Society is a lot more health conscious today then it was a twenty years ago. Health clubs are practically on every corner of any major city in the world. It is no wonder that individuals suffering from androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) are looking for natural treatment options. In this article, we will discuss the cause of genetic hair loss and the natural treatment options available.
What Causes Genetic Hair Loss?
Sadly, going bald is as natural as the air we breath for some individuals, but what actually causes the hair loss? The simple answer is genetics. However, genetics determines an individuals predisposition to male and female pattern baldness, but the exact mechanism that triggers hair loss is hormonal. Hair follicles, as well as sebaceous glands contain the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the blood stream. DHT is the main hormone responsible for activating genetic hair loss.
Are There Any Natural Treatments That Work?
There are a variety of so-called "natural" treatments on the market today, but the truth is most of these treatments do nothing for hair loss. The treatments are often marketed and advertised as "promoting" hair growth rather than treating hair loss. However, there are a few natural treatments that may treat androgenic alopecia, which are as follows:
*Castor Oil: Castor oil is a vegetable oil pressed from castor beans. Castor oil contains several fatty acids such as linoleic,ricinoleic and oleic acid, these acids have been known to be mild 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. Therefore, they can potentially reduce the amount of DHT an individual has on their scalp. With that said, there isn't a lot of clinical research or evidence, so the key word is potentially.
*Pumpkin Seed Oil: Pumpkin seed oil is also rich in fatty acids such as linoleic, linolenic and oleic acid. A small clinical trial held in South Korea studied the effects pumpkin seed oil had on androgenic alopecia, the results were impressive and promising. However, it should be noted that pumpkin seed oil wasn't the only ingredient used to treat hair loss in the specific study.
*Pygeum: Pygeum is derived from an african tree called prunus africana or african cherry tree. It is often used as a supplement to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the supplement is also used for treating a variety of ailments. However, it has been shown to be somewhat effective in treating BPH, which is caused by DHT. Therefore, Pygeum may slightly decrease the production of DHT, but there isn't sufficient clinical evidence to prove this theory.
Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of natual treatments that treat hair loss. Additionally, the treatments that are available don't have enough clinical evidence to support the strong claims of "stopping" hair loss. Currently, the two most effective and proven treatments are Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride), both of these treatments have been clinically proven to be effective in treating genetic hair loss and have been approved by the FDA.
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