Going Natural With Hair Loss Remedies
by Eric V. Allen
mechanism of male pattern baldness has become clear through a great body of
research, the reality of an effective natural treatment regimen is at hand. After a
review of the available natural products, some suggestions will be made for creating
your own regimen for treating hair loss naturally.

The overall cause of male pattern baldness is now well-known: this type of hair loss
seen in about a third of the male population is mediated by the androgenic metabolite
of testosterone known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT. The production of this
now-infamous hormone increases later in life for many men, along with changes with
the receptors for this hormone at the hair follicles.

In general, the pertinent hair follicles shrink with continued exposure to the androgenic
hormone, some forming only small, villus hairs, while others eventually die completely.
Some sources claim these follicles are still getting an adequate blood supply, while
others note a waxy buildup or scar-like tissue surrounding the follicles, preventing
adequate nutrient delivery. Thus, the localized cause of hair loss, at the follicle level, is
still being researched. This does not mean there has been success in discovery of
natural hair loss remedies!

Whether using a pharmaceutical, natural, or combination regimen to re-grow hair,
genetically-related hair loss should be addressed on two fronts: reducing the
production and effects of DHT, and stimulating the hair follicles themselves back into
action.

Prescription drugs such as Finasteride and Dutasteride are available which lower blood
levels of DHT, and have been used to improve hair loss conditions. There are now
several well-known natural, plant-based products which either reduce testosterone's
conversion to DHT (via the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme system), block the binding of
DHT to receptor sites, or both. Most common, and most important are Saw Palmetto
Berry extract and Stinging Nettle Root extract. These to herbs work in combination to
both block the conversion of testosterone to DHT and prevent it's binding to receptor
sites in the scalp. Other herbs employed with similar functions include pygeum
africanum and pumpkin seed oil, both used to bring into balance the testosterone/DHT
ratio; lastly, the plant sterol Beta-Sitosterol is often used successfully to treat
prostate enlargement, which has similar causes to male pattern baldness - whether it
will support hair growth is not yet known, but it likely won't hurt!. Finally, getting an
adequate supply of Zinc is also important in maintaining this hormonal balance. The
entire androgen hormone regulation system is fairly complex; just remember these
items: Saw Palmetto, Nettle Root (not leaf!), Pygeum, Zinc, and Beta-Sitosterol. By
the way, if using a prostate formula for these nutrients, they should be taken in gel
cap form - they are better absorbed this way than in plain powder, and hence more
effective.

In addition to these herbs, which are also commonly used around the world for
blocking the creation and effects of DHT, Procyanidins, or Polyphenols, have been
shown to inhibit DHT systemically, AND can stimulate hair growth when applied
topically. These anti-oxidant compounds first became renown with the discovery of
the amazing action of grape seed extract and it's powerful ability as a free-radical
scavenger. More recently, Japanese researchers went through the effort of testing
HUNDREDS of compounds in the laboratory for their effect on the stimulation of hair
growth, and they found the compounds of grape seed extract grew hair at a greater
rate than the pharmaceutical preparation Minixodil. With further testing, using
variations of the polyphenols, they discovered those found in apple skin polyphenols
to be even more effective, nearly twice effective as Rogaine. Further, with the addition
of Forskolin, another herbal extract, the effect was even greater. Exciting news! The
interesting thing is that these compounds actually stimulated the hair follicles to
become active, whereas it seems Rogaine works by lowering blood pressure in the
scalp, thereby increasing blood flow to the follicles. And these compounds did not
produce an initial 'shedding' as Rogaine has been known to do.

In addition to the polyphenols, certain essential oils alone and in combination can be
effective at hair growth stimulation. In a Scottish study on alopecia areata patients, a
blend of Lavender, Thyme, Cedarwood and Rosemary oils based in Jojoba and
Grapeseed was found to significantly enhance the regrowth of hair compared to an
application of just the base oils alone. Many essential oils, including lavender and
rosemary, contain 'ketones', molecules that have been found to cause the skin to
regenerate. Further, these oils could be enhanced with the addition of Rosehip Seed
oil, which contains compounds similar to Retin-A, a pharmaceutical which has been
used in combination with Rogaine for faster effects.

Given all this wonderful information, how does one combine them into an effective
regimen? The best thing to do is keep it simple - the more simple it is, the more likely
it is you'll stay with it for the several months it will take to see significant effects. So,
for the systemic DHT suppression and inhibition, look at formulas either designed
specifically for hair, or those for the support of the Prostate gland - they will contain
almost the exact same ingredients. Look for a high-quality supplement, with
standardized Saw Palmetto extract, Nettle Root extract, and Pygeum extract. Do not
take the un-extracted herbs, they will not likely be strong enough in doses you are
willing to consume. Saw Palmetto can be consumed in doses between 160 and
320mg daily, Nettle Root a bit more, and Pygeum significantly less. They should be in
a gel cap, preferably in Pumpkin seed oil. Take a separate Beta Sitosterol supplement,
around 400mg daily, if it is not included already. This is typically found in dry capsules,
and there have not been reports of the importance of consuming this in an oil-based
capsule, though you can take it with fatty food if you want to be sure (this may help
the absorption). Add an oral supplement of Green Tea extract, Grape Seed extract, or
Apple Polyphenol extract if you like, along with a good multivitamin.

For the topical application, one can find natural hair care products on the internet using
apple polyphenols, or you can make your own for less cost. Apple polyphenols are
just now becoming available in bulk and in capsules. You can create your own topical
blend by mixing these into water or an alcohol/water solution at 1-3% by weight (1
ounce of water weighs about 30 grams, so 1 gram of apple polyphenols in one ounce
of water will produce about a 3% solution - more is not better here, as there was a
drop-off in effectiveness with higher concentrations in the laboratory). An herbal
extract of Forskolin can also be added to enhance the effects. Finally, this can all be
made in Nettle Root tea as the base, adding a DHT inhibitor to the blend. Try applying
2 - 3 times daily.

For the essential oils, the recipe used in the scientific study was as follows: 3 drops of
essential oil of thyme, 3 drops of essential oil of lavender, 3 drops of essential oil of
rosemary 3 drops of essential oil of cedarwood based in 1/8 cup of grapeseed oil and
1/8 cup of jojoba oil. Apply during the day some time, massaging into the scalp, and
leaving in for 20 minutes to an hour, then wash out, or apply before going to bed. This
will give enough time for the oils to penetrate the skin and have their effect. If you
wish to further enhance this blend, you may squeeze some of the gel caps of Saw
Palmetto et. al. into the oil, which can reduce the effects of DHT topically, in addition
to the systemic effect of the oral supplements.

So there it is, the roundup of the more well-known and tested natural remedies for
male pattern baldness. While Rogaine for growth stimulation, and Finasteride or
Dutasteride for DHT inhibition are completely reasonable ways to go, their costs are
high and the effects of their long term use are not well known. And then there are
some folks that would prefer to stay away from chemically manufactured medicines
altogether - hopefully this bit of information will help. There is much more research
available on the internet, though hopefully this is enough information to get you
confidently started.


About The Author

Eric V. Allen is a consultant to Ananda Apothecary, a resource for
and
.
Since the introduction of Rogaine
in the early 1980's, androgenic
mediated hair loss, or 'male
pattern baldness' has been
considered a treatable condition
through the use of
pharmaceutical preparations. The
perception that over-the-counter
and prescription drugs are the
only means to successfully treat
this type of hair loss is
perpetuated by the lack of
well-funded and publicized
studies on the efficacy of natural
treatments. However, as the
understanding of the biological
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
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