Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss – Natures Propecia?
With hair loss being such a prominent and common issue in this day and age, there has been a significant amount of research being carried out to find treatments, cures, and concealers. This is particularly the case for natural remedies.
Scientists have been looking for an alternative to the more commonly prescribed hair loss drugs like finasteride (Propecia) that have very harsh and sometimes permanent side effects.
Saw Palmetto is one such herbal treatment that has shown an increasing amount of promise for hair loss. It is no wonder then that it has been added as an ingredient in almost all hair loss shampoos, conditioners and topical treatments on the market.
In this article, we will look at whether Saw Palmetto works for hair loss, how it works and the appropriate way to use it.
What is Saw Palmetto?
Simply put, Saw Palmetto is a plant. It is a native plant to North America and is a fern plant that grows very low to the ground.
The valuable part of the Saw Palmetto plant is its berries. The berries are extracted in a science lab down into a concentrate that contains all the active ingredients that combat hair loss.
The number one treatment that the extract is used for is benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate). What is interesting is that this was also the original treatment for Finasteride. It was only after patients noticed an increase in hair growth that scientists realized that it was an excellent treatment for hair loss.
So how does Saw Palmetto Work For Hair Loss?
The first thing to realize about Saw Palmetto is that it is not a miracle cure. The Mayo clinic rates Saw Palmetto a C-Rating for hair loss meaning it has “unclear scientific evidence for this use.”
Does this mean it doesn’t work? Not at all, in fact, many swear by Saw Palmetto. However, it may not work for everyone.
In the limited studies that have been done on the extract, there has been a marked improvement in stopping hair loss and regrowing hair. Scientists believe that Saw Palmetto works in a very similar way to how Finasteride works.
That is to block an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase which is the enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (‘DHT’). DHT causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually shut down – causing baldness.
Many of the research that has been done on Saw Palmetto has been on mice and small mammals. There are very few human trials. This has not stopped the hair loss industry pouncing on this supplement. Almost all popular hair loss treatments now contain Saw Palmetto.
- Saw Palmetto is an excellent ancillary hair loss product.
- It is incredibly cheap to buy.
- You can take the extract orally or topically (e.g. in a shampoo).
- Saw Palmetto can be used by both men and women.
- Not much research has been carried out yet.
- You will need to continue to take the supplement for the hair loss effects to work.
Below you will find some of the most prominent studies of Saw Palmetto for hair loss. Unfortunately, most of the research was done on Saw Palmetto for treating enlarged prostates. However, in one of the studies, 60% of patients saw a big increase in the effects of saw palmetto on stopping hair loss and regrowing some hair.
- Prager, et , The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, April 2002. Find at capilare.com.
- elSheikh MM, et , Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand, 1988. Find at PubMed.gov.
- J Cutan, Aesthetic Surgery, 2009. Find at US National Library of Medicine.
What to Look For When Buying Saw Palmetto
Most people that use Saw Palmetto for hair loss use it topically in hair loss shampoos or oils. However, if you would like to take the supplement orally, there are a few things you should look out for.
The first is that you should make sure you are buying from a reputed seller – this way you know what you are purchasing is legitimate.
The recommended amount to take per day for hair loss is 200milligrams twice daily. You should make sure that when you purchase the pills online that the label reads: “contains 85 to 95% fatty acids and sterols”.
Make sure that if you are taking Saw Palmetto orally that you consult with your doctor first. Take the tablets with food to avoid a stomach upset.
While Saw Palmetto is not a miracle cure, there is a lot of promise that this drug is a great asset in the fight against hair loss.
We expect that in the next few years there will be a lot more research on this plant for both enlarged prostate and hair loss.