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.

Can too much Sriracha cause Hair Loss?

Have you ever drizzled or even drenched your dishes with spicy Sriracha sauce? If you have, you may testify that it helps make any bland (or not so bland) meal taste better. For those who don’t know what Sriracha is – it’s the bright red hot sauce named after the coastal city of the Chonburi province in Eastern Thailand, Si Racha. It’s served in Thai and Vietnamese restaurants and is used as a dipping sauce for all kinds of foods, especially seafood.

What’s in it? Sriracha sauce is made of chili pepper paste, distilled vinegar, garlic, and salt – just like most other hot sauces. Some of the ingredients have great health benefits. Garlic has been long known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve blood circulation. Chili peppers and jalapeños have two potent compounds in them – capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin. Capsaicin is known to boost metabolism, endorphins and serotonin, which can perk up one’s mood and enhance memory. Clinical studies show that in small doses it may help to grow your hair, but in larger does it can also quite possibly have a negative effect on your hair.

Capsaicin’s Benefits

While there isn’t any research on the effects of Sriracha specifically on hair, there’s a significant amount of research on the effects of capsaicin on your health.
Capsaicin is a pain reliever, and is an active ingredient in many topical pain creams and ointments. It has proven positive effects on:
• Pain including joint pain
• Inflammation such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
• Nervous system disorders such as diabetic neuropathy and shingles
• Headaches
• Skin conditions such as psoriasis
• Mouth sores due to chemotherapy or radiation
• Preventing ulcers and other digestive issues
According to a 2010 study performed by the UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition, capsaicin is believed to help people lose weight and burn calories. It can increase serotonin levels in the brain and releases endorphins that uplift one’s mood. The list of benefits goes on.

Scientific study: Capsaicins positive effects on hair growth

Capsaicin may have a positive effect on hair growth. Although not overwhelming, the results are conclusive. For example, there was a study performed on the effects of capsaicin intake on hair growth in mice and in humans who simultaneously suffered from alopecia (hair loss).

In both mice and humans, researchers observed and measured the levels of the Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), a protein that plays a significant role in the regulation, growth and development of tissues and hair. One group of wild-type mice was given capsaicin and isoflavone (a plant-derived chemical) and the other group was given only capsaicin. Results showed that although one group experienced more hair growth than the other, both groups experienced an increase in dermal IGF-1 and hair growth.

The human study group that was given 6mg/day of capsaicin and 75 mg/day of isoflavone experienced hair growth after 5 months of oral administration. The study suggested that a combination of capsaicin and isoflavone may increase IGF-1 levels in hair follicles and promote hair growth. Thus, for those suffering from alopecia, men and women may benefit by including a regimen of capsaicin and isoflavone supplementation.

hair loss
All spicy chili based sauces contain capsaicin, which can effect hair growth and possibly lead to hair loss.

Different peppers – different capsaicin levels

The amount of capsaicin in a chili pepper is measured by the Scoville Heat Scale, founded by chemist, Wilbur Scoville in 1912. The scale measures how much a pepper oil extract needs to be sugar-water diluted until its heat is no longer detected. Sriracha measures 1,000 – 2,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Ripened Sriracha measures on the upper end of jalapeño peppers – 2,500-8,000 SHU. While Sriracha is “hot,” it isn’t as strong as other hot sauces on the market – for example those containing scotch bonnet, or capsaicin-rich habanero peppers (which can measure anywhere between 150,000-350,000 SHUs). At this time, the Bhut Jolokia chili pepper holds the distinction of being the world’s hottest chili pepper. The Chile Pepper Institute of New Mexico State University reported that the capsaicin content of the Bhut Jolokia measures over 1,000,000 SHUs. Pure Capsaicin measures 16,000,000 SHUs.

(Note: 100 mg of chili powder contains 0.13 mg of capsaicin. One tablespoon of ground chili pepper would contain anywhere between 0.8 mg and 480 mg of capsaicin.)

Capsaicin’s Adverse Effects to Hair Follicles

Many capsaicin based pain and inflammation medications target the VR1/TRVP1 receptors. As these receptors are involved in mediating body temperature and transmitting heat and pain sensations, blocking them leads to a decrease in pain. The VR1/TRVP1 receptors can be found in large amounts in the Central nervous system (CNS), and the Peripheral nervous system. However, research has shown that the receptors are not just limited to sensory neurons and pain transmission. They are also expressed on the human scalp and hair follicles, and are involved in human hair growth and inhibition. More studies are needed to explore and define the physiological signaling.

One in-vitro study suggests that pure capsaicin has adverse effects on hair growth in a dose-dependent manner. The higher the capsaicin concentration exposed to the VR1 receptors, the higher the inhibition of hair growth (regression), which causes premature hair follicle catagen and activation of hair growth inhibitors as per the diagram below.

hair loss
This diagram shows that very little capsaicin can have an effect on hair growth.

According to diagram A, all it took was 1 mmol (.01 mg/dL) of capsaicin to lessen hair growth by approximately 1%. Respectively, 10mmol (.11 mg/dL) of capsaicin lessen hair growth by approximately 30%., and the largest amount of capasaicin, 30 mmol (or .34 mg/dL) lessened hair growth by approximately 50%, compared to the control group. .34 mg/DL, can be found in approximately 261.5 mg of chili powder.

Can too much chili pepper cause hair loss?

It may be quite possible that consuming too much Sriracha or any other hotter chili pepper over a period of time may stunt hair growth or cause your hair to go into premature catagen phase. Based on available scientific information, TRVP1 exposure to capsaicin causes excessive heat, abrasive damage and inflammation to nerves. Nerves are present around hair follicles and act as receptors to pain stimuli. In case of extreme exposure, capsaicin acts as an inflammatory stimulus, which triggers an inflammatory response by the body, which can lead to tissue damage.

According to research, capsaicin can lead to reduction in sensory function, and sensory nerve fibers. Thus, as TRVP1 is heavily present around hair follicles, sensory nerve endings, dermal blood vessels, sebaceous glands, mast cells, etc., inflammation caused by a high concentration of capsaicin can cause adverse effects to sensory nerves and tissues surrounding hair follicles. Over time, sensory nerve damage (sensory neuropathy) can cause changes in skin and hair, as well as to joints and bones.

Aside from capsaicin overdose; diabetes, kidney disorders, hypothyroidism, chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, and chronic deficiencies in Vitamins E, B1, B6, and B12 (which are essential to nerve health and functioning); can cause peripheral nerve damage and lead to hair loss and damage. Further human studies are needed to understand and confirm the physiological pathway.

Side effects of having too much chili sauce

The risk of accidental overdose or poisoning from hot peppers is almost zero, considering the low concentration of capsaicin in an ordinary hot pepper. One would need to consume a large amount of pure capsaicin crystals (chili pepper extract) to have damaging and lethal effects. There are other side effects more common with consuming capsaicin regularly or too much – including skin irritation, respiratory irritation, digestive problems such as upset stomach, stomach pain, and irritation, and nausea. If you are a heartburn or ulcer sufferer, consuming high or even moderate levels of capsaicin can increase the severity of the symptoms but will not cause either heartburn or ulcers. The same low risk of overdosing also applies to topical capsaicin which is available as low concentration capsaicin (generally in the range of 0.025–0.1%) creams, lotions, patches and ointments intended for daily use, and the branded capsaicin patch, Qutenza, for neuropathic pain is available as a single dose, 8% capsaicin patch.

Capsaicin supplements for weight loss

If you are considering taking a capsaicin supplement for weight loss, be cautious as to the dosage you are taking. Some supplements (cayenne pepper supplements) offer at least .25% of capsaicin or 25mg of capsaicin per 100 mg of chili extract. Too much usage can cause adverse reactions.

To cap it all off

For all those Sriracha and hot sauce fans – fret not!  In moderation, your capsaicin intake from spicy foods and condiments can be beneficial.  Of course, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet, including all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients for your hair and overall health.

References:

1. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/02/24/281978831/sriracha-chemistry-how-hot-sauces-perk-up-your-food-and-your-mood
2. http://healthyconnectionscorp.com/2011/01/feel-burn-spicy-food-benefits/
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569567
4. http://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/education/resources/highschool/
chemmatters/archive/chemmatters-dec2013-pepper.pdf
5. http://www.livestrong.com/article/447875-which-peppers-are-high-in-capsaicin/
6. http://ajp.amjpathol.org/article/S0002-9440(10)62320-6/fulltext#cesec130
7. http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2009/09/capsaicin-and-soy-isoflavones-grow-hair.html
8. Capsaicin induces degeneration of cutaneous autonomic nerve fibers
9. Topical capsaicin for pain management: therapeutic potential and mechanisms of action of the new high-concentration capsaicin 8% patch.
10. http://www.healthline.com/health/peripheral-neuropathy#Causes3
11. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/
detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm

12. 10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin
13. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of Curcumin: a component of turmeric (Curcuma longa)
14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21593771
15. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v418/n6894/full/nature00894.html
16. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15342573

Does Adderall Cause Hair Loss? We found out!

Adderall cause hair loss

There are various types of medications that can cause hair loss. These include antibiotics, birth control pills, acne medications and blood pressure medications. But how about Adderall? Can Adderall cause hair loss?

First of all, we need to get into the specifics. What exactly is Adderall and how can Adderall cause hair loss? And lastly, if it makes you lose your hair, what can you do to grow it back again?

What is Adderall?

Adderall is an amphetamine, a central nervous system stimulant used to treat disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some popularly used and prescribed amphetamines in the U.S. contain dextroamphetamine. Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, making it a widely prescribed pharmaceutical in the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy.

Does Adderall cause hair loss? If so, how?

Amphetamines are in general well-tolerated by the human body but may come with some side effects. With prolonged use and addiction, the side effects are much greater, including hair thinning and hair loss. The hair loss is typically spread across the scalp and not just concentrated in one particular area.

In women, the hair loss may be very noticeable. In men, the hair loss from Adderall use may be more difficult to detect.

There are many potential side effects of Adderall but here are some of them that can be connected to hair loss:

1. Appetite Suppression

A healthy diet is a must for a healthy hair. When you take Adderall you might loose your appetite, and hair loss can be a result of the resulting nutritional deficiency.

2. Sleep Problems and Restlessness

Extended use of Adderall may cause a lack of sleep which can lead to hair loss. Lack of sleep also leads to increased stress which is one of the main causes for hair loss in an individual. A study by the American Journal of Pathology, stated that stress and the release of hormones, neurotransmitters, and cytokines during a stress response can significantly influence the general growth of hair.

3. Elevated Cortisol levels

Temporary and prolonged use of amphetamine stimulants such as Adderall raise cortisol levels. High cortisol levels in the blood is another main cause of damaged hair follicles, and hair loss.

4. Rash and Itchy skin

Skin problems, such as acne or rash, as a result of taking Adderall can occur. An irritated scalp can in itself lead to hair loss, but hair loss from a rash can also be the result of excessive scratching of the scalp.

Therefore, looking over your Adderall dosage recommendations may prevent hair loss or limit the amount of hair loss you experience. If your hair loss is severe, you can talk to your doctor about safely discontinuing the medication altogether and wait for your hair to grow back naturally.

If you’re experiencing decreased hair quality from Adderall use and want to take action, it’s important to look for a supplement for hair that nourishes your hair from the root.

You may wish to consider taking a hair health supplement like Nutrafol – no matter what supplement you choose, it’s important that it contains the right vitamins and minerals that together help to support strong, healthy hair growth, such as Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin C and Zinc.

 

The Role of High Prolactin Levels in Hair Loss and Hair Health

high prolactin levels
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. NICOLE KLUGHERS, ND

on April 1, 2016

Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Its major function is to stimulate milk production in women after childbirth. However, recent studies have also shown a connection between high Prolactin levels and the health of our hair – or lack thereof. It has been observed that higher levels of serum Prolactin are associated with excessive hair loss in the human body.

Hyperprolactinemia, i.e. high levels of Prolactin, is a normal change during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but in non-pregnant women it can be a sign of disease. This condition leads to progressive hair loss because of its effect on the levels of testosterone in the body.

Prolactin acts by increasing the receptors of Luteinizing Hormone in the Leydig Cells, testosterone producing cells that are found in men‘s testicles and women’s ovaries. The increased testosterone secretion can cause hair loss in certain individuals because their hair follicles are genetically more sensitive to the elevated levels of the hormone, which causes the follicle to shrink.

Research on Hair Loss Due To High Prolactin Levels

In a recent study, organ-cultured human scalp was treated with a very high dose (400ng\ml) of Prolactin. The normal level of Prolactin is below 18ng\ml in men and 29 in women. The result was a significant decrease in the elongation of the hair shaft along with more hair prematurely moving into the catagen phase, when the hair gets cut off from its blood supply and stops growing. There was also elevated Apoptosis, which is increased natural cell death of the hair bulb keratinocytes (cells in the skin with a protective function), which can lead to hair loss.

Reasons for Increased Prolactin Secretion

Hyperprolectinemia can be caused by the following:

• Prolactinoma, a non-cancerous swelling of the pituitary gland, which leads to increased secretions of Prolactin.
• Increased secretion of TRH (Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone) due to Hypothyroidism, stimulates the secretion of Prolactin.
• Excessive use of anti-depressants such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Benzodiazepines (such as Alprazolam, Diazepam and Lorazepam), and Tricyclic Antidepressants (such as Imipramine, Amitriptyline, and Nortriptyline).
• Any psychotic disorder or chronic anxiety syndrome.
• During pregnancy and lactation there is increased secretion of the hormone Oxytocin which in turns stimulates increased secretion of Prolactin.
• Increased levels of Estrogen during the end of the gestational period also causes elevated levels of Prolactin. Paradoxically, Estrogen is also said to prolong the growing phase (anagen phase) of the hair cycle, which is why women’s hair can be thicker during pregnancy. More on Estrogen and how it affects the hair can be found in this article.

Reasons for Decreased Levels of Prolactin

• Excessive exposure to sunlight can decrease levels of Prolactin in the body.
Increased release of Dopamine by the Hypothalamus also inhibits Prolactin’s secretion.

Pharmacological Treatment of High Prolactin Levels

One recent study has shown that use of Dopamine Receptor Agonists such as Bromocriptine, Cabergoline, Pergolide and Quinagolide significantly reduces the levels of Prolactin in the body due to increased secretion of Dopamine.

All of these dopamine agonists have the same mechanism of action and minimal side effects. However, studies have shown that Cabergoline has the highest efficacy and drug tolerability for children and adolescents. Hence, Cabergoline should be the drug-of-choice for the treatment of Hyperprolactinemia, especially in young children and teenagers.

High Prolactin levels are emerging as a potential reason for increased hair loss in many people. Hence, levels of Prolactin should be checked in case of massive hair loss or Alopecia in order to treat these issues accordingly.

Anti-depressant medications and hair loss

medications and hair loss

There is a link between certain medications and hair loss (telogen effluvium) such as acne medications, antibiotics, antifungals, anti-hypertensive medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and anti-depressant and mood disorder medications. Among anti-depressants, those classified as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), are one class of these drugs shown to cause telogen effluvium.

Hair loss can occur when your body undergoes a stressful event such as childbirth, mental stress, illness, surgery, poor nutrition, or due to side effects from medications. Your hair follicles enter the resting phase (telogen) prematurely due to these triggers, causing hair loss.

The link between certain SSRI medications and hair loss

Some SSRIs that have been linked to hair loss include Prozac (Fluoxetine), Lexapro (Escitalopram Oxalate), and Zoloft (Sertraline hydrochloride), among others. These medications have been used for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders including mood and anxiety disorders.

Over the years, several cases have been reported worldwide of people who took SSRIs and experienced distressing hair loss as a side effect (see a list of medical case studies below).

medications and hair loss
There are natural alternatives to prescription SSRI medications.

Alternative solutions for anti-depressant related hair loss

If you have taken or are currently taking an anti-depressant and have experienced excessive hair shedding or hair loss, there are alternative solutions. Sudden hair loss can be distressing. It can make you overly anxious, worsen effects of depression, non-compliance, and relapse.

The first recommendation may be to incorporate a multi-vitamin while on medication, as reported in one case study. In the case study, a female patient aged 50 undergoing citalopram treatment took a multi-vitamin formulated for adults ages 50 and over, which stopped her hair loss.

 

The second alternative may be consulting with your doctor about lowering the dosage of your anti-depressant or switching to another medication, if possible. In one case study, the physician observers noted that hair loss increased when the anti-depressant dosage increased. However, you must report your personal side effects to your physician and determine if lowering the dosage or making a switch is right for you.

The third alternative is to consider using a hair health supplement concurrently with your anti-depressant. Hair health supplements are a great way to replenish the needed vitamins and minerals your hair needs. However, look for a supplement specifically for hair – one that also contains ingredients that help support healthy hair in a comprehensive way from the root. One such ingredient to look for is Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha: A natural reliever of anxiety, depression and stress

Ashwagandha is a powerful herb used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a number of diseases, including depression and anxiety. Ashwagandha has powerful protective effects on the central nervous system, specifically our brain cells. In an experimental study, Ashwagandha suggested it as effective as prescription anti-depressant medications and some tranquilizers. The study suggested that a five-day ashwagandha oral regimen had anti-anxiety effects similar to the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (Ativan) and anti-depressant effects similar to imipramine (Tofranil).

Researchers reported in another study published in a 2009 issue of “PLoS One,” that participants who suffered stress and anxiety and undergone treatment with 300mg of ashwagandha and naturopathic care saw significant improvements to their mental health, social functioning, fatigue and overall quality of life compared to those who took other forms of treatment. The researchers noted that ashwagandha was a safe and effective natural treatment for stress and anxiety.

Additionally, ashwagandha is a powerful antioxidant and destroy free radicals, known to have damaging effects on hair follicles. It also has benefits for hair thinning.

Ashwagandha lowers cortisol, thus lowering corticosteriod levels, a prime factor in hair thinning and stress.

A double-blind placebo controlled study with chronically stressed patients who took 125mg to 500mg of a patented form of ashwagandha (Sensoril), saw significant improvements to their stress, and biomarkers associated with cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein. Those who took 500mg of ashwagandha had cortisol levels 30% lower than those who took a placebo.

Ashwaghanda is also believed to get rid of dandruff and improve scalp circulation for improved hair quality. Nutrafol for Men and Women are both formulated with Sensoril Ashwagandha to help improve your hair’s health that may be affected by elevated stress hormones.

Case studies on anti-depressant medications and hair loss:

 

References:

1. Life Extension: Ashwagandha Stress Reduction, Neural Protection, and a Lot More from an Ancient Herb – http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2006/6/report_ashwa/page-01

2. Livestrong.com: Is Ashwaghanda Good for Anxiety & Depression?- http://www.livestrong.com/article/435585-is-ashwagandha-good-for-anxiety-depression/

3. Adaptogen Reviews.com: Ashwaghanda Benefits for Men and Women – http://www.adaptogenreviews.com/ashwagandha-benefits-for-men/

4. Life Extension: Stress Management: Alternative Stress Management Strategies – http://www.lifeextension.com/protocols/emotional-health/stress-management/page-02

 

Common Medications That Cause Hair Loss

medications that cause hair loss

It’s normal to lose some hair every day: the average person loses between 50 to 100 strands daily! But if you’re losing an excessive amount of hair, you may be taking medications that cause hair loss and not realize it. Among the medications that can cause hair loss are common ones like antibiotics and birth control pills.

Some medications cause only temporary hair loss. However, some medications and forms of treatment can lead to male or female pattern baldness and permanent hair loss. Yikes!

It can be helpful to understand what medications cause hair loss. We’re all unique: not all medications with the potential to cause hair loss will affect everyone equally. The severity of the effects of drugs that cause hair loss can depend on the drug itself, the dosage you’re taking and your body’s sensitivity to the drug or treatment.

The Top 10 Medications that Cause Hair Loss

Wondering what medications cause hair loss? Here are 10 of the main medications that can cause temporary or permanent hair loss:

1.) Acne medications (that contain Vitamin A): The key ingredient in many acne medications is Vitamin A, but in its processed form (retinoids, retinol). When taken in large doses, processed Vitamin A can lead to telogen effluvium, which is when the hair follicles go into their resting phase (telogen) too early, causing more hair to fall out. The effects often begin two to four months after a person begins the medication. Medications with Vitamin A include Accutane (Isotretinoin) and Retin-A (Tretinoin). A possible solution for hair loss while taking a Vitamin A-based medication is to lower the dosage.

2.) Antibiotics and Antifungals: Antibiotics are known to reduce hemoglobin and Vitamin B levels, which can sometimes make hair fall out faster. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. Hemoglobin and myoglobin are also important for storing iron. Decreased hemoglobin leads to iron deficiency, which in turn causes hair to become brittle or dry, or even to fall out. Vitamin B and B-Complex Vitamins are important for maintaining healthy hair growth, thickness and shine.

3.) Anticonvulsants/Epileptic medications: Anticonvulsants, or anti-seizure medications, can also compromise hair health. Medications include trimethadione (Tridione) and valproic acid (Depakote).

4.) Antidepressants, anti-anxiety and mood disorder medications: Certain antidepressant medications are known to cause telogen effluvium, such as:

  • Amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep)
  • Amoxapine (Asendin)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane)
  • Doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan)
  • Fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac)
  • Haloperidol (Haldol)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft)

5.) Birth control pills/female hormones: Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies can affect hormonal balance and are among the drugs that cause hair loss. Estrogen and Progesterone (female hormones) are hormonal medications that have been linked to female pattern baldness and telogen effluvium in women.

6.) Blood pressure medications: Does Lisinopril cause hair loss? Blood pressure lowering medications such as Beta-blockers and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) can lead to telogen effluvium, such as:

  • Beta-blockers: Atenolol (Tenormin), Metoprolol (Lopressor), Nadolol (Corgord), Propranolol (Inderal, Inderal LA), and Timolol (Blocadren)
  • ACE inhibitors: Captopril (Capoten), Lisinopril (Zestril, Prinivil), Enalapril (Vasotec)

7.) Blood-clotting medications: Blood thinners such as warfarin sodium (Panwarfarin, Sofarin, Coumadin) and heparin can cause hair loss.

8.) Chemotherapy and anti-cancer drugs: Chemotherapy does more than attack cancer cells; it attacks all of our healthy cells, including hair follicles. Some chemotherapies that can cause hair loss include: Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide, Cactinomycin, Docetaxel, and Doxorubicin.

9.) Cholesterol-lowering drugs: Cholesterol drugs including Atromid-S (clofibrate) and Lopid (gemfirbozil) can cause hair loss. Hair loss is a very rare side effect of statin-based cholesterol-lowering drugs. According to studies, cholesterol inhibitors such as Lipitor can cause an increase in hair shedding in only 1% of cases.

10.) Male hormones: Testosterone or anabolic steroids may cause male pattern baldness.

Other medications that cause hair loss

What medications cause hair loss aside from the top 10? Some additional medications that can cause hair loss include:

  • Gout treatment drugs
  • Immunosuppressant drugs
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Drugs for Parkinson’s disease
  • Steroids
  • Thyroid medications
  • Weight loss drugs

Ensuring the proper balance

It’s important to ensure proper balance when taking medications. Getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet is crucial for maintaining healthy hair and to prevent excessive hair shedding. While many drugs may not be widely associated with hair loss, almost every drug impacts nutrient deficiency, which can contribute to hair health. One helpful resource is MyTavin.com, where you can check drugs for nutrient depletion. 

If an adverse effect of your medication is hair loss, you might consider taking a comprehensive supplement for hair to support a strong, healthy environment in which hair can flourish.

For example, if you are taking an antibiotic or antifungal that causes hair loss as a side effect, it would be smart to incorporate a B-Complex Vitamin dietary supplement and/or iron supplement to replenish any Vitamin B and iron deficiencies. Conversely, if you are taking too much Vitamin A, you might consider decreasing the dosage. The key is getting the right dosage your body needs to do its job.

One way you can maintain proper amounts of vitamins and minerals in your diet is to take a hair health supplement. A good hair health supplement provides nutrition to hair and will include all of the necessary vitamins and minerals your hair needs for healthy growth in the appropriate amounts.

Many herbs have historically been used in Chinese or Ayurvedic cultures and medicine to treat symptoms of certain diseases such as hypertension, blood clotting, bacterial and fungal infections, cholesterol, etc. Today, research is showing that some of these herbs can support healthy hair growth.

For example, Ashwagandha is an Indian herb that historically has been used to alleviate or help with some symptoms of a number of diseases, including depression and anxiety. Ashwaghanda is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger, providing benefits for healthier hair, and can decrease cortisol, the “stress hormone.”

Curcumin is a substance found in turmeric, a plant that is a main ingredient in curry powder. Turmeric has been used in Indian and Asian medicine to treat a variety of health conditions because of its potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anticancer properties. Studies show that Curcumin’s properties help to optimize the immune system and other things that can slow hair growth.

If you have concerns about any medications you’re taking comprising your hair health, talk to your doctor. And remember, Nutrafol is 100% drug-free and has on-staff naturopathic doctors available for personal consultations when you subscribe.

References:

Everyday Health: “Medications that Can Cause Hair Loss”:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/hair-loss/medications-that-can-cause-hair-loss.aspx

Web MD: “Drug-Induced Hair Loss”:
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/drug-induced-hair-loss-2

American Hair Loss Association: “Drug-Induced Hair Loss”:
http://www.americanhairloss.org/drug_induced_hair_loss/

Daily Mail.com: “Hidden Dangers to Your Hair”:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-187704/Hidden-dangers-hair.html

Life Extension: “Ashwagandha Stress Reduction, Neural Protection, and a Lot More from an Ancient Herb”:
http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2006/6/report_ashwa/page-01

WebMD: “Vitamins and Supplements LifeStyle Guide – Turmeric (Curcumin)”:
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-turmeric