Some men prefer natural solutions to their health problems, and that includes hair loss. While they do not avoid medications completely, their first line of attack is often a holistic approach. A natural approach works just as well with hair growth supplements.
Unless hair loss stems from illness, medications or a bad barber shop experience, it is usually the result of natural or inherited conditions like pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia affects two out of three men. Female pattern baldness contributes to thinning hair in women.
Whatever the cause of hair loss, natural hair growth supplements are helping more people than ever before. Even hereditary pattern baldness can benefit from nutritional supplements if the nutrients address the cause of hair loss or promote new hair growth.
Hair Growth and Loss
Many things cause hair loss or contribute to the problem. The most common type of hair loss, androgenic alopecia, results from overproduction of the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone. This type of hair loss is permanent, but treatments can slow its progression.
An enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, which is involved in steroid metabolism, creates DHT from testosterone. When the hormone enters the scalp, it binds to the hair follicles and causes them to shrink. They eventually stop producing hair, and baldness occurs.
DHT causes pattern baldness in men and women if they are genetically sensitive to the hormone. The hair loss is most common in men and accounts for more than 95 percent of male baldness. Fortunately, hair growth supplements can counteract the negative effects of DHT in the scalp.
Common Medical Treatments
Minoxidil, an over-the-counter solution, is the most common treatment for pattern baldness. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this generic medication is marketed under several popular brand names. While it is very effective for hair loss, it can cause a number of unwanted side effects.
Finasteride is another common treatment for pattern baldness. This FDA-approved hair loss drug is available by prescription only. Although it is clinically proven to slow hair loss and grow new hair, it can cause sexual side effects.
Minoxidil and finasteride are chemicals, not hair growth supplements. Non-drug treatments include hair transplants and scalp reduction surgery. While these treatments are effective, they do not represent a holistic approach to hair loss. Hair growth supplements are a natural alternative to medical treatments.
Hair Growth Supplements
Most hair growth supplements occur as teas or in pill form. Derived from plants, these herbal extracts are generally safe to consume. Most of them are free of harsh chemicals and unpleasant side effects. Since all supplements can interact with medications, they should always be cleared by a doctor.
Guta kola, nettle root and saw palmetto are common herbal hair loss supplements for men and women. Similar to minoxidil, they slow hair loss by blocking DHT production. Pumpkin seeds may also block testosterone, and lavender is thought to promote hair growth.
For many centuries, people have used these herbs to stimulate hair growth. Traditional medicine also used them to treat high blood pressure, mental disorders and stress. Today, they are often used in combination with hair growth vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin B-7, also known as biotin, is one of the best hair growth vitamins around. It supports strong and healthy hair and nails. Vitamin B-6 and other B-complex vitamins are natural DHT blockers. Magnesium and zinc deficiencies are linked to hair loss, so they are also important hair supplements.
It is natural for hair to grow about six inches a year, and even hair growth supplements cannot change this growth rate. However, they can keep the hair and scalp healthy and strong. By supplying the hair follicles with nutrients, they also encourage hair growth.
Today, herbal supplements are often combined with vitamins and minerals to slow hair loss and grow new hair.
Jake Conner has been a researcher and author for more than 11 years. Jake has made it his mission to discover solutions that can improve the lives of other people. When Jake is not researching a health related topic such as Alopecia, he spends most of his time traveling with his family.