Saw Palmetto Clinically Shown to Help Hair Thinning

Saw palmetto for hair loss

Finding safe and natural solutions for keeping your hair healthy is a top priority here at Nutrafol. That’s why we’re excited that researchers have shown the herb saw palmetto, also known as serenoa repens, utilizes the same pathway as Propecia, an FDA approved treatment for hair loss.

Propecia vs. Saw Palmetto

The drug known as Propecia (generic name finasteride) is a fairly common treatment for male hair loss but some doctors and patients want to steer clear of this medication because of its potentially scary side effects. For men and women seeking more natural solutions, herbal supplements provide a far less risky way to maintain a head of healthy hair.

When a study showed that saw palmetto actually can help hair growth, we wanted to make sure you knew about it.

Researchers compared the efficacy of saw palmetto to Propecia in this two-year study of 100 men with hereditary male pattern hair loss. The results? While 68% of participants using Propecia showed an increase in hair growth, confirming its efficacy, 38% of participants in the group using saw palmetto alone also experienced hair growth. So while saw palmetto wasn’t as effective as the chemical drug, it was proven to work—and without the negative side effects.

Another important finding from the study was that while 38% of the saw palmetto group experienced hair growth, another 52% of the saw palmetto group experienced stabilization of loss. Slowing or stopping the progression of hair loss, in and of itself, is a desirable outcome for those fighting to preserve their hair.

Saw palmetto a natural solution for hair loss
Saw palmetto is sold in four different forms: as whole, dried berries, as a liquid extract, in tablets, and in powdered capsules.

Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss

So how does it work?

As it turns out, both the herb and the drug block the enzyme, Type II 5-alpha-reductase, from turning testosterone into DHT. As you may know, DHT is a hormone that contributes to hair-thinning by shrinking hair follicles. Smaller hair follicles means thinner hair, and nobody wants that.

Of course, taking a single herb is not a magic bullet. If only preventing hair loss were that easy! But since experts know that saw palmetto acts in a similar way to finasteride, we use the herb as part of our Synergen Complex to combat the production of DHT—one of the man culprits in male thinning. It turns out DHT not only causes hair follicles to thin over time, it can even lead to eliminating hair follicles completely. That’s why you’ve got to keep DHT levels in check.

Saw Palmetto Hair Loss Studies and Research

And rest assured, it’s not just one study that proves the power of saw palmetto. This white paper shows exactly how the herb stops the production of DHT. A small study of 10 males with androgenetic alopecia, showed a 60% improvement for those ingesting the herb. And another study, in which saw palmetto was applied topically in the form of a lotion and a shampoo for three months on 34 men and 28 women, led to a 35% increase in hair density and 67% increase in sebum reduction.

But before purchasing just any brand of serenoa repens, make sure you’re getting the real deal. Always buy from reputable companies and read the label closely to avoid unnecessary fillers. As to dosage: Several studies had participants taking 200 milligrams, twice daily, which is a good guideline to see whether saw palmetto may work for you.

Natural Remedies for Hair Regrowth – According to Science This is What Really Works

Male hair is fraught with mythology and misconception. So when it comes to hair regrowth, what is true and what is fiction? Nutrafol took a closer look at some natural remedies for your hair and would like to let you in on what really works, based on science.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

A study was conducted on the effect of pumpkin seed oil on hair loss in men. Patients received 400mg of pumpkin seed oil for 24 weeks. “Hair count increases of 40 percent were observed in treated men at 24 weeks, whereas increases of 10 percent were observed in placebo-treated men,” the study stated. The researcher came to the conclusion that pumpkin seed oil reduces levels of 5-alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the main cause of androgenetic alopecia.

Saw Palmetto

On the subject of DHT, herbal extract saw palmetto has been shown to reduce levels by around 38 percent. And a recent study published in 2017 compared the effects of saw palmetto and finasteride (more well known under the name of Propecia). It showed that saw palmetto had a positive impact on hair growth as it contains components that prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT. DHT is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that contributes to hair thinning by shrinking hair follicles.

A Diet Low in Fast Digesting Carbs and Low in Sugar

Fast digesting carbs lead to an increase in blood sugar. This causes your body to release insulin. If you have a high level of insulin, you would most likely have low levels of globulin. Globulin, or SHBG is what binds to DHT and renders it ineffective. So basically, sugar equals more insulin equals less SHBG equals more DHT equals more hair loss.

Biotin

Biotin is crucial for the formation of keratin which is the key component of hair and nails. Deficiency is rare but if you have a deficiency it is important to up your biotin intake. It has been shown to improve blood sugar regulation, which may have a positive effect on hair loss.

Scalp massage

In this small trial, standardized scalp massages were administered 4 minutes a day for 24 weeks. Researchers observed an increase in hair thickness as well as an increase in the expression of hair cycle related genes. They also saw a decrease in a gene associated with hair loss.

Scalp massage is great to prevent hair loss and increase hair thickness
Scalp massage is a natural remedy that increases hair thickness.

Derma Roller Microneedling

A derma roller may be one of the effective natural hair loss treatments – especially when it comes to hair regrowth. If you don’t know what it is, a derma roller basically looks like a small paint roller but with a surface full of little needles. You use it by rolling it over your skin, or areas of hair loss on your scalp.
This 2013 study demonstrated that derma roller microneedling is far more effective for hair regrowth than minoxidil alone. After 12 weeks, subjects treated with a derma roller saw dramatic regrowth. In addition, when you roll over the part where the skin is damaged, growth factors and stem cells rush to the site of the trauma. So this does not only repair the damage but can awaken dormant hair follicles.

A Plant Based Supplement Like Nutrafol

Nutrafol has identified plants with powerful therapeutic effects. It is known for using botanical ingredients that help address triggers like stress levels and free radicals that interrupt optimal hair growth. The supplement increases the production of signaling molecules thanks to the phytonutrients. In addition, these are the molecules that normally stimulate the follicles to enter into the growth phase of the hair cycle.

If you are curious about using natural remedies for hair loss then maybe this will help you understand more about their effectiveness based on science. The trick is finding the right one that works for you and your hair.

The Best Ways to Increase Your Hair Growth the Natural Way

How to grow long hair

We have all heard about them – endless natural methods that can help you improve your hair quality and aid healthy hair growth. Yes, there are plenty of home remedies that people use to try to regrow their hair, but in order to pick a remedy that actually works, it pays off to read up on the the right research supporting such methods. So what works and what doesn’t? Among so many remedies and treatments, it can be hard to determine what is fact and what is fiction when it comes to hair growth. This is what we know so far.

Consider This For Natural Hair Growth

Increase hair growth
Washing your hair often will not cause hair loss.
  • Stress

    Stress is not doing your body nor your hair a favor. When you are shocking your body and putting it through physical or emotional trauma, it also shocks the hair follicles which can stop them from growing. Studies have attempted to show a correlation between stress and hair loss. One study focused on a chemical mixture that blocks the effects of stress on the gut. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, used mice that were genetically altered to produce more stress hormones. As a side effect of being more stressed, the mice had gone bald.

  • Hair Care

    There is some confusion about whether hair care contributes to hair loss or not. For example, washing your hair often will not cause hair loss, but you should not over-use heat tools as they can damage, burn or dry out your hair. However, if this happens, the hair will grow back. Hair dye is another cause that is wildly discussed. Most hair-coloring treatments contain chemicals that can damage your hair and make it fall out, leaving you with temporary hair loss. Some hairstyles, such as tight plaits or ponytails can cause hair loss because of the tension it creates on the hair. However, hair care products such as gel and hairspray, do not cause hair loss.

  • Scalp Massage

    A study conducted in Japan showed that scalp massage could increase hair thickness. The men involved in the study had regular massages over a 24-week period. After the trial, researchers could conclude that, while hair growth rate did not improve, thickness improved significantly. Researchers believe this has to do with the increased blood flow and direct stimulation of the cells.

Pull Off Surfer Hair Without Even Trying – Or Going Surfing

Purposefully messy, disheveled, and untidy, but still looking the part, is what surfer hair is all about. This haircut, in particular, is long, unkempt, and very often curly or wavy. The origin of the name comes from the stereotype of a hardcore surfer.
Surfer hair is hair that has been bleached by the sun, soaked in salty sea waters, and received minimal care. However, if you are not lucky enough to get surfer hair the natural way, there is a way to create it at home.

How to Get Surfer Hair

This goes without saying, but if you are looking to rock a surfer hairstyle, the first step is letting your hair grow long. There are a few natural ingredients that you can apply to your everyday life to support healthy hair growth but be sure to resist the temptations to just trim a little off when your hair gets to an impractical length. Eating a balanced, protein and mineral rich diet will help your hair grow as healthily as possible.

Let your hair grow down to about chin height around the sides, and eye height at the front — or even lower. Do not worry about trying to add any curls or flicks to your hair just yet. Any texture will come with time, and — when it does come — let it be natural. Make sure to keep it healthy.

surfer hair
Hair supplements such as biotin, saw palmetto and vitamin C is usually helpful when trying to grow surfer hair.

If your hair grows slow, look into you diet, you might want to to add some vitamins to your diet. And remember that you are not supposed to use shampoo daily, but whenever you do shampoo, be sure to use conditioner. You will want to keep your hair healthy and strong. Maintaining healthy hair will help it grow faster too and you will be closer to having surfer hair.

 

 

 

How to Style Surfer Hair

This cut is very low maintenance despite being so long. If you want to add some more excitement to the hairstyle, try some hair products. There are specific products for it, which attempt to mimic the sun-bleached, salt soaked look that surfer hair originated from. But all of this without damaging your own hair. Pick a hair product, that will create more of a matte finish — as opposed to a shiny one — for a more authentic look. If you get tired of your long hair and feel the urge to cut it off, do not! Choose a product which will create a more glossy finish, and brush through your hair before pulling it all back.

Photo: Rachel Haller via Flickr.

Hair Shedding and How to Help Avoid it

Hair Shedding

Our hair is our crowning glory and it is the one feature that most people notice first. Apart from our smiles of course. That being said, a common problem that most men and women are facing today is excessive hair shedding. This could be due to various reasons like stress from work, hereditary predispositions, our hair care and even foods we eat. All these reasons contribute to the well being or the health of our hair.

On average, a normal person sheds up to 100 hairs daily. If you notice that you are shedding more hair than normal, you may have a condition known as ‘telogen effluvium’. Many people who have undergone the following experiences may face excessive hair shedding. If you have recently lost a lot of weight, like losing over 20 pounds, given birth, undergone a surgery or operation or have experienced a lot of stress due to a loved one’s death, divorce or job loss – you could be noticing an increase in hair shedding. Even something as simple as stopping your birth control pills, infections or recovering from an illness or a high fever could trigger excessive hair shedding.

The Difference Between Hair Shedding and Hair Loss

There is a difference between hair shedding and hair loss. Our hair goes through a growth period and a rest period. After a period of time which can range from 2 – 8 years, our hair ‘sheds’ itself and a new hair grows in the hair follicle. As time passes, less hair grows back so you may notice that your hair looks thinner as you age. The average age for a person to notice thinning hair is 30.
Now, the difference between the two is that hair loss occurs when something prevents your hair from growing. If you are facing hair loss, you should determine what is causing it to happen. This could range from certain drugs you may be taking, tight hairstyles, hereditary reasons and more. Certain treatments like radiation and chemotherapy cause your hair to fall, but once the treatment is over, your hair will likely begin growing back.

How to Avoid Hair Shedding

You should be careful on the types of hairstyles you adopt. Try to leave your hair hanging loose as much as you can as this lessens the amount of pressure your hair undergoes.

Hair Shedding
Letting your hair hang loose is a good way to help prevent excessive hair shedding

If you tie your hair tight in a ponytail constantly, your hair strands face constant pressure that can lead to hair breakage. While these seem like simple solutions for controlling hair shedding, just following these tips can help make a difference in the amount of hair strands you see on your pillow or after brushing

.
If you still see noticeable hair shedding after following these steps, you may need to consult a doctor. You may even require treatment for your problem, which a dermatologist may be best able to help you with. The hereditary hair loss gene can be inherited and this may cause the gradual thinning you may notice. If you are very concerned about the health of your hair, do consult a professional to pinpoint the exact cause.

 

How to Prevent Dry Scalp and Hair Loss

Dry Scalp and Hair Loss

A lot of how we look depends on the health and condition of our hair. A healthy scalp provides nourishment for your hair and its roots. It also keeps our hair looking healthy, where an unhealthy one can cause dry scalp and hair loss. But when problems with our scalp arise, so do problems with our hair. They are both linked. You cannot have healthy hair without a healthy scalp.

One of the biggest factors that surround dry scalp and thinning hair is the weather. You will notice that your scalp feels drier in winter, and your hair is more brittle. A dry scalp will decrease the health of your hair, and you will see more breakage during the winter.
While a dry scalp may not necessarily directly cause hair loss, the problems that accompany a dry scalp may contribute to the thinning of hair, as well as hair loss.

Dry scalps are itchy, and what do we do when we are itching? We scratch. When you scratch your scalp, you dislodge the dead skin cells which are produced during the normal hair growth cycle.
An itchy scalp also causes dandruff due to dryness. Dandruff is a problem that plagues many people, but this could also be a sign that your scalp is not healthy. If left untreated, a dry scalp could cause long lasting damage to your hair, so don’t wait too long before you take action.

Causes of Dry Scalp and Hair Loss

There are many reasons why your scalp gets dry and itchy, one of them being stress. Many people do report dry skin and scalp issues after a period of tremendous stress, so make sure to evaluate your life when you start losing hair and your scalp starts to itch.
Another big factor that causes dry scalp is the hair products you use. Some of them contain chemicals and ingredients that could be harsh for your hair and scalp. If you are sensitive to perfumes in hair products or to certain chemicals, your scalp could react to them, causing dry scalp.
Skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and Psoriasis could also cause hair problems, but this can be treated; consult a dermatologist.

Unhealthy lifestyles can cause hair loss as well. If you eat poorly, never sleep, or never take care of medical conditions, your hair may start to fall out, or your scalp may begin to dry.

Dry Scalp and Hair Loss
Make sure to invest in a good hair oil – the perfect cure to prevent a dry scalp.

How to Avoid Hair Loss Due to Dry Scalp

Our hair plays a huge role in our self-esteem. So factors like our diet and hair care play a vital role in preventing a dry scalp from forming. Moisturize your scalp by using certain oils, and condition the skin in your scalp. Avoid overuse of electrical hair appliances that dry out your hair and skin cells.

Eat a well-balanced diet so that your body receives enough nutrients to moisturize the scalp and maintain a healthy oil level. If you are uncertain if you are getting all the vitamins you need through your diet, taking a supplement that supports healthy hair growth can be a good way of making sure. Last but not least, avoid scratching your scalp. The rubbing causes friction, which dislodges the hair and can cause hair loss.
Often, your hair loss can be easily rectified by simply working to moisturize and hydrate your scalp. Don’t ignore dandruff – or you could start losing your hair!

6 Tips and Natural Remedies Against Hair Loss

Remedies Against Hair Loss

Bald spots are sometimes unsightly, and you may feel like your hair (or lack thereof) is all people see. If you’re ready to bring back health to your hair and hide those bald spots, here are 6 tips and natural remedies for hair loss to help you get started today.

1. Go to the doctor

Health is the largest factor associated with hair loss and thinning, so if you’re experiencing this you should rule out larger, much more sinister, causes. Your doctor will check your blood and your hormone levels, and make sure that everything is normal. Once that’s done, you can consider it’s possibly due to one or several of the many other causes, like stress or diet.

2. Reduce your anxiety

You’re probably rolling your eyes at this one, but bald spots and hair loss can be made worse by stress and anxiety. If you have an especially stressful job or home life, you need to consider what steps you can take to reduce anxiety in those settings. Sometimes this is difficult, but you’ll notice a dramatic difference, not just on your hair but on your general well being, too.

3. Eat better

If you’ve been to the doctor and they can’t find anything indicating why you’re experiencing hair loss or thinning, you may be really frustrated. However, a well-balanced diet can actually prevent or reverse hair loss. Important nutrients to get through your intake of food are iron, magnesium and beta carotene, among others. Omega 3 foods like nuts and fish, as well as more wholesome dairy, like yogurt and eggs are also beneficial for hair health. Cut out processed junk, sugar, and caffeine as these are all known to cause hair loss and bald spots.

Remedies Against Hair Loss
A green juice made with spinach provides iron –  important for  healthier and stronger hair.

4. Try natural home remedies for hair loss

Some people are willing to try almost anything to cover their bald spots. If you’re at this point, you could start with something natural – like radish and onion juice, which you can buy or make on your own. Rubbing it on your scalp is said to stimulate hair follicles and encourage growth. It’s worth a try! Other at-home remedies are castor oil, spinach juice and egg yolk.

5. Stop smoking and/or drinking

If you’re a smoker and a drinker, it’s no wonder your hair health might suffer. Studies in twins with different balding patterns show that the twin who smokes and/or drinks frequently is much more likely to develop random, patchy bald spots compared to the twin who doesn’t. Smoking and drinking rid your body of healthy vitamins, something that can quickly lead to hair loss. Cut it out!

6. Avoid harsh chemicals and over-styling

People, especially women, who use harsh chemicals in their shampoos or styling products, tend to see more shedding than people who don’t. If you want to try to regrow hair, change your hygiene habits. Try using a gentle shampoo and conditioner, not blow drying or damaging your hair daily, and rubbing your scalp with hair oil once a week. Also, avoid combing or yanking your hair while it’s wet, and don’t style it too tightly. Men – don’t slick it back or over-gel it to make it stay! The less you mess with or handle your hair, the easier those follicles can grow hair without it getting damaged. However, the thought that washing your hair too much is responsible for hair loss is just a myth.

The Function of Hair – 4 Reasons Why We Need It

function of hair

When we need it, it’s either too short or barely there. When we don’t want it, it’s all over the place. During many stages in our life, many of us have experienced a love-hate relationship with our own hair. But what is the function of hair?

Throughout history, hair seems to be the only exterior body part that has been subjected to such a wide range of use and abuse. We’ve pulled, cut, dyed, curled, straightened, tweezed, waxed, shaved, ironed, stretched, tied, and chewed it – among countless other things we’ve done on a regular basis.

If we spend so much of our time, energy, and dollars to grow and maintain our hair, couldn’t we just leave it to grow ‘au naturel’ until it sheds off our bodies, or undergo a total deforestation so we can take a load off of our backs – or in this case, skin?

Not so fast – take a look at the function of hair, four reasons why we all need it, and why it’s important to go to great lengths to care for it:

1. Hair regulates body temperature. Being indoors in a cold room or outdoors in cold weather makes our muscles contract, causing them to pull the hair into an upright position. These erect strands trap air and serve as insulation to protect the body from the cold. This explains why a person who has more hair feels warmer than someone who has little or none at all. Hot temperatures have an opposite effect. As our sweat glands secrete sweat that evaporates to cool us down, the muscles relax,  making the hair lie flat to release heat

2. Hair extends our sense of touch. It’s amazing how even before an object touches our skin, our hair makes it possible for us to feel something. A study published by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2012 reported how the brain processes and collects information through hair on the skin. David Ginty, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, says more than 20 classes of mechanosensory nerve cells in the skin detect everything from temperature to pain.

The study tested how the nervous system develops by using genetically engineered mice with a fluorescent protein in one type of nerve cell, called C-type low-threshold mechanosensory receptor or C-LTMR. These C-LTMR cells, which branch from the spinal cord to the skin, were found to send projections to as many as 30 different hair follicles. When two other types of nerve cells were marked, the results showed each hair type (mice have three) having even spacing and pattern on the skin and bearing a different and specific set of nerve endings. “This makes every hair a unique mechanosensory organ,” Ginty noted. The amount of hair may be different in mice and humans but many of the structures are similar and leads us to a new understanding of how hair plays an important role in our sense of touch.

3. Hair protects our bodies from harmful objects. Hair covers almost all of our body except for the palms of our hands, soles of the feet, and lips. Aside from providing cover from the heat of the sun, body hair such as eyebrows, eyelashes, and those found in nostrils help keep dust and foreign matter out.

4. Hair identifies you. Your hair may be a dead giveaway for forensic analysis and paternity testing, but for many, hair is simply the ultimate form of expression. The Jackson 5 and their afros, Dolly Parton and her big hair, Mr. T and his mohawk, Sinead O’Connor and her closely shaven pate, Alicia Keys and her braids, Jennifer Aniston and her “Rachel” locks – these celebrities made their hair a brand of its own by using it to enhance their features and create a style uniquely their own.

Lady Gaga, with her head-turning coifs, sums it up in her 2011 song “Hair”:

Function of Hair
One function of hair is to make an expression. It identifies us.

I just want to be free, I just want to be me
And I want lots of friends that invite me to their parties
Don’t wanna change, and I don’t wanna be ashamed
I’m the spirit of my hair, it’s all the glory that I bare.