four weeks.
Hair growth was measured by two methods. The first were photographs, which were taken at regular intervals throughout the four-week study. They were each categorized as follows:
0: no hair growth
1: less than 20% growth
2: 20% to less than 40% growth
3: 40% to less than 60% growth
4: 60% to less than 80% growth
5: 80% to 100% growth.
The second method involved skin biopsies, which were taken at the end of the study.
The groups that received either saline or jojoba saw minimal hair growth throughout the study. On the other hand, both the minoxidil and the PEO groups saw significant hair growth from week two.
This growth continued for both groups, even at the end of the study, which indicates a prolonged anagen phase of hair growth.
But what about the biopsy results?
First, the biopsies show elongation of the hair follicles and shaft in the minoxidil and PEO groups.
Second, the PEO group had seven times and three times more hair follicles than the saline and jojoba groups, respectively.
And, researchers even found that blood circulation to the scalp was increased via monitoring of Alkaline Phosphatase (AP) activity.
In conclusion, researchers determined that “PEO effectively stimulated hair growth in an animal model via several mechanisms and thus could be used as a therapeutic or preventive alternative medicine for hair loss in humans.”
While the above study highlighted the direct effects of PEO on hair growth, there are other studies which indicate PEO’s many other beneficial properties.
One such study was performed in 1996, and it indicated PEO as an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent (8). The study compared the effects of 10 different essential oils against 22 bacterial and 12 fungal strains.
Peppermint oil performed well, inhibiting all 22 of the bacterial strains and 11 out of twelve of the fungal strains.
What do these results mean for hair loss sufferers?
AGA is the most common cause of thinning and balding in men (and one of the leading causes of hair fall in women). But it’s not the only cause.
Bacterial and fungal overgrowth, which can occur on the scalp, may also contribute to balding (10).
Infections, like tinea capitis and dandruff, can cause inflammation, itching, and general irritation. The act of scratching can dislodge hairs and the infections themselves can disrupt the hair growth cycle.
By treating infections on the scalp, you make it possible to improve the overall environment. This is beneficial for hair follicle health and for hair growth.
Bacterial and fungal infections aren’t the only conditions that can cause inflammation of the scalp.
Parasites can also contribute. And while parasites may not be a common cause of balding, this next study does shed some light on how peppermint oil may be helpful in reducing inflammation.
The study, performed in 2016, focused on two components of peppermint oil – menthol and methone (9).
The mice used in the study were split into five groups. They were:
Negative control, which was not infected with the parasite
Positive control, which was infected with the parasite, but not treated
Mentha 15, which were treated for 15 consecutive days with 50mg/day
Mentha 60, which were treated for 60 consecutive days with 50mg/day
Praziquantel, a drug commonly used in the treatment of the infection
The only group not infected with the parasite was the negative control.
NOTE: The menthol in this study was derived from a pharmaceutical source – Mentaliv, which is commonly used to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Its components include up to 55% menthol and up to 32% menthone.
To determine the effects of the parasitic infection and the efficacy of the treatments used, researchers monitored cytokine levels (11). These are pro-inflammatory proteins and, as such, will be present in larger numbers when infection is present.
After 61 days of infection, the cytokine levels were taken.
The Mentha 60 experimental group exhibited the best results when compared with the positive control. More specifically, IL-4 levels were reduced by 53.5%, and IL-10 levels were reduced by 62%.
These reductions were even better than those in the Praziquantel treatment group.
But does this mean that peppermint oil, of which menthol and menthone are major components, can also help to fight infection and accompanying symptoms (12)?
While further studies need to be performed particularly in human subjects, it does seem to be a promising treatment option for parasitic infections, and even inflammation.
United States (2016)
Menthol, the same ingredient mentioned in the previous study, provides another benefit to men and women with thinning and balding – it increases circulation to the scalp (7).
What exactly does this mean, and how is it helpful?
As follicle miniaturization sets in, the surrounding area becomes inflamed and irritated (2). This inflammation affects every part of the hair follicle, including the bulb.
The bulb is located at the base of the follicle. It’s connected to the scalp’s blood vessels which, in turn, makes it the source of all nutrients and oxygen within the hair follicle.
When miniaturization occurs, the connection between the bulb and the blood vessels is slowly strangled. It can eventually become cut off entirely, which will result in irreversible balding.
So, by increasing blood flow to the scalp the chances of nutrient and oxygen delivery are improved. This is critical if hair is to regrow and thrive in its environment.
In fact, oxygen plays a more important role in hair loss (and growth) than was once thought. Here’s how.
As mentioned above, DHT is produced from the interaction between testosterone and 5AR. This occurs in various parts of the body, but we’ll focus on the scalp and hair follicles specifically.
When this interaction occurs, more than just testosterone and 5AR are needed. Oxygen is also a critical component of the process (13).
However, the interaction doesn’t need much oxygen to be completed. So, even low-oxygen environments (such as the scalps of people with AGA) can still produce DHT.
By increasing oxygen levels to the scalp, you reduce the levels of DHT being produced. Here’s why.
There’s another by-product of testosterone and 5AR that’s often overlooked – estradiol (14, 15). And interestingly, its production also requires oxygen (13).
This means that a high-oxygen environment will produce both DHT and estradiol. And why is that good? Because this estrogen hormone has actually been shown to induce hair growth (16).
So, how can peppermint oil help?
In 2016, researchers from the United States showed that menthol increases cutaneous blood flow when applied topically (7). This was measured by Cutaneous Vascular Conductance (CVC), and the higher the concentration the more blood flow to the area.
As such, it would make sense that menthol-containing extracts (such as peppermint oil) would induce blood flow and improve the environment for hair.
Side Effects and Contraindications of Peppermint Oil Supplementation
As with any ingredient, there are certain risk factors which must be considered before using.
Peppermint oil should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as little evidence is available on its use in such populations (17).
Use on children isn’t recommended, and use near the eyes, mouth, or nose should be avoided.
While rare, adverse effects can occur when PEO is applied to the skin. These are typically minor, and they include (18):
Flushing of the surrounding skin
If you’re allergic to peppermint oil’s components, including menthol and menthone, use should be avoided. The signs of an allergic reaction include (19, 20):
Coughing and/or wheezing
If you suspect an allergic reaction, seek emergency medical attention. In severe cases, the reaction can progress and result in anaphylaxis which, if left untreated, is fatal.
How to Use Peppermint Oil
There are many ways you can benefit from the supplementation of peppermint oil.
Dilute Your Essential Oils
First, a note: As an essential oil, PEO must be diluted before it’s applied to the skin. PEO should NOT be taken orally unless it’s designated for oral consumption, and it should be heavily diluted or taken in capsule form.
When using essential oils, it’s important to combine them with a carrier oil.
These help to deliver the essential oils more efficiently, and they also prevent burns/irritations that can be caused by undiluted essential oils.
As a general rule of thumb, the dilution rate should be 5mL of carrier oil for every drop of essential oil.
Apply to the Scalp
The most direct method of use is to apply peppermint oil to the scalp with the use of a carrier oil. You can take your pick from the many options, including:
For best results, apply your mixture of oils to the scalp each evening. You can boost results by massaging the scalp during your session.
How to Massage the Scalp
Place your thumbs and index fingers on either side of your head above the ears. Use a gentle, circular motion to massage the oil into the scalp.
You’ll begin at the sides, then move to the crown, temples, and finally to the base of the skull.
This will improve circulation to the scalp and soften the tissues (21). It will also ensure proper application of the oils.
Use a Dermastamp
While massage has beneficial effects on the scalp, there is another way to increase blood flow and even stimulate the production of new cells – microneedling (22).
Microneedling is a therapeutic technique that uses tiny needles to wound the skin (23). As the wounds heal, a three-step process takes place that stimulates collagen production and new cells:
And while the technique may seem counterintuitive, there are studies that show its use is effective for hair growth. One study even showed it to improve the efficacy of minoxidil (24).
There are two tools that are popularly used for microneedling – the dermaroller and the dermastamp. Both will provide similar results, though the stamp can be easier to target areas of hair loss and to manipulate on the scalp.
The increase in blood circulation to the scalp will also aid in delivering any topical applications, such as PEO, more effectively.
IMPORTANT! Be sure to wait 12 hours following the microneedling session before applying the oil mixture. Otherwise, there will be discomfort such as stinging/burning.
Alternatives to Peppermint Oil
Whether you’re just looking for another option or an additional oil to add to your regimen, here are some essential oils you can use in your hair care routine.
Belonging to the same family of flowering plants as peppermint, rosemary is a fragrant plant with needle-like leaves often used in cooking and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers.
Aside from its beautiful look and fresh scent, rosemary oil has numerous health benefits and properties. Namely, it acts as an analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant (25, 26, 27).
Importantly, there are actually quite a few studies to back its use for hair loss.
The first includes rosemary oil in a blend of other oils (including lavender, cedarwood, and jojoba) (28). The results showed the blend did promote hair growth in patients with Alopecia Areata.
And while the results are promising, they still left many questions to be answered.
One such question was whether rosemary oil played a role in hair loss and, if so, how much?
A 2013 study performed on mice helped to answer these exact questions (29).
The mice experienced hair growth interruption induced by testosterone treatment and were then treated with a daily application of rosemary leaf extract.
The results showed that not only did rosemary induce hair growth, but it did so by inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase (the enzyme responsible for testosterone’s conversion into DHT).
The oil was even compared to minoxidil 2% in the treatment of AGA in 2015 (30).
This study included 100 patients who were split into two groups, of which one received daily application of rosemary and the other received daily application of minoxidil 2%.
The results showed that both rosemary oil and minoxidil 2% promoted hair growth in AGA patients at similar rates.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another mint-scented leaf that has been used medicinally for many years. In particular, it’s been shown to have antimicrobial and antiseptic properties (31).
More recent research studies have also shown tea tree oil to be a potential antiandrogen, which means it may contribute to hair growth by inhibiting 5AR and blocking DHT (32).
While neither of the studies were shown to induce hair growth specifically, they do show promise.
The first was a case study performed in 2007, and its goal was to determine the cause of gynecomastia in three prepubescent boys (32). As the findings suggest, lavender and tea tree oil-containing products may be one such cause.
But what does that have to do with tea tree’s antiandrogenic effects?
Gynecomastia is a side effect seen in various prescriptions with proven antiandrogen effects, such as finasteride (33, 34). The reason for the antiadrogentic effect is that such drugs may contribute to testosterone’s conversion to estrogen as opposed to DHT.
This means the presence of gynecomastia indicates that tea tree may have antiandrogenic effects.
A 2013 study backs these claims, though a different androgen-related condition was used – hirsutism (35). This is excessive bodily or facial hair growth in women, and is often the sign of a hormonal imbalance such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (36).
The topical application of lavender and tea tree oils was shown to reduce hirsutism, which may indicate its role as..
There are many causes of hair loss, but the most common is Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) and, more specifically, sensitivity to DHT as a result (1).
This devastating condition effects up to 50 percent of the male population by the age of 50, and women can also suffer from significant thinning and hair loss (2, 3).
But there is hope for treatment. One such option? Natural DHT blockers.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn of the 12 best natural DHT blockers you can use to stop hair loss and perhaps even reverse it. But first, let’s take a look at the role DHT plays in hair loss and why blocking it can help.
NOTE: ‘Natural’ can be a rather ambiguous word, which is why it’s important to clarify its meaning as used throughout this article. Natural refers to any plant or food products which have not been processed, or synthesized in a laboratory. These can include seeds, leaves, stems, oils, and extracts.
What Are DHT Blockers?
DHT is an androstanolone, an androgen sex steroid and hormone that is found in both sexes (4). It is produced from the interaction between 5-alpha-reductase and Total Testosterone TT.
This ‘type’ of testosterone is produced mainly in the testes, but testosterone can be found throughout the body including the prostate and hair follicles (5). The result of this interaction is two by-products (6):
Free testosterone (fT)
Interestingly, oxygen also plays a role in testosterone’s conversion to DHT (4). Free testosterone – one of the byproducts of 5AR and testosterone – is able to travel throughout the body – this includes to the scalp and hair follicles (7).
With fT now in the follicles where 5AR is also present, it has the opportunity to be converted to DHT (8).
However, this requires a certain set of circumstances. Foremost, the amount of oxygen will determine whether that fT becomes DHT (which requires less oxygen), or estradiol (as it requires more oxygen) (9).
So, in short, decreased oxygen levels which are common in the scalps of AGA sufferers can mean an increase in DHT production as estradiol production is slowed.
This is important because not only does the presence of DHT trigger hair loss in AGA sufferers, but the presence of estradiol has been shown to promote hair regrowth (10).
DHT blockers, then, are substances or ingredients that lower the levels of DHT within the body and, thereby, reduce follicle miniaturization (2).
One of the most common DHT blockers is finasteride, which inhibits the activities of 5AR (11). However, there are natural ingredients which have also been proven to work in the same vein.
Is Finasteride a Viable Option?
Why should you choose natural ingredients over one of the most well-known DHT blockers on the market?
These include headache and dizziness, anxiety, depression, and swelling of the hands and feet (13). Though, the more worrying side effects are sexual in nature.
Loss of libido
Difficulty getting/maintaining an erection
Loss of ejaculatory volume
And unfortunately, these side effects can continue even after you’ve discontinued the drug (14).
Interestingly, these same side effects are less likely with natural ingredients.
The reason for this is still unknown, though the pathways by which the natural blockers work may differ from finasteride (15).
This is because finasteride is considered a steroidal inhibitor of 5AR (i.e. derived from the steroid hormone progesterone), while plant- and food-based alternatives are non-steroidal (15).
This difference may contribute to the differences in how the substances inhibit 5AR and, ultimately, block DHT.
Finasteride is not an option for women as it has not been approved for female use the FDA, so natural DHT blockers are the best option.
6 Topical DHT Blockers
Below are six DHT blockers which can be applied topically (i.e. to the skin).
Why Use DHT Blockers Topically?
Topical treatments make sense because they aim to treat the condition directly.
Topical DHT blockers can be applied to the scalp, and they work by blocking DHT at the follicles. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective options.
1. Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto, also known by its botanical name Serenoa Repens, is a plant that was commonly used by Native American communities (16).
There are three mechanisms by which saw palmetto is believed to be helpful in fighting hair loss (17). They include:
Blocking 5AR, which is similar to the prescription drug finasteride
Decreasing DHT uptake by hair follicles
Decreasing the binding of DHT to androgen receptors
Of these, the most convincing is its 5AR-blocking abilities, which has been shown in two separate studies.
The first was done in 2012, and it compared the effectiveness of finasteride – a drug often used to block 5AR – and saw palmetto in treating AGA (18). This was an oral study, but it still sheds light on saw palmetto’s beneficial effects.
The study consisted of 100 men, all of which were diagnosed with mild to moderate AGA.
The men were split into two groups, of which one received saw palmetto 320 mg every day for 24 months and the other received finasteride 1mg every day for 24 months.
Global photos were taken at baseline (T0) and the end of the study (T24), and a predetermined scoring index was used to measure change.
While finasteride did outperform saw palmetto, the plan still saw some of its own inspiring results. In fact, 38 patients had an increase in hair growth compared to finasteride’s 68.
But to really understand the topical effects of saw palmetto, let’s take a look at a more recent study.
In 2016, researchers applied saw palmetto to the shaved flank areas of syrian hamsters along with either DHT or testosterone (19).
The goal was to determine whether saw palmetto could be helpful in regrowing hair and, if so, how.
The results of this study showed that saw palmetto when combined with testosterone was more effective at reducing pigmentation – a sign of androgenic activities – than when combined with DHT.
Because saw palmetto works by inhibiting 5AR, as opposed to blocking DHT directly. However, the ultimate result is the same – with less 5AR there is less DHT and, therefore, less inflamed and irritated hair follicles.
The two most common formulations of saw palmetto – dried berry capsules and tablets – are oral. And saw palmetto taken orally has been shown to have some impact on hair growth (20).
But the capsules and tablets can also be crushed and added to carrier oils to be applied directly to the scalp.
2. Reishi Mushroom
Reishi has a few mechanisms which contribute to its positive hair growth effects, including antimicrobial and immunomodulatory (21, 22). However, the most prominent is its ability to inhibit 5AR and block DHT as a result (23).
In 2005, Japanese researchers studied the effects of 19 mushroom species on 5AR inhibition (23). The end goal was to determine which was best at inhibiting 5AR, and by how much.
The study was split into two parts. The first used ethanol extracts of the mushroom species which were then added to suspensions containing rat liver and prostate microsomes. This shed light on the percentage of inhibitory activity, as shown below:
Reishi, also known as G.lucidum, showed the most inhibitory activity of all 19 species. In fact, it inhibited between 70 percent and 80 percent of 5ARs activities.
Researchers were also interested in reishi’s abilty to inhibit testosterone. The lower concentration (1.5 mg/kg) of G. lucidum was more effective than the higher concentration (15 mg/kg).
As the researchers put it “[t]he anti-androgenic activity of Ganoderma lucidumis an important biological activity for use with BHP patients.” However, this can also have implications for men and women with AGA.
This activity shows that reishi may be an effective inhibitor of 5AR, which is important for reducing DHT levels throughout the body including the scalp.
For AGA sufferers, then, reishi may be useful in reducing hair thinning and loss associated with the condition.
3. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is a plant known for its stinging/burning effects. However, research shows it may also be useful as a topical DHT blocker.
The study in question was performed in 2011, and it consisted of rats with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) as induced by testosterone (24, 25). To determine the anti-androgenic effects of stinging nettle, the weight of the prostate was tracked throughout the study.
Why was prostate weight measured?
BPH is an enlargement of the prostate, which is believed to be caused by high DHT levels (26). To reduce prostate size, then, DHT levels must be reduced. As such, a reduction in prostate weight indicates anti-androgenic activities.
The results of the study showed that rats treated with stinging nettle saw a decrease in prostate weight.
This indicates that stinging nettle does, in fact, have anti-androgenic abilities and may be useful in reducing in other areas of the body such as the scalp.
4. Ecklonia Cava
Ecklonia cava is an edible alga found off the costs of Japan and Korea. This alga belongs to a larger group of algae, which consists of seaweeds and similar organisms.
Interestingly, E. cava has been shown to have numerous human health benefits. These include its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its use as an anti-obesity agent (27, 28).
Perhaps one reason for these benefits is its high polyphenol content (29). And of particular important to hair loss sufferers is its use as a hair growth promoter.
In 2012, a study performed on mice using the dieckol extract of E. cava was shown to induce anagen phase hair growth (30). To understand exactly what this means, it’s important to know how the hair growth cycle works.
There are three main phases of the cycle, which are:
Active hair growth only occurs during anagen, which also happens to be the longest of the three phases. However, conditions such as AGA can cause hair follicles to prematurely end anagen.
The mice in the study were treated with either:
Vehicle (negative control)
0.5 percent E. cava enzymatic extract
5 percent minoxidil (positive control)
These treatments were carried out for 33 days, and photographs of the mice were taken at 1, 7, 13, 20, 26, and 33 days after shaving of the dorsal hairs.
As expected, minoxidil showed positive growth results and the mice in that particular treatment group saw significant hair growth. However, the E. cava group also saw significant increases in hair growth when compared to the negative control.
So, why is that?
Researchers took it a step further and compared the 5AR inhibitory activities of various concentrations of E. cava to finasteride. The initial results showed that higher concentrations of E. cava were effective at inhibiting 5AR.
And the dieckol extract showed to be the most effective of the four different extracts considered.
As described by researchers, these results were likely due to three main things.
Foremost, researchers stated that “anagen [phase] was induced on the back skin of C57BL/6 mice that were in the telogen phase of the cycle by depilation.” This was noted by the darkening in skin color that took place throughout the duration of the study.
The scientists also concluded that the dieckol extract of E. cava “could stimulate hair growth through the proliferation of dermal papilla cells and the inhibition of 5α-reductase activity.”
Does this mean that E. cava applied topically can promote hair growth?
The truth is that further studies – especially those on humans – need to be carried out before final declarations can be made. Though, the current results are promising and should offer hope to hair loss sufferers.
5. Rosemary Oil and Extract
Rosemary oil is one of the more versatile essential oils, as it has been shown to have various therapeutic health benefits. These include analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties (31, 32, 33).
But the most compelling benefit for hair loss sufferers is its proven ability to inhibit 5AR.
In 2013, researchers from Japan used mice to show that topical application of Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract (RO-ext) could be used to induce hair growth (34).
The first part of the study showed that mice previously treated with testosterone, which interrupted hair regrowth, saw improved hair growth once treated with RO-ext 2mg/day/.
The researchers took it one step further, though. They also wanted to see whether RO-ext had any antiandrogenic activity. To do so, they compared various concentrations of the extract to finasteride.
The results show the two highest doses – 200 and 500 µg/mL – had inhibitory activity of 82.4 percent and 94.6 percent, respectively. In comparison, finasteride only showed inhibitory activity of 81.9 percent in the same study.
According to researchers, “[t]hese results suggest that [RO-ext] inhibit[s] the binding of dihydrotestosterone to androgen receptors.”
Does this mean that rosemary oil and extract is the answer to your hair loss woes? Not necessarily.
As research on RO-ext’s use for hair growth has only been performed on mice so far, more studies (particularly those with human subjects) need to be carried out. This will give a better idea of rosemary’s true use as a hair growth promoter.
6. He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti)
He shou wu, also known as Fo-Ti, is an herb that’s used commonly within the Chinese tradition. And while it was used for centuries without any scientific evidence to back its claims, new research has shed light on its role in hair growth.
In 2015, researchers tested the effects of PMR and PMRP (two clinical preparations of Fo-Ti) on hair growth in mice (35). The study consisted of 88 mice in total, which were then split into 11 groups.
The two main delivery routes were oral and topical which made up seven and two groups, respectively, and there were also two groups which tested a combination of the two.
The groups to receive oral PMR saw a 96.5 percent average of hair covered skin ratio, while the oral PRMP preparation saw only 66.82 percent.
And what about topical results?
The group to receive PMR topical saw an average of 80.73 percent hair covered skin ratio, while the topical PRMP saw 89.51 percent.
This indicates that He Shou Wu, both orally and topically, may be an effective hair growth promoter.
The mechanism is still unclear, though researchers believe it has to do with its regulation of the Wnt signaling pathway. DHT and Wnt signaling are linked, which helps to explain its role in hair loss (36).
6 Internal DHT Blockers
Why Use DHT Blockers Internally?
Topical blocking of DHT can have many benefits, but these don’t remain in the long term. The answer, then, may be internal DHT blockers.
Internal DHT blockers can provide the same benefits as topical blockers with one major difference: they can be used to make a more pronounced shift in serum DHT levels and the presence of DHT at the follicular level (37).
1. Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin Seed Oil (PSO) is obtained from expeller–pressing hulled pumpkin seeds, and it contains an array of beneficial components, such as antioxidants and fatty acids (38, 39).
These components lend themselves to many health benefits and pumpkin seed oil has been shown to be anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic, among other things (40, 41).
Another possible benefit of PSO, as explored by a 2014 research study, is hair growth (42).
The 24-week trial included 76 male subjects with mild to moderate AGA. Half were given a supplement containing PSO, while the other half were given a placebo. Both groups were instructed to take the “supplement” daily.
To analyze hair changes including hair counts and diameters, phototrichography was used (43). The analysis was performed at the start to establish patient baseline, at 12 weeks, and at 24 weeks.
The results show that the supplement-receiving group had significant increases in hair count over the placebo group:
According to researchers, the positive results were believed to be attributed to PSO’s proven 5AR inhibition activities in previous studies (44, 45, 46).
So, while PSO was not the only ingredient contained within the supplement, researchers do believe it played a major role in the results. However, further studies will be helpful in gaining a better understanding of the role of PSO and its mechanisms.
NOTE: The supplement provided to participants was Octa-Sabal Plus, which does contain pumpkin seed powder but also additional ingredients. These include Octacosanol (from vegetable powder), Gamma linolenic acid (from evening primrose), and Lycopene (from tomato powder). This means there’s no way to definitively say whether the PSO was the source of the study’s results, or if the other ingredients also played a role (which is likely).
2. Green Tea
Green tea has gained quite a reputation in recent years, and for good reason. Its mix of polyphenols – particularly, flavonoids and flavonols, and other components means it packs a serious punch when it comes to health (47, 48).
And more recently, the effects of green tea and its components on hair growth has been noted and researched.
Minoxidil has been the gold standard for topical hair loss treatments since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the treatment for men’s hair loss in 1988.
While the 5 percent solution does offer male users up to 40 percent regrowth, there are side effects that should be considered before adding Minoxidil to your hair loss regimen (1).
Minoxidil therapy is a bit less effective for women with androgenetic alopecia, with approximately 50 percent of female users seeing minimal hair regrowth and only 13 percent experiencing moderate hair regrowth (2)
To make it easy for you to decide whether or not Minoxidil is right for you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive overview of the product, including both common and rare side effects.
The History of Minoxidil
When drug manufacturer Upjohn created Minoxidil to treat ulcers, they found that a side effect of the drug was that it effectively lowered blood pressure (3).
Found to be a powerful vasodilator — a drug that widens, or dilates, your blood vessels — Minoxidil was approved by the FDA in 1979 as an oral treatment for high blood pressure. It was then released in prescription-only tablets marketed under the name Loniten.
Soon afterward, patients taking Loniten for high blood pressure noticed increased hair growth and thickness as a side effect of the drug, so Upjohn undertook research to see if the product might be used to treat hair loss (4).
By 1988, the FDA had approved a 1 percent solution of Minoxidil, trade-named Rogaine, to treat hair loss in men. The 1 percent solution was approved for women in 1991, and a stronger 5 percent formula was approved for both men and women in 1997.
How Minoxidil Works
Currently, there’s no real consensus on how Minoxidil contributes to hair regrowth.
Some hypothesize that as a vasodilator, Minoxidil increases blood flow and circulation to the scalp, bringing necessary nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles.
Other researchers think that minoxidil inhibits prostaglandins, thereby slowing or reversing hair loss. Prostaglandins, specifically the prostaglandin D2, have been shown to inhibit hair growth and are found in elevated levels in the scalps of men with androgenetic alopecia (5, 6).
Some scientists theorize that Minoxidil works directly to block androgens from androgen-sensitive hair follicles and it may also delay the aging of matrix cells to prolong the anagen phase of hair growth (7).
No matter what the mechanism, Minoxidil can provide hair regrowth for up to 40 percent of users, and studies show it is dose-dependent — meaning higher doses (5 percent versus 1 percent) result in more hair growth in individuals that respond well (1, 8).
The Side Effects of Minoxidil
The fact that Minoxidil is a topical drug, applied to your largest organ, your skin — specifically, the skin of your scalp — means you should be aware of potential side effects.
Your skin is a conduit — and barrier — to many substances (9).
In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that most dermal absorption of substances centers on the outer skin layer, the stratum corneum, which is where you apply most topical products, including Minoxidil (10).
Chemicals and other substances absorbed by skin travel from areas of high concentrations to areas of lower concentrations, which means anything absorbed by your skin might have systemic effects.
Most people tolerate Minoxidil well, although there are a number of common — and some severe — side effects associated with short- and long-term use (4, 7).
So let’s take a look at the wide range of side effects associated with Minoxidil.
General Side Effects
The most common side effects of Minoxidil use include (4):
These side effects are mostly associated with contact dermatitis, a condition brought about when a hazardous or allergy-causing substance causes an inflammatory response in your skin (11).
Contact dermatitis is characterized by redness and itching and generally goes away once you stop using whatever is causing the rash — in this case, Minoxidil. It will take about two to four weeks after you discontinue use for your body to clear the rash and return to normal.
An example of contact dermatitis, which can be caused by minoxidil use.
Normally, contact dermatitis is aggravated by an allergen — a substance that causes your immune system to react strongly. In the case of Minoxidil, both the drug and its carrier substance, a mixture of alcohol and propylene glycol, can be the culprit.
Propylene glycol is considered to be a skin irritant, and alcohol has known skin-drying properties (12). Propylene glycol has also been shown to have the potential to cause renal toxicity and liver damage (13, 14).
These two substances, alcohol and propylene glycol, can also contribute to the increase of seborrheic dermatitis some people experience when using Minoxidil (6).
Minoxidil foam does not contain propylene glycol, so it’s a good choice for those that experience an allergic reaction to the serum formula.
Seborrheic dermatitis shows up as greasy, red skin patches that are covered by white scales or yellowish crusts. These scaly changes in the skin of your scalp are often accompanied by itching and flaking, both of which can range from mild to severe.
Like the other common side effects, seborrheic dermatitis disappears within weeks of discontinuing use of topical Minoxidil.
Another common side effect of topical Minoxidil, hypertrichosis, is most often seen in women and adolescents, although it appears in men as well (15). Hypertrichosis is the excessive growth of hair, and it normally appears where you don’t want it.
With topical Minoxidil use, the excess hair is most common on the face — cheeks, chin, and forehead — although it can become generalized, with hair spreading down the back and limbs (16).
Fortunately, the excess hair growth will go away once you’ve stopped using Minoxidil, although not for several weeks.
Facial Swelling and Water Retention
Edema, or swelling of the face can occur with topical Minoxidil use. While this side effect has been studied, no conclusion was reached regarding danger associated with its occurrence (17).
However, given that edema can be connected with adverse cardiac events, it’s best to seek a doctor’s advice if you are having swelling of any kind after beginning Minoxidil therapy (18).
Minoxidil can also cause overall water retention by causing your body to retain sodium (19). This retention can manifest as a puffy face, more pronounced eye bags, bloated hands and feet, or overall body swelling and weight gain.
Cardiovascular Side Effects
Patients with heart disease or underlying cardiovascular conditions should not use Minoxidil, as it is associated with several negative cardiovascular side effects (20).
Always talk to your physician before beginning topical Minoxidil therapy to avoid hazardous side effects and discontinue therapy immediately if you experience any serious adverse reaction.
Left Ventricular Enlargement
In some patients with high blood pressure, treatment with Minoxidil resulted in left ventricular hypertrophy, meaning an enlarged and thickened wall of your left ventricle (21).
This enlargement, in turn, can contribute to shortness of breath, syncope, palpitations, and even heart attacks. Eventually, left ventricular hypertrophy affects the heart’s ability to function normally.
Increased Heart Rate
Minoxidil has been shown to increase the average beats per minute as well as the volume of blood flow through the arteries (20). While this may not impact someone with a healthy heart, those with cardiac disease might want to steer clear.
This is a very serious side effect, and involves an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart (22). As it progresses, the lining can fill with fluid, leading to pericardial effusion.
Eventually, the fluid interferes with the heart’s ability to effectively pump to circulate blood and requires immediate emergency treatment by withdrawing the fluid from the sac with a needle.
This is why you must see a physician immediately if you experience any heart-related symptoms while using topical Minoxidil. If you think you may be experiencing an adverse side effect, discontinue use of Minoxidil immediately.
Other Systemic Side Effects
There are conflicting studies that both prove, and disprove, the systemic side effects of topical Minoxidil (23, 8). It’s important to note that there have been documented instances of systemic problems directly connected to the use of the topical formula.
While rare, sudden weight gain, swelling in the legs or ankles, local or all-over swelling, racing heart, dizziness, chest pain, or fainting all point to a severe systemic reaction and should be reported to a doctor immediately (23).
Other potential areas of concern are:
Minoxidil has been tapped as a possible contributor to ischemic optical neuropathy resulting in blurred vision that was corrected once the topical Minoxidil was discontinued (24).
This is an extremely rare side effect.
Increased aminotransferase numbers have been seen in patients using topical Minoxidil (19). Elevated liver enzymes like aminotransferase are markers for increased inflammation of — or damage to — the cells in your liver (25).
However, this damage is dose-dependent, so it’s possible that it can be slowed or even stopped by using a different Minoxidil formulation (26).
There have been cases of gastrointestinal distress relating to the use of topical Minoxidil (27). The most common side effect is nausea, but diarrhea and vomiting were also noted.
Topical Minoxidil therapy has been associated with dizziness, numbness, and syncope (becoming off-balance).
A recent case study conducted by researchers in the U.K. noted that topical Minoxidil can cause hypotension — low blood pressure — with resulting syncope, causing potential falls (28).
The researchers conclude that this study proves that topical Minoxidil does have systemic effects.
Cosmetic Side Effects — Hair Loss
Besides the cosmetic issues that could occur with cases of dermatitis, facial swelling, and excess hair growth, there’s one side effect that most hair loss sufferers using topical Minoxidil should be aware of — hair loss (4).
It seems counterintuitive that a product design to help you regrow your hair would cause hair loss, but in most people, that is exactly what happens when beginning topical Minoxidil.
Minoxidil’s ability to open potassium channels and widen blood vessels causes oxygen, blood, and nutrients to saturate hair follicles (4).
This mechanism can promote shedding of follicles that are in the telogen phase of growth. In effect, Minoxidil re-synchronizes hair phases, which can result in sudden, but hopefully temporary, thinning.
The shedding generally begins in the first two to eight weeks, but begins to slow shortly thereafter, once your hair is acclimated to the therapy.
If you are concerned, or your shedding does not subside after two months, you’ll want to see an expert in hair loss and/or your physician to rule out other causes of hair loss such as endocrine disorders, autoimmunity, or other underlying diseases.
Still, it’s important to be aware, and prepared, for your hair to look thinner at the beginning of Minoxidil therapy.
Side Effects of Stopping Minoxidil
If you need to stop using Minoxidil due to allergic reactions or other health concerns, you may experience the side effect of hair loss.
Minoxidil, while stimulating hair growth, does not reduce dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or 5-alpha reductase,the enzyme responsible for the accumulation of DHT around the hair follicle (29).
Since these substances are the primary cause of male pattern baldness, once Minoxidil treatment is stopped, all the hair growth that was being stimulated by the drug will be lost to acute telogen effluvium (30).
Acute telogen effluvium can be devastating, as it is a severe shed of short duration. This sudden loss of hair can cause extreme psychological stress and contribute to depression and a decline in mental health (31).
Preventing Minoxidil Side Effects
Minoxidil is generally well-tolerated, but it still has a range of side effects from mild discomfort to serious heath issues.
In fact, it’s contraindicated for many populations, such as (32):
Pregnant and nursing mothers;
Children and adolescents;
People over the age of 65 (as it’s not been studied);
Those with poor cardiac health, including high blood pressure, low blood pressure, or heart disease;
Anyone with an allergy to propylene glycol or alcohol. People with other allergies should consult a physician first;
Those with kidney or liver disorders; and
Anyone with irritated, broken, inflamed, or sunburned skin on the scalp.
For those who prefer not to take the risk of adverse affects, research has provided a number of viable alternatives to Minoxidil which have performed well in preliminary studies
There are several safe, effective ways to create your own substitute “Minoxidil” formula at home to regrow hair as well as — and maybe even more effectively than — Minoxidil itself.
Let’s explore the possibilities.
The most recent addition to the arsenal of natural Minoxidil substitutes is oleuropein, a substance produced from the unprocessed olive fruits and leaves of Olea europaea.
In a recent study, topically-applied oleuropein was found to positively regulate the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle in mice — producing even better results than Minoxidil therapy (33):
In fact, oleuropein was significantly more effective than Minoxidil in all of the elements measured by the researchers. These included:
Hair follicle length
Hair follicle diameter
Number of follicles
Dermal papilla cell proliferation
While most oleuropein is available in capsule form for ingestion, as it has many significant health benefits, there are some liquid brands on the market that may be useful as a topical hair formula, although this has not been studied.
What could be sweeter than using peppermint oil to boost your hair’s thickness?
A topical mix of jojoba and peppermint oils was found to be more effective (95 percent versus 55 percent) than Minoxidil in encouraging hair growth without any toxic side effects (34):
This study found this combination of 3 percent peppermint oil plus jojoba oil as a carrier to be effective in increasing:
Hair follicle length
Hair follicle diameter
Dermal papilla cell proliferation
Credit. Histological observation of hair follicle length and depth.
The study was conducted over a four-week period on mice. However, the researchers’ conclusion recommends the use of peppermint oil for humans suffering from androgenic alopecia.
Magnesium oil is a good replacement for the jojoba oil in the above study.
Magnesium oil can be substituted because studies show that hair miniaturization can be caused in part by scalp calcification and magnesium oil reduces calcification in the scalp (35).
The efficacy of peppermint oil has already been explained, but another natural oil, rosemary oil, can be added to your hair regrowth arsenal to provide extra benefit.
One study has shown rosemary oil to be as effective as 2 percent Minoxidil in promoting hair growth, in part through increased blood circulation (36).
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil has been found to have a positive effect on hair growth in people with mild to moderate male pattern hair loss possibly due to its ability to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase.
In addition to its effects on 5-alpha-reductase, pumpkin seed oil also provides anti-inflammatory benefits that can help calm the scalp inflammation that contributes to hair loss (37, 38).
In other research, lavender oil proved to be as effective as Minoxidil in regrowing hair on mice in a four-week study (39). Researchers believe the operative component of lavender oil is its ability to increase follicles and follicle depth and decrease the number of mast cells present in the scalp.
Hair loss is not only embarrassing, but it is something that you just can’t avoid. There will come a time when you lose your hair, and for some individuals this happens far earlier than anticipated. Thankfully with all the scientific studies and the advances in technology there are now a variety of options out there to combat this issue. And, of the options that has been studied and discussed time and time again is the Glutathione treatment.
What Is Glutathione?
You probably already know that antioxidants are essential to ensure the health and wellbeing of your body. However, you might not know that Glutathione is an antioxidant that is naturally produced in the body. In fact, it has been called the “master antioxidant”, as it possesses the abilities to rejuvenate the skin, eliminate free radicals, and help with tissue degeneration. In addition to this, it has even been shown to aid in the loss of hair and stimulate the regrowth of hair. It does this by prolonging the anagen stage of the hair cycle.
Glutathione And Conjugated Linoleic Acid
When combining glutathione and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) together, it is possible to treat premature hair loss. CLA glutathione have the ability to not only stop hair loss, but also help enhance new hair growth. Supplements with CLA glutathione will replace the sulfur lost due to eating insufficient protein over a long period of time. Since sulfur is responsible for “hair follicle metabolism,” a deficiency can lead to premature hair loss. With the deficiency out of the way, it is possible to reverse this side effect.
How Is The Treatment Administered?
One of the most important things that you need to know about Glutathione is that it is a food supplement and not a drug. This means that any facility that administers these treatments or any store that sells Glutathione vitamins does not need the Food and Drug Administration’s approval. Glutathione is already listed as a safe food supplement by the USFDA, so it should be readily available to everyone. However, in order for Glutathione to effectively stimulate hair growth it must be administered in complexly designed treatments. Many of these treatments will combine hair growth stimulants and hair growth and revitalization therapies.
Does The Injection Hurt?
It is possible to get glutathione injections for hair loss. A small needle will be used to obtain IV access. Then, glutathione will be injected for a few minutes. The treatment is considered very quick and easy. It is just as easy if not easier than getting your blood drawn. Plus, you should know that the recovery time is lightning fast. After the injection, you’ll be able to leave the clinic immediately and return to your normal activities.
Hair Loss Links
It should be known that hair loss is triggered by many things. One study found that hair loss or thinning hair can be linked to decreased levels of glutathione. With this in mind, it is important to understand this and keep your glutathione levels up. If you do not have enough in your body, there is a good chance that you’re going to lose your hair at some point in the future. By taking glutathione supplements, there is a possibility that you will be able to keep your hair for a much longer period of time.
When it comes down to it, glutathione offers a wealth of health benefits. There is no doubt that it is a good hair loss treatment. Of course, the benefits go well beyond that. For instance, it is also capable of reducing oxidative stress. Having too much oxidative stress can cause a wealth of problems, including cancer, diabetes, and even arthritis. Glutathione can help protect you from these problems to some degree. It is also believed that this chemical may be able to improve psoriasis. Those suffering from peripheral artery disease may be able to increase their mobility by using this ingredient. Glutathione can help improve circulation and give the user the ability to walk over a longer distance much easier.
It is also believed that glutathione may also help combat autoimmune diseases. Really, there are tons of reasons to consider using glutathione. The health benefits are enormous. Whether you want to treat hair loss or just boost your health in general, you’ll definitely want to try using glutathione.
At the end of the day, glutathione hair growth is possible. Just remember that there are plenty of other reasons that you may want to add this supplement to your daily intake. The ingredient offers plenty of benefits and everyone should consider using it to their benefit. Be sure to consider the perks and determine whether or not it could help you.
Bruce Kuster graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Biology and Health Science, primary contributor on wealthformyhealth.com concerning sports and nutrition, Bruce is now a coach and CrossFit lover, he likes to share his passion for nutrition and health.