Whether we like it or not, the people around us judge us first of all by our appearance. Hair in particular contributes to this assessment. If they are full and shiny, we are considered youthful and fresh. In order to maintain this effect for as long as possible, an entire industry has developed around hair and the subject of hair loss, which is constantly bringing countless new products onto the market. No matter whether it is about hair growth products, shampoos, food supplements or vitamin pills, they all aim at the fear of people for their crowning headdress and the visible loss of vitality and attractiveness.
In fact, the condition of our hair depends heavily on whether it receives all the necessary nutrients and how carefully we treat it. Longer-term hair loss beyond the normal level of about 100 hairs per day can have many other causes, including hormonal and metabolic triggers. It can affect both women and men of any age. The question is which of the alternative therapies offered actually deliver what they promise.
In a study by the University of California, Irvine, on alternative therapies for hair loss, American researchers have compiled and examined a wide variety of alternatives. More than 20 applications were included in the study, including acupuncture, various vitamins and amino acids, aromatherapies and procyanidine. Some of them did not show any effect. Others, however, could slow down the process of hair loss. In most cases, however, conclusive scientific evidence is lacking.
The scientists therefore advise those affected and their doctors to consider a possible failure when using dietary supplements. Some of the substances mentioned may even cause skin irritation and inflammation and increase hair loss.
At the moment, the thumb, among other things, goes down for massages, garlic and curcumin. The latter is the ingredient in turmeric that is associated with potential efficacy against hair loss. The success of curcumin in hair loss has not been confirmed even after six months of trials. The same applies to products containing garlic. The long-term effect of vitamin D, which was considered promising, has also not yet been clinically proven. Further trials are necessary.
In contrast, caffeine and rosemary oil may have a positive effect on hair growth, which, however, is still scientifically proven. Other promising alternatives are melatonin, pumpkin seed oil for the top of the head, topical caffeine, zinc and onion juice, which in some cases led to complete hair regrowth, to name but a few. Nutritional supplements with marine proteins from molluscs and sharks also showed clear results. Also here applies that further investigations are necessary, in order to be able to make a secured statement.
Medicines available on the market whose effectiveness in hair loss has been proven for years are minoxidil and finasteride. However, they do not work for everyone and finasteride is not suitable for women. Minoxidil slows hair loss by stimulating and prolonging the growth phase, while finasteride blocks the production of the chemical DHT. It is responsible for hair loss. The drug thus stops hair loss and can strengthen the hair. Both drugs have the disadvantage that hair loss starts again as soon as the drug is stopped.
The results of the American study were taken from the journal «Skin Appendage Disorders».