Is saw palmetto really effective for hair loss?
It’s likely that you’re aware of the many natural ways you can take control of your hair loss. Some methods are more effective than others. Below you will find everything you need to know about saw palmetto for hair loss. To help you to decide if this treatment is right for you.
- What is saw palmetto?
- Can I put saw palmetto on my scalp?
- Does saw palmetto really regrow hair?
- What else can saw palmetto do?
- What are the side effects of saw palmetto?
- I am a woman: can I still take saw palmetto?
- Is saw palmetto a permanent solution against hair loss?
What is saw palmetto?
It is an extract naturally derived from the fruit of the palm tree saw, also known as Serenoa repens. This herb has a large percentage of fatty acids, which is thought to give this extract its ability to improve symptoms of male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia.
Androgenetic alopecia is caused by the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT attacks hair follicles, inhibiting hair growth in genetically susceptible men. This hormone is derived from testosterone with the aid of the enzyme 5?-reductase. Some studies demonstrate that saw palmetto is a 5?-reductase inhibitor.
Blocking the function of this enzyme prevents the production of DHT, thus avoiding potential hair loss (see visual below). More research is needed to confirm the efficacy of saw palmetto’s role in treating hair loss.
What are the plant’s other benefits?
Apart from preventing male pattern baldness, some benefits of saw palmetto may also include improving urinary tract health, hormone balance, and decreasing inflammation. We are going to give you some guidelines if you want to include this plant in your healthcare routine.
Can I put saw palmetto on my scalp?
The saw palmetto supplement comes in a variety of forms such as dried berries, capsules, or as a liquid extract in hair masks or shampoos. While it can be applied directly to your scalp, it is recommended to take the supplement orally.
A shampoo does not stay on the skin long enough for the active ingredient to be effective. If you still choose to apply it directly to the scalp, using a leave-in hair mask treatment is the better option.
Be patient when taking this type of supplement or using a scalp treatment. Your hair goes through many cycles and it can take time for the supplement to take full effect.
Is saw palmetto regulated by the MHRA?
This product is not regulated by the MHRA and does not have a standard dosage. However, one study suggests taking 160mg orally twice a day. Be sure to check the ingredients listed on the saw palmetto supplement.
Without MHRA regulation, some products can have poor quality and prove ineffective. In addition, avoid taking saw palmetto in the form of tea. The active ingredients are not water-soluble, thus consuming this plant as a tea would be unlikely to produce positive results.
Does saw palmetto really regrow hair?
If saw palmetto is effective at inhibiting 5?-reductase, there are studies to demonstrate that hair regrowth is possible. More research is needed to confirm its efficacy in blocking the production of DHT and prevent hair loss.
What else can saw palmetto do?
There’s some evidence to suggest that the plant could have a role in improving skin and treating acne. Hormonal acne is caused by androgens, and a topical saw palmetto could help to reduce these acne-causing hormones. In addition, it has an abundance of essential fatty acids, which are beneficial for minimising inflammation and maintaining hydrated skin.
While there is no direct research to suggest that the plant demonstrates anti-ageing properties (the ability to reduce damaging free radicals). Its potential to improve urinary function, decrease inflammation, and prevent hair loss will definitely help to maintain youth.
What are the side effects of saw palmetto?
Side effects of taking saw palmetto are uncommon and often mild. Side effects could include:
- Stomach ache
- Interference with blood-clotting (may affect blood pressure)
The plant does appear to have contraindications with other medications. If you are taking a blood thinner, be sure to consult your doctor and proceed with caution when taking this type of treatment.
Taking saw palmetto does not affect levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). There has been concern in the past that taking this product could lead to decreased PSA levels, thus hindering the ability to detect early-stage prostate cancer. The NIH negates this common belief.
In addition, there have been individual cases of liver damage linked to saw palmetto. Currently, there is not enough evidence to support that the plant could have a role in causing liver damage.
Are there any long term side effects?
Overall, there’s very little evidence to support the potential side effects of saw palmetto. Most studies lack a conclusion for short term or long term adverse effects. More research must be conducted to confirm or deny the level of toxicity for this herb.
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I am a Woman: can I still take saw palmetto?
All women have some levels of male sex hormones in the body and can experience hair loss due to DHT. Although most studies on saw palmetto have been conducted on men, that does not mean the potential efficacy is not applicable for women as well.
A study shows that women possess 40% fewer androgen receptors on the scalp than men. This likely explains why hair loss is more commonly associated with men than women. Despite the decreased likelihood, the issue should not be dismissed for female counterparts.
Women faced with female pattern baldness could find improvement through the use of saw palmetto. It is not advised to take this supplement while pregnant or nursing.
This plant can also decrease the effectiveness of certain forms of birth control. Children should avoid taking this supplement without the recommendation from a healthcare professional.
Is saw palmetto a permanent solution against hair loss?
Saw palmetto is only used to treat or prevent hair loss and does not serve as a permanent solution. If you are looking for a solution that will permanently restore your full head of hair, a hair transplant might be the option for you. It is the only permanent treatment for hair loss currently available.
A hair transplant is performed by taking sections of skin with thicker, fuller hair and moving it to places experiencing balding. The hair could be removed from sections of the scalp or other parts of the body.
With recent innovation in techniques for this procedure, a solution for natural-looking hair is right at your fingertips. A hair transplant in Turkey is therefore a fast, cheap and permanent way to combat your hair loss concerns.
Hair loss is a common condition faced by both men and women. It is caused by the negative effects of DHT on hair follicles and can be treated by blocking the production of DHT. Saw palmetto could be an effective treatment for those who experience male or female pattern baldness.
Taking saw palmetto for hair loss could result in adverse effects, but side effects are often mild and uncommon. It is best to take it in the form of an oral supplement, as most topical treatments are not given adequate time to absorb into the skin and hair follicles.
The plant does not serve as a permanent solution for hair loss. If you are looking for a way to permanently restore hair and hair growth, a hair transplant is the only solution currently available. It is best to talk to your doctor and explore treatment options to decide what hair loss solution is right for you.