Health

Hair loss treatment: The plant-based oil that rivals main drug treatment

Hair loss can be hard to remedy because it is usually the result of complex genetic and environmental factors. One of the most common forms of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness; a form of hair loss that is permanent and usually runs in the family. Hormonal mechanisms appear to contribute to male pattern baldness.

DHT, a sex hormone that is the product of testosterone, is thought to be the primary cause.

This understanding has informed the design and application of treatments for male pattern baldness.

In fact, an essential oil is thought to target DHT, stimulating hair growth in the process.

Rosemary oil, which is extracted from the rosemary evergreen shrub, yielded encouraging results in human and animal studies.

A study of mice with testosterone-related hair loss found that rosemary oil could regrow their hair.

Although the study is not conclusive, its authors theorise that rosemary oil might prevent DHT from binding to hormone receptors which enable it to attack the hair follicles.

What’s more, a study published in the journal Europe PMC suggests rosemary oil can rival and even outperform minoxidil.

Minoxidil is one of the main drug treatments for hair loss.

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People with DHT-related hair loss received either rosemary oil or minoxidil for six months.

At three months, neither group had more hair. By six months, both groups saw significant increases in hair growth.

The group which were treated with rosemary oil had more hair growth than the minoxidil group, but the difference was not statistically significant.

This result suggests that rosemary oil may promote hair growth but only in the long term.

In the same study, scalp-itching was more common in the group that received minoxidil, so rosemary oil could be a better option for people with a history of allergies or skin irritation.

Research suggests that rosemary oil might also reverse other forms of hair loss.

Some studies, including a study published in the SAGE Journals, have found that rosemary oil may kill some fungi and bacteria.

It is reasonable to conclude that rosemary oil may help to correct hair loss caused by an infection or unhealthy scalp.


Other options

Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.

Wigs come with pros and cons to consider before buying.

According to the NHS, synthetic wigs:

Last six to nine monthsAre easier to look after than real-hair wigsCan be itchy and hotCost less than real-hair wigs.

Real-hair wigs:

Last three to four yearsAre harder to look after than synthetic wigsLook more natural than synthetic wigsCost more than synthetic wigs.

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