In this article, you’re going to learn how you can start using niacin for hair growth, and the importance of a 6-month human trial study which showed the effectiveness of niacin use as a treatment for alopecia.
You’ll also learn of the four positive effects which niacin has been scientifically proven to produce—improved blood circulation, reduced scalp inflammation, induced keratin production, and repaired DNA cells—and how these effects have an impact on hair growth.
Lastly, I’ll show you just how you can use niacin yourself for hair growth results, as well as what you can expect when you supplement your diet and hair care routine with niacin-rich ingredients.
Niacin, also commonly referred to as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, is an organic compound and an essential human nutrient.
Interestingly, niacin is historically referred to as Vitamin PP.
This is because the lack of niacin leads to a fatal disease known as pellagra, and niacin is the only-known treatment for the condition. Thus, Vitamin Pellagra-Preventative.
In the medical community, niacin is known for more than just its pellagra-fighting abilities. Recent research has begun to uncover the multitude of benefits associated with niacin supplementation, including its use as a treatment for hair loss.
An important aspect of hair loss treatment research is not only the testing of possible medications and natural remedies for its treatment, but also research on possible causes related to hair loss.
One such research study was performed by Klemp, Peters, and Hansted at the University of Copenhagen.
With a total of 28 volunteers—14 of which suffered from early male-pattern baldness and 14 of which were similarly aged and had normal hair growth and fullness—researchers measured subcutaneous blood flow to determine if such was a factor in alopecia.
The results of this study showed a significant pattern.
On average, subcutaneous blood flow was 2.6 times lower in men with early MPB than with their healthy, similar-aged counterparts.
As the study was only concerned with current blood flow levels, there are still a few unanswered questions.
Most significantly, researchers were unable to determine whether the lowered blood flow was the cause of male-pattern baldness, or whether it was a side effect.
No matter the answer, however, blood circulation is vital to the overall health of the scalp and hair follicles. After all, blood delivers oxygen and other necessary nutrients to the hair follicles, and this is needed for the growth of hair to continue uninterrupted.
So, what can be done to increase blood flow to the scalp?
Well, one treatment possibility is niacin.
A common side effect of niacin supplementation is flushing.
This side effect occurs as a direct result of niacin’s ability to dilate dermal blood vessels and increase the flow of blood throughout the body.
Further, niacin has been shown to reduce the viscosity, or thickness, of blood. This only further improves niacin’s abilities to increase circulation, including to the scalp and hair follicles.
DHT is a known inflammatory, and a 2006 study proved that DHT actually led to the inhibition of wound healing.
For individuals with alopecia, DHT can lead to unnecessary inflammation and impede the process of hair growth.
Not to mention, it can cause discomfort, itchiness, and dandruff flakes.
But is niacin a beneficial treatment for inflammation, and if so, can niacin’s anti-inflammatory effects lead to improved hair growth in individuals with alopecia?
The majority of studies which discuss niacin’s anti-inflammatory abilities are focused on its role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. These studies, however, are still useful here, as they show niacin’s ability to reduce certain whole-body inflammation markers.
One such study was performed by Thoenes et al, and it showed promising results for those looking to reduce the levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) within the body. In fact, the volunteers treated with niacin in this 52-week study saw a 20% decrease in this inflammatory marker.
In another study, this time done by Karacaglar et al, the difference in levels of hs-CRP between the group who received niacin treatment and the placebo group were significant.
As stated, these studies were focused on niacin’s role in cardiovascular disease prevention. Remember, however, that hs-CRP is a marker for inflammation anywhere in this body.
This means that high levels of hs-CRP can certainly indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but they could also indicate uncontrolled inflammation in other areas of the body, such as the scalp.
The fact that niacin reduces the levels of hs-CRP within the body is an important takeaway for hair loss sufferers.
This means that niacin has anti-inflammatory properties which can also benefit those looking to reduce the inflammation and irritation present within the scalps of those sensitive to DHT.
Perhaps one of niacin’s most direct hair growth benefits is its keratin-inducing effects.
Keratin is a fibrous structural protein, and it’s responsible for protecting epithelial cells (the tightly packed cells found on the surface of the skin) from damage.
Keratin is also present in the hair and nails and is significant part of their make up.
Niacin or, more specifically, niacinamide has been shown to increase the synthesis of keratin.
This particular study also found that niacinamide reduces water loss and improves moisturization in the horny layers of the skin.
While not entirely similar to niacin, niacinamide is a derivative of niacin with the addition of an amino group.
So, what role does niacinamide play in the rebuilding of keratin?
During the anagen phase, a process called keratinization occurs. This process involves the movement of keratin proteins from under the skin to the surface.
As hair is composed almost entirely of keratin, so it makes sense that lack of keratin movement can lead to weaker, thinner strands of hair.
This niacin-derivative, however, induces the production of keratin to ensure the process of keratinization may occur within the hair follicles. This is vital for the growth of strong, long hair.
Within the body, niacin is converted to a coenzyme involved in various metabolic processes known as NAD.
In simplest terms, the role of NAD in its various forms is to convert compounds, such as glucose and fatty acids, to energy.
This is a biological process known, in the larger sense, as oxidative phosphorylation, and it has been linked to the repair of damaged DNA.
There are various reasons why DNA gets damaged. From natural aging to free radicals, damaged DNA can play a role in the progression of hair loss.
One example of this was seen in a recent study by Matsumura et al.
Researchers found that the aging of hair follicle stem cells responsible for the induction of hair growth inadvertently led to the reduction of COL17A1, an important protein in the adhesion of the epidermal skin cells.
What this means is, over time, adhesion between the intracellular and extracellular components of the epidermis weaken. This leads to the shedding of keratinocytes, the key protein involved in the production of keratin.
As this occurs, the hair follicle begins to shrink and leads to hair loss.
As an aid in the process of oxidative phosphorylation, however, niacin can fight back against DNA damage and improve the overall quality of your skin and hair.
In 2005, Draelos et al explored the use of niacin derivatives as a possible treatment for female-pattern alopecia.
Using 60 female participants, researchers split the group into 40 receiving niacin derivative treatment and 20 receiving a placebo treatment.
Those in the active group received a topical application of vehicle containing 0.5% octyl nicotinate and 5.0% myristylnicotinate for 6 months, while those in the control group received a non-active vehicle for the same length of time.
The participants were photographed at the beginning of the study, as well as at the 3-month and 6-month marks to determine an increase in hair fullness, if any.
Unfortunately, research is lacking when it comes to the treatment of female alopecia. While this study did show promise for the use of niacin derivatives in the treatment of female hair loss, the exact mechanism was unknown.
Researchers, however, did speculate as to two possible causes for the success.
The first possible cause is the increase in density of hair follicles. The second is the increase in the quality of already present hair shafts.
As niacin has been shown to improve blood circulation, decrease inflammation, and rebuild keratin, the two suggested causes above are certainly plausible, though further research is required for a definitive answer.
Vitamin B3 is a naturally-occurring vitamin, found in high quantities in certain foods. Such foods include:
With the variety above, there are numerous ways you can go about adding niacin to your diet within the use of a supplement.
Some easy ways include cooking with avocado oil, adding sunflower seeds, green peas, and mushrooms to your salads, and adding more liver and fish into your meal rotation.
Of course, supplementation is possible. However, keep in mind that an over-supply of niacin within the body can cause a number of side effects.
This makes it a necessity to seek out professional medical help prior to taking a vitamin B3 supplement.
Containing 13-18% of your daily recommended Niacin value, avocado is an excellent source to add to your hair care arsenal.
Remove the bowl from the microwave, adding the honey to the oil and mixing thoroughly.
If not combining, heat the honey and oil combination for an additional 10 seconds.
Cut the ripened avocado in half, and place in the bowl with the honey and oil. Mash until thoroughly blended.
Apply to dry hair and scalp, using a comb to thoroughly spread the moisturizing mixture throughout your hair. Place a shower cap over your scalp, and leave in place for 30-60 minutes.
Aside from the hydrating and soothing effects from the avocado and avocado oil, the honey adds an antimicrobial component which will aid in cleansing your scalp and removing any harmful buildup.
Performing this mask treatment on a weekly benefit will ensure your hair is tangle-free and your scalp is healthy and free from inflammation and irritation.
Niacin found naturally in foods does not cause any negative health effects. It is possible, however, to experience side effects as a result of over supplementing with vitamin B3.
Common side effects include flushing, stomach upset, liver dysfunction, glucose intolerance, and blurred vision.
Consumption of alcohol in addition to a niacin supplement can exacerbate the side effect known as flushing, so avoidance of alcohol is advised.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should speak with their obstetrician prior to supplementation, though are advised to reach their daily recommended niacin values through foods as opposed to the use of a supplement.
While further research is required, preliminary studies done on humans have shown great promise for the use of this vital nutrient in hair loss reversal.
If you’re looking for a quick hair loss treatment, however, niacin isn’t it.
Its various abilities can certainly be beneficial, and there are a wide array of therapeutic uses for niacin, but the majority of its benefits associated with hair growth are indirect and, therefore, take time for adequate results to be noticeable.
If you’d like to add niacin to your usual routine, I first suggest ensuring that your diet is full of niacin-rich ingredients, like avocado and fish.
You can also apply it as a hair mask, or even add different ingredients, such as avocado and sunflower seeds, to your shampoo.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In this article you’ll learn the 3 big ways Ylang Ylang oil can be used to fight hair loss.
Firstly, it can help to reduce scalp inflammation (something that can cause hair follicles to wither and die.)
Secondly, Ylang Ylang can be used to clean and unclog the scalp due to its antimicrobial properties.
Thirdly, Ylang Ylang helps reduce oxidative stress and cellular ageing in the scalp due to its antioxidant nature.
I’m going to go into more detail on each of these points below.
Finally, at the end of this article I’m going to share with you the best and most effective ways that you can start using this oil to begin re-growing your hair as soon as possible, with my simple (but awesome) shampoo recipe.
Botanically referred to as cananga odorata, the ylang ylang is a tree which is indigenous to the Indo-Malayan region.
This tree, prized for its highly fragrant flowers, is produced for various uses.
The oils from the flowers are used in a number of cosmetic products, from perfume to shampoo to hair oil, and the flowers themselves are worn as adornment in the hair of women.
Medicinally, ylang ylang has been used throughout the Indo-Pacific region for a variety of ailments.
Some common therapeutic uses include the treatment of general stomach discomfort, the control of asthma, and the relief of itches and other skin irritations.
In recent years, ylang ylang has come to light as a possible treatment option for those suffering from alopecia.
This rich oil is full of chemical components, such as linalool and caryophyllene, which provide it with its various abilities, some of which will be highlighted below.
There’s no doubt that itching, inflammation, and general irritation can lead to hair thinning and loss. In fact, some forms of alopecia have inflammation largely to blame.
But, what causes inflammation and how does it lead to excessive hair thinning and loss?
It helps to think of inflammation as your skin’s main defense mechanism.
When the skin is harmed, either through injury, allergy, or otherwise, the skin inflames to react against the harm.
This isn’t harmful to your hair and hair follicles in the short term, but over time, chronic inflammation can damage the hair follicles and lead to less hair growth and even loss.
I’ve discussed the four stages of the hair growth cycle here.
As you may know, anagen is the active phase of growth.
Inflammation, however, can damage the hair follicle and destroy the stem cells found within the follicles.
Without these stem cells, regeneration and growth of hair is impossible.
In individuals with Androgenetic Alopecia, inflammation of the scalp may be triggered by DHT buildup.
For those suffering from other forms of hair loss, inflammation could be immune-related or flared by an allergen.
A few studies have indicated the use of Ylang Ylang oil as an anti-inflammatory.
In one such study, scientists induced edema in a group of rats.
The rats were then treated separately with various doses of pure linalool and linalyl acetate, both of which are main components of ylang ylang oil.
The 25 mg/kg dosage had one of the more delayed but prolonged effects, though both the linalool and linalyl acetate compounds were found to be effective treatments of edema.
Another study performed in 2010 by Wei and Shibamoto backed the previous findings and determined that the use of linalool and linalyl acetate can help to minimize inflammation and keep it under control.
While no studies of this nature have been performed on humans, the anti-inflammatory abilities of ylang ylang oil cannot be ignored.
With the emergence of multidrug resistant pathogens, the need for natural treatments has never been more critical.
This has led researchers to perform studies on various plant sources to determine their antimicrobial benefits, if any.
Through multiple studies, ylang ylang oil has continuously shown its various antimicrobial abilities.
In 2014, scientists put 12 plants commonly used by the Bentian tribe in Indonesia to the test. Of the 12 plants, one was cananga odorata, or ylang ylang.
In this particular study, only the bark of the ylang ylang tree was tested. Three extraction methods were used, with varying extract yields.
The ylang ylang extract was tested against various bacterial strains.
One such strain was the gram-positive bacteria known as P. acnes. This bacteria is believed to be responsible for certain inflammatory diseases, such as acne vulgaris, and is also believed to be linked to prostate cancer.
When compared to the positive control CHP (a drug commonly used to treat P. acnes infection), these were the results:
What does this mean for those who suffer from hair loss?
Remember that hair loss can be caused by a number of things. For some individuals, bacteria and other microbials can lead to hair follicle damage and, eventually, hair loss.
With the application of a proven antimicrobial to the scalp, you can ensure that your scalp and follicles stay clean and healthy.
Ylang ylang has been shown to be that antimicrobial, which means it’s a good option for those looking to fight against hair loss and regrow their hair.
Free radicals can wreak havoc on the body, latching on to healthy cells and disrupting their cycles. When this occurs on the scalp, such damage can be irreparable if not handled properly.
Fortunately, antioxidants have been proven to fight against oxidative stress caused by free radicals, and ylang ylang oil has been shown to be an effective source of antioxidants when compared to other plant sources.
In fact, when evaluated against the free radical DPPH, ylang ylang showed a 79% inhibition percentage.
At this time, ylang ylang oil has not been shown to have any major side effects or risks associated with its supplementation.
However, keep in mind that allergies are possible, and it’s always best to speak with your physician prior to beginning a new supplement.
Of course, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their obstetrician prior to use.
While ylang ylang oil can be consumed in small doses, the most common use when treating hair loss is direct application.
If you’re currently fighting against scalp inflammation and irritation, then one of the best things you can do for yourself is make your own hair loss shampoo.
One, you won’t be exposing your already-sensitive scalp to harsh chemicals. Two, you can add scientifically-proven ingredients to your shampoo to enable healing and promote hair growth.
Combine all ingredients in the container of your choice. Mix well.
Pour the above mixture over wet hair, and massage into your scalp for 2 – 3 minutes. Be sure to spread the shampoo from root to tip, and pay special attention to particularly irritated or thinning areas.
Maple syrup, perhaps one of the last things you would think to apply to your scalp, is actually a soothing ingredient with antibacterial and anticancer properties.
Combined with the inflammation-fighting ylang ylang oil and the hydrating castor oil, this shampoo is an excellent addition to your shampoo recipe rotation.
If you’re looking for a no-fuss application method, then you may be interested in trying ylang ylang oil as a hot oil treatment.
Hot oil treatments are beneficial to the scalp, opening up the pores and ensuring maximum absorption of the applied oil.
As you bring the hot water to a boil, pour the ylang ylang oil into a heat-safe container.
Once the water has come to a boil, remove the pot from the heat and place the container directly into the pot.
Allow to sit for a few minutes until the oil is thoroughly heated, though you may have to swirl the oil around a few times to ensure even heat distribution.
To test to temperature of the oil, use your wrist.
For best results, apply the hot oil treatment prior to shampooing.
Pour the heated oil into your palm, and begin to massage onto your scalp and hair.
Massage all over scalp for 5 minutes, making sure to cover the entirety of your scalp and hair from root to tip.
After 5 minutes, place the plastic shower cap over your head. Using the bath towel, dip it or run it under hot water, and then wring out the excess. Wrap around your head over the top of the shower cap, and secure.
Leave the towel and shower cap in place for at least 30 minutes, though overnight is fine as well.
Once you feel the hot oil treatment has sat long enough, rinse out thoroughly with lukewarm water and shampoo as usual.
The use of ylang ylang oil, in combination with applied heat, opens up the scalp’s pores and provides a cleansing and hydrating effect which is beneficial in the treatment of inflammation, DHT build up, and general hair follicle irritation.
Although there is no direct evidence of the beneficial effect of ylan-ylang for hair re-growth its clear that indirectly (through its anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects) it can be a useful ingredient to add to your hair care regime.
Its incredibly easy to add a few drops of this essential oil to your own homemade shampoo.
However, since ylang-ylang works topically (you put it on your scalp) it will have no effect on fixing the underlying cause of hair loss (which is a chemical imbalance.)
For this you’ll need to make bigger changes.
Once the imbalances that cause hair loss in the first place have been fixed, then you can use ylang-ylang oil to stimulate, protect and accelerate the regrowth itself.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
Coconut oil can help reduce hair damage (protein loss) by up to 39%, helping to stop your hair from falling out.
But that’s not all…
In this article I’m going to show you how to use coconut oil to prevent hair fall, firstly by protecting the protein (keratin), secondly by reducing inflammation, and thirdly by cleaning and protecting the scalp.
I’m going to show you the studies that prove how effective coconut oil is.
Lastly, I’m going to show you how you can get started today using this amazing oil on your own hair, with your own homemade coconut oil shampoo (which works much better than any shop-bought shampoo.)
Originating in the Indo-Pacific region, the coconut is a palm fruit with a variety of uses.
The oil which is so commonly used throughout the world is obtained from the “meat” of the coconut, either through dry or wet processing.
Used in the kitchen for its mildly sweet flavor and used in the treatment of a wide variety of medical ailments, coconut oil has certainly earned its place among the list of most versatile oils, alongside olive oil and pumpkin seed oil and is even one of the active ingredients in Wild Growth Hair Oil which you can read more about here.
But does coconut oil deserve a spot on the list of most beneficial treatment options for hair loss?
I certainly think so!
When it comes to strengthening hair and restoring damage, one of the most important qualities of a hair product is how well it can penetrate the hair shaft.
An illuminating study was published in 2012 which utilized radioactively-labeled coconut oil to best measure how penetrative coconut oil truly is on the hair shaft.
A single 10-cm-long strand of hair was soaked in 1.5 ml of coconut oil. Prior to this step, the coconut oil was heated in the presence of tritium gas (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen).
Samples of the hair were taken at the one- and six-hour marks, and each of these measurements were performed on three separate samples from the one strand of hair.
This study, while small, did provide us with some interesting results.
Within the highlighted area of the above chart, you’ll see the penetrative results of the one-hour measurement (1A, 1B, and 1C) and the six-hour measurement (6A, 6B, and 6C).
On the low end, the results show that after one hour, one single strand of hair can absorb almost 15% of its weight in coconut oil.
After six hours, the results of three separate measurements show an increase to 20.4%, 21.91%, and 26.3% of oil absorbed.
For those individuals suffering from hair thinning and loss, these preliminary results are certainly promising.
The obvious penetrative abilities of coconut oil make it a great supplement for those looking to strengthen their hair and prevent further loss, and these penetrative capabilities also lend themselves to another purpose: damage prevention.
With coconut oil’s high levels of penetration, it should come as no surprise that the oil is also highly effective at preventing damage from occurring to the hair.
Learn more about how to repair damaged hair follicles here.
One particular study, performed by Rele and Mohile, highlights coconut oil’s ability to prevent protein loss in hair by reducing the amount of water absorbed during saturation.
This study utilized four hair types, three of which were of Indian origin (straight, wavy, and curly), and one of which was untreated and provided by a producer of human hair wigs (DeMeo).
Each hair type underwent eight separate treatments prior to testing, and all eight treatment types were performed with the help of twenty-five tresses of each hair type.
The treatments included (a) undamaged control; (b) undamaged/coconut oil; (c) bleached; (d) coconut oil/bleached; (e) bleached/coconut oil; (f) boiling water; (g) coconut oil/boiling water; and (h) boiling water/coconut oil.
After treatment, the tresses were washed with a 20% solution of sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and evaluated for a number of qualities, including protein loss caused by wet combing.
The results, both for undamaged and bleached or boiled hair were similar, in that every instance of coconut oil used as a prewash lessened the amount of protein loss experienced by the hair.
The researchers postulate that coconut oil’s hydrophobic nature lends itself to the majority of its protective abilities.
All fats and oils, due to their chemical composition, are hydrophobic substances. This means instead of dissolving in water, fats and oils “repel” water molecules (actually, it’s more of a lack of attraction).
In the above study, the coconut oil which is coating the hair as a prewash is not interacting with the water molecules applied during the wash/rinse cycle.
This lowers the water retention levels of the hair shaft, and it makes it less likely for the surface cuticle of the hair to lift away (due to swelling of the hair shaft) and break off during combing.
Scalp inflammation can certainly be irritating, but did you know that chronic scalp inflammation can also lead to further hair thinning and loss?
Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself. This occurs during allergic reactions, when the body’s immune system attacks the perceived threat, and it also occurs immediately following an external injury.
And, while short-term inflammation serves its purpose, chronic inflammation can damage the hair follicles and lead to excessive hair thinning and loss.
If you suffer from chronic hair loss, you may be asking yourself whether inflammation played a role.
While there are forms of alopecia unrelated to inflammation, inflammation can contribute to hair loss for a large number of hair loss sufferers.
Whether from inflammation caused by the buildup of DHT and other harmful chemicals, or an unchecked bacterial or fungal infection, if you believe that inflammation has played a role in your hair loss, then you’ll be glad to learn about coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory properties.
One study, published in 2009, studied the anti-inflammatory effects of lauric acid, a major component of coconut oil.
In this particular study, a bacteria known as P. acnes, commonly linked to acne and acne-induced inflammation, was injected into a small area on the left ears of mice.
Immediately following the injection of P. acnes, the ears were then injected with either a) lauric acid, or b) a control vehicle.
These are the results after 24 hours:
The image on the left (figure d) shows a reduction in inflammation following the injection of lauric acid, while the image on the right (figure e) shows no change in inflammation levels following the injection of the non-lauric acid vehicle.
What makes lauric acid an effective anti-inflammatory?
Huang et al believe there are two possible contributors to lauric acid’s anti-inflammatory properties.
The first contributing factor may be lauric acid’s ability to inhibit NF-κB activation. NF-κB is a responsive protein complex, which means its job is to respond to cellular stimuli, such as stress, free radicals, and antigens.
Sometimes, however, the response of this protein complex can be overenthusiastic, and this can lead to chronic inflammation.
The second possible contributing factor is the inhibition of MAP kinase phosphorylation.
Protein kinases are enzymes which chemically modify the actions of proteins.
This particular kinase directs cellular response to stimuli and plays a major role in inflammation.
There’s no doubt that lauric acid, the fatty acid which makes up almost 50% of coconut oil’s chemical components, can contribute majorly to the reduction of scalp inflammation.
For hair loss sufferers dealing with inflammation-induced alopecia, this study shows that coconut oil may be an effective treatment for inflammation.
With reduced levels of inflammation on the scalp, your hair follicles can begin to repair and unclog naturally which improves hair growth.
This will allow them the chance to produce healthy, long hair strands.
If the above-mentioned benefits of coconut oil for the treatment of hair loss has left you curious, then you’ll love the two simple suggestions below which enable you to add coconut oil to your regular hair care routine with minimal effort.
Coconut oil’s penetrative abilities combined with its damage-preventing effects make it a great addition to your regularly-used hair wash products.
While you can add coconut oil directly to store bought shampoos and conditioners, making your own shampoos can be just as easy (and a lot healthier).
If you’d like to stimulate hair growth while nourishing your scalp, check out this 6-ingredient shampoo recipe.
Bring one pot of water to an almost-boil, remove from heat, and then add in 2-3 bunches of nettle.
Once the nettle tea has cooled to room temperature, strain the nettle water into a container of your choice. Discard nettle.
Add the other ingredients to the nettle tea, and mix thoroughly.
Apply the DIY shampoo to your hair, working it into a lather by massaging onto your scalp. Allow to sit on scalp for 2-5 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
Stinging nettle is a triple threat when it comes to fighting hair loss, as it’s been shown to reduce scalp inflammation, neutralize damage caused by free radicals, and block DHT’s production and accumulation on the scalp.
Rosemary oil has been shown to induce the growth of new hair.
Turmeric is a centuries-old spice that’s certainly earned its place as a highly-valued treatment for a number of ailments.
This straight-forward method of application is great for those looking for a quick and easy addition to their hair care routine.
Done on a weekly basis, the below recipe can be used to soothe and hydrate the scalp while simultaneously providing you with the many benefits associated with coconut oil’s antimicrobial abilities.
Begin by adding 1 cup of olive oil to a heat-safe bottle.
Set the bottle of oil aside, and bring a pot of water to boil.
Remove the pot from the heat, and place the container of oil directly into the pot.
Allow the oil to sit in the pot for a few minutes, occasionally picking up the bottle of oil and gently swirling to ensure equal distribution of heat.
Once the oil is comfortably hot (test on the inside of your wrist), remove from pot.
First, ensure that your towel and shower cap are readily available.
With dry, unwashed hair, apply the coconut oil to your scalp. Be sure to spread evenly, and remember that complete saturation isn’t necessary.
Once your scalp and hair is covered thoroughly, place the shower cap on your head.
Now, dip or rinse your bath towel in hot water. Wring the excess water from the towel, and then wrap around the shower cap, turban-style.
You may keep the oil treatment on your scalp overnight, though 30 minutes is the minimum recommended time.
Once ready, rinse your scalp thoroughly with lukewarm water, and then shampoo as regular.
Coconut oil’s high levels of fat means that consumption is best done in moderation.
According to guidelines laid out by the American Heart Association, consumption of saturated fats shouldn’t exceed more than 13 grams a day.
For coconut oil, this comes out to about 1 tablespoon.
You can still reap the benefits of coconut oil’s consumption without overdoing the daily recommended dosage by adding it to your favorite salad dressing or drizzling it over oven-baked vegetables.
If you’ve never come into direct contact with coconut oil before, then it’s best to test the oil on a small patch of your skin.
Put a dab of the oil on the inside of your wrist, and keep an eye on the area for up to 48 hours.
Only apply to the scalp if no signs of an allergic reaction occurred during skin testing.
Now you know how and why you can start using coconut oil for hair loss – but this is just the beginning!
Hair loss comes from a fundamental imbalance in the body, and although coconut might help protect the hair (and slow down hair fall) it won’t stop it altogether.
Most hair loss treatments don’t work because they try to cover up the symptom (dry, thin and brittle hair) thats why I recommend you first fix the underlying problem (imbalance) and then simply use coconut oil to accelerate the new hair growth.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In this article, I’ll explain why castor oil is indicated as an effective hair loss treatment method, and how you can use castor oil for hair growth yourself.
You’re going to learn about ricinoleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid which makes up the majority of castor oil’s composition.
Further, you’ll discover how scientific research has indicated its possible use as an inhibitor of PGD2, a compound found to be present in overabundance within the scalps of men with androgenetic alopecia.
Lastly, I’ll teach you the exact best way to apply castor oil to your scalp for maximum benefits.
A vegetable oil obtained through the pressing of the seeds of the castor oil plant, castor oil is used in a variety of industries and is known for its mold-inhibiting and lubricating abilities.
Now found in tropic regions throughout the world, the castor oil plant is native to the Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa, and India.
The flowers of this glossy-leaved plant range in color from yellowish-green to red, and its size can vary tremendously.
Not-so-fun fact: Consumption of castor beans can be fatal. This is due to the levels of ricin found within the bean.
Castor oil, however, does not contain ricin, as the process of oil extraction heats up the protein to such an extent as to denature and inactivate it.
What really makes this plant so special, however, is the abundance of ricinoleic acid which is present within its oil. Ricinoleic acid makes up 89.5% of castor oil’s fatty acid composition and has various properties which lend themselves to effective treatment of hair loss.
When it comes to answering this question, I like to look at the cold, hard facts.
While I’ll be delving into the scientific research in the next section, consider these facts about castor oil:
These properties alone make ricinoleic acid and, therefore, castor oil, a treatment option to be considered by those with alopecia.
Inflammation of the scalp constricts blood flow to the hair follicle, reducing the levels of necessary nutrients. Additionally, inflammation can be a direct cause of hair loss, especially for those with scarring alopecia.
Ricinoleic acid, however, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, similar to capsaicin, but without an increase of blood flow to the applied area, which can cause irritation.
Further, ricinoleic acid’s antimicrobial abilities may provide relief to hair loss sufferers who are struggling with bacterial or fungal infections of the scalp.
Application of castor oil can treat the infection and ensure that your scalp and hair follicles stay clean, healthy, and free from infection.
And, as if inflammation and infection weren’t enough, free radicals are another contributor to hair thinning and loss. Ricinoleic acid’s free radical scavenging abilities, however, can help you to reduce the levels of cell damage within your scalp.
While human studies on the use of castor oil in the treatment of alopecia are lacking, there are a few studies which compel me to believe that castor oil is a viable option for hair loss treatment.
I previously discussed the role which Prostaglandin D2 plays in hair loss, but here’s a quick recap:
A 2012 study conducted by Garza et al discovered a link between PGD2 elevation and hair loss, first in mice and then in men.
Initially, Garza and his team tested their theory on mice.
Two groups of mice were used, both of which received an initial topical application of 15-dPGJ2 in order to synchronize the hair follicle cycles of all mice.
On day 8, however, only one group received another application of the 15-dPGJ2 while the control group received an acetone vehicle.
The hair lengths of the mice were measured on days 4, 12, 14, and 16, and as is clear in the tables below, the mice which received the additional 15-dPGJ2 treatment had shorter hair lengths than those mice in the control group.
Additionally, researchers looked at the effects of PGD2 and 15-dPGJ2 on human hair follicles. Extracted follicles were maintained in culture for 7 days, where increasing amounts of vehicle, PGD2, or 15-dPGJ2 were applied.
The results of this particular test can be seen in figure 6D above.
Through this study, researchers formed the theory that the GPR44 receptor is to blame for PGD>sub>2 and 15-dPGJ2’s inhibitory activities.
Researchers were also interested in the levels of PGD2 present in men with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and those without.
Through the use of mass spectrometry, the researchers were able to determine the levels of PGD2 within the studied men. In the balding men, the levels were 16.3 ng/g tissue, while in men with hair, the levels were 1.5 ng/g.
It seems quite obvious through the provided research that high levels of PGD2 are present in the scalps of balding men when compared to their haired counterparts. That, of course, begs us to ask whether this is a chicken-or-egg
scenario. In other words, does an over-production of PGD2 lead to hair loss, or does hair loss, in some way, trigger the overproduction?
Unfortunately, this process can sometimes lead to the overproduction of PGD2, known to slow hair growth, while simultaneously under-producing PGE2, a prostaglandin which is actually linked to hair growth induction.
This imbalance leads to the triggering of Gpr44, the receptor mentioned above which is believed to be responsible for PGD2’s ill effects.
This entire process, ultimately, results in one thing: slowed hair growth.
If the overproduction of PGD2 plays a role in hair loss, then what can be done to prevent its unwanted effects?
While clinical trials are underway to test the effectiveness of various pharmaceutical drugs on their abilities to reduce the effect of PGD2 by blocking the GPR44 receptor, a recent study by researchers in China shows that castor oil may provide a natural and readily-available alternative.
Fong et al selected 12 herbs commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and tested various aspects of each.
The aim of the study was to determine whether any of the 12 herbs or their constitutents were inhibitors of prostaglandin D2 synthase (PTDGS) and, therefore, could be developed for use in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness).
One of the herbs which was tested was, you guessed it, castor. Or, ‘ricinus communis’ as it was identified in the study.
As discovered by researchers, ricinoleic acid, a major component of castor, has a few properties which made it stand out as a potentially effective inhibitor of PDG2.
First and foremost, ricinoleic acid received a high docking score as tested by researchers.
Docking is an indicator of inhibitory prowess, as it shows an ability to interact and bind. In fact, the similarity in chemical structures between ricinoleic acid and prostaglandin is a good indicator of its ability to interact and bind with the molecule.
The striking similarities can be seen by comparing the below prostaglandin structures with the above image of ricinoleic acid.
Second, ricinoleic acid has excellent skin permeability. This is important for the exertion of its pharmacological effects.
Third, ricinoleic acid has minimal adverse effects when applied topically.
With this information in hand, researchers concluded that ricinoleic acid, along with four other TCM constituents, show potentially strong inhibitory properties as it relates to PGD2, though further research is required.
While the consumption of castor oil can have undesirable effects, direct application to the scalp can prove to be an effective way to boost hair growth and improve the overall quality of your scalp and hair.
One shampoo that I go back to again and again is my maple syrup and carrot seed recipe. The combination of ingredients is excellent for individuals looking to fight hair loss and reap the benefits of a healthy scalp.
● Liquid castile soap (1/2 cup)
● Maple syrup (2 tablespoons)
● Carrot seed essential oil (5-10 drops)
● Castor oil (10 drops)
Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Apply evenly to your wet scalp, working the mixture in with your fingertips for 2-3 minutes.
The soothing effects of the maple syrup, combined with the scalp-stimulating and antifungal properties of the carrot seed oil, make this shampoo an essential addition to your hair care rotation.
You can leave the castor oil in overnight, or rinse thoroughly 20-30 minutes after application.
This will make rinsing of the oil easier. Additionally, you can combine castor oil with other oils, such as grapeseed, to reduce the viscosity and make it easier to apply and spread throughout your hair.
Castor oil, when consumed, is known to have laxative effects. An over-consumption of castor oil can lead to intestinal cramping and nutrient malabsorption, and should be avoided.
An allergic reaction, while rare, can occur upon application of castor oil to the skin.
Prior to use on your scalp, it’s recommended that you first test on a small area of skin. If you experience itchy, hives, rash, redness, or hotness, avoid further application.
While castor oil’s effects on labor induction are still debated, the consumption of castor oil by pregnant woman has been shown to induce nausea.
Women who are pregnant should consult with their medical professional prior to use.
The studies have shown that, while the overproduction of PDG2 is linked to slowed hair growth and eventual hair loss, ricinoleic acid, the main component of castor oil, is indicated as a possible inhibitor of the compound.
While further testing is required to determine ricinoleic acid’s PDG2-inhibiting abilities in vivo, there is no doubt as to the fatty acid’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant abilities. This alone makes castor oil a treatment option for individuals looking to fight hair fall.
If you’re looking to find treatment for aggressive hair loss, however, then castor oil is not it.
Its listed properties may be beneficial in terms of scalp health and cleansing, but there are no indications that castor oil can totally reverse hair loss.
Instead, castor oil used frequently can help to prevent further hair loss and create a hygienic environment in which hair can grow.
To better understand the root cause of your hair loss, and to find a treatment most effective for you, take the six-question quiz below.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In this article, I’ll tell you about the latest research regarding the use of almond oil for hair growth, and how you can get started today using almond oil as a hair loss treatment.
First, you’ll learn about almond oil, its origins, and its chemical makeup which contributes to its overall health benefits.
Second, I’ll discuss the various scientific studies which show almond oil’s benefits and how effective it really is at treating hair loss.
(Hint: In rats, almond oil extracts were shown to be just as effective, and sometimes more, than minoxidil – the leading hair regrowth product in the world!)
Almond oil also has high quantities of magnesium which in itself has been proven to promote hair growth and protect against hair fall.
Third, I’ll provide you with a hair care recipe which you can begin using immediately so you can experience the positive benefits which almond oil has to offer.
Almond, also referred to as prunus dulcis and prunus amygdalus, is a species of flowering tree with origins in the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, and North Africa.
The flowers produced from the tree range in color from white to pale pink, and they bloom 7-8 months before the fruit of the tree (which we know as almonds) has matured.
Almond oil is an oil, obtained from the seed of the almond fruit, which is composed of a combination of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fatty acids.
Used in a variety of industries, from cosmetics to culinary to medicine, almond oil is a highly prized oil and used throughout the world.
Comprised of both omega-9 (oleic) and omega-6 (linoleic) fatty acids, almond oil is beneficial in the treatment of various medical conditions.
Both of these omega fatty acids are vital to human health, and they play a crucial role in a variety of human body processes.
Omega-9 fatty acid, for example, contributes to cardiovascular health and improved blood lipids in Type-2 Diabetics, while omega-6 fatty acid is vital in its contributions to reproductive health and metabolism regulation.
Additionally, omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to stimulate hair growth and contribute to the overall health of the skin and hair.
While research is currently limited, almond oil and its variety of nutrients shows promise in treating various forms of alopecia.
Two components of almond oil which cannot be overlooked are its flavonoids and phenolic acids.
Both of these constituents make up a large percentage of almond oil, which is seen in the table below.
What does this mean for hair loss, however?
Both flavonoids and phenolic acids have been shown to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants play a vital role in the slowing down of oxidative stress, and this can have a positive impact on individuals with AGA.
Oxidative stress is a process responsible for various signs of aging, including graying hair and hair loss.
Essentially, oxidative stress leads to an imbalance within the body between free radicals and antioxidants.
Free radicals are atoms which “steal” molecules from vital proteins and lipids, causing them to break down.
Flavonoids and phenolic acids, however, playing the role of antioxidant, swoop in and save the day by ceasing the molecule-scavenging process.
In individuals with AGA, supplementation with antioxidants can reduce the damage, such as inflammation and immune reactions, caused by oxidative stress.
The phenolic compounds found abundantly in almond can have other positive effects, too, as seen in a 2014 research study which showed the effect that almond shell extract had on tinea capitis, also known as scalp ringworm.
Scalp ringworm is the result of a fungal infection. This infection penetrates the hair shaft, leading to alopecia and is the number one cause of hair loss in children.
After 6 months of symptoms (including itchiness, redness, inflammation, and hair loss), the 5-year-old patient received an antifungal compound which showed no effect on the infection.
The shell extract of prunus dulcis was then applied, three times daily. Within 3 weeks, the patient had completely recovered from the infection, and without any adverse effects.
Within a month of starting the treatment, the patient’s hair had regrown in the previously bald patch.
This study just further illustrates almond oil’s antioxidant and antifungal properties.
I’ve previously discussed the effect which oleic acid and linoleic acid have on DHT and its production. To recap:
Individuals with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) have inherited a sensitivity to DHT. This sensitivity leads to the hair thinning and loss seen in patients with male-pattern baldness, and contributes to the miniaturization of hair follicles as illustrated below.
Oleic and linoleic acids, however, both have strong inhibitory effects on 5alpha-reductase. This means that less DHT is produced within the body, leading to less hair follicle miniaturization and damage.
Does this mean that those looking to use almond oil as a hair loss treatment will see results?
Almond oil contains high levels of oleic acid, and to a lesser extent, linoleic acid. As inhibitors of DHT, there’s no doubt that the supplementation of almond oil will have a positive effect on those with alopecia.
And, while there have been no human studies yet performed to show the beneficial effects of almond oil on hair growth, the study below does provide proof as to almond oil’s hair growth effects.
As mentioned above, there are a variety of components found within almond oil which contribute to its hair growth abilities. It does help, however, to see an in vivo example of almond oil in action.
A 2009 research study sought to do just that, and it asked the simple question, does almond oil contribute to hair growth?
The study consisted of 30 rats, all of which had a 3cm2 section of hair shaved from their dorsal region and an application of a commercial hair remover to ensure thorough removal. The rats were then split into six groups of five.
The six groups were a) control; b) prunus dulcis (petroleum ether extract); c) prunus dulcis (methanol extract); d) prunus dulcis (chloroform extract); e) prunus dulcis (water extract); and f) minoxidil.
The rats received one daily application of one of the above six treatments for a total of 30 days, and skin biopsies were taken at the 10-day, 20-day, and 30-day marks.
Additionally, hair was plucked randomly from the backs of each rat on the 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th days of treatment, and hair length was determined as mean length ± SEM of 25 hairs.
Ultimately, the researchers discovered that the petroleum ether extract of almond was most effective at converting hair follicles in the telogen (resting) phase to anagen (active growth) phase, and was also an effective promoter of hair length.
In fact, the petroleum ether extract was just as effective as the minoxidil treatment!
And, while the petroleum ether extract did perform more favorably, the three other extracts (methanol, chloroform, and water) did show themselves to be more effective than the control results.
While researchers were unsure of the reason for the almond extract’s effectiveness, they hypothesized that an increase in the number of epithelial cells, located at the base of the follicle, were responsible for conversion from telogen to anagen phase, as well as a prolonged period of active growth.
While there have yet to be any human studies done on the use of almond oil for treatment of alopecia, the results above do show promise and provide future researchers with a starting point.
As members of the mammalian class, both human and rat hair growth cycles are similar.
Both species experience the anagen (active), telogen (transition), and catagen (resting) phases of hair growth, and both experience hair loss for similar reasons.
This means that the effects seen in scientific studies done on rats can, in at least some part, be assumed to be similar on humans.
While there are certainly beneficial effects associated with oral consumption of almond oil, the most direct way to treat hair loss with the supplement is through application to the scalp.
This can be done in a variety of ways, though for many, adding almond oil to shampoo can be the easiest manner.
Combine all ingredients and take special care to mix thoroughly. Now, with wet hair, work the shampoo into a lather, massaging into the hair and scalp until completely covered.
Leave in for up to 3 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
This unique combination of ingredients contributes to hair growth and strength, and will protect the hair shaft from damage which may lead to brittle or dry hair.
The liquid castile soap acts as a gentle cleansing agent, leaving your hair free from pollutants, hair product, and DHT buildup.
The aloe vera balances the pH level of your scalp, promoting healthy hair growth. Olive oil, the main moisturizer within this recipe, hydrates the hair and penetrates the hair shaft, leaving you with strong, healthy locks.
Of course, almond oil contributes to this shampoo’s hydrating effects, as well as fighting any microbials (such as fungus or bacteria) found on the scalp.
Last, but not least, geranium essential oil has been shown to increase circulation to the scalp, delivering essential nutrients and promoting hair growth.
As with any supplement, it’s best to approach use with caution and understand that no matter how rare side effects may be, they can still occur and in a variety of ways.
As a culinary agent, almond oil is safe for human consumption, though you should limit the amount which you consume. Moderation, as they say, is key.
For individuals with chronic conditions, or for women who are nursing or pregnant, consult with a medical professional before supplementing with almond oil. Drug interactions may occur as a result of almond oil’s variety of minerals and vitamins.
While human research has yet to be done on the use of almond oil in the treatment of hair loss, preliminary studies done on rats do show almond oil to be an effective promoter of hair growth.
Further, almond oil’s antioxidant and antimicrobial properties contribute to its use as a hair loss treatment, and may provide those with alopecia relief from DHT’s most common side effects, including inflammation, sensitivity, and hair loss.
Is almond oil effective for those suffering from advanced alopecia? While its application may provide some relief, don’t expect almond oil supplementation to reverse aggressive hair loss.
For that you need to fix the underlying cause – then you can use almond oil to accelerate that new hair growth if you want to.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In this article, you’re going to learn about sunflower oil and its chemical components, some of which contribute in one way or another to hair growth.
Scientific studies show that this seed oil can not only protect your hair and hydrate it, but it can also reverse cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Even further, fatty acids found within sunflower oil have been proven to elongate the hair strand and increase the number of hair follicles.
What more? These fatty acids were shown to be more effective at growing hair than minoxidil!
First, I’ll introduce you to sunflower oil and the various benefits it can provide.
Second, I’ll dive into the scientific research, showing you how sunflower seed oil and its constituents contribute to the treatment of hair loss.
Third, I’ll tell you exactly what you need to know so you can get started using sunflower oil for hair growth now.
This bright, yellow flower, best grown in moist, well-draining soil and requiring full sun, is a popular crop which is cultivated for its variety of uses, including human consumption, bird and livestock feed, and latex production.
Sunflower oil is obtained from the seed, either through chemical extraction or pressing.
There are three main strains of sunflower seed oil. The standard oil is high in linoleic acid. Due to the numerous health benefits provided by oleic acid, however, two other strains were created with high oleic acid levels and moderate oleic acid levels.
Since there are other oils with naturally-high oleic acid levels, if you decide to give sunflower seed oil a try, I would go with standard oil with the highest levels of linoleic acid.
Now, let’s get into the variety of health advantages which sunflower oil supplementation can provide for individuals looking to lengthen and strengthen their hair.
High in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and containing rich sources of Vitamins E and K, sunflower seed oil provides your scalp and hair with the nutrients it needs to produce healthy, strong hair strands.
Similar to jojoba oil, sunflower oil protects against water loss and in a 2013 study, sunflower seed oil was even shown to improve skin hydration by 12% to 18% in human volunteers.
Sunflower oil is a source high in antioxidants (namely, tocotrienol) which means, when sunflower seed oil is supplemented, free radical activity is kept at bay, and damage previously caused by free radicals (such as hair thinning and loss) is reversed.
Alongside its moisturizing properties, sunflower oil has also been proven to accelerate repair of the damaged skin barrier.
Darmstadt et al found, in the epidermal layer of mice, sunflower oil accelerated skin barrier recovery within one hour of application, and this effect was sustained even five hours after application.
To better understand the above-listed benefits of sunflower seed oil, let’s take a look at the research.
In previous articles, I’ve discussed the positive impact which both oleic and linoleic acids have on hair growth. In these other articles, however, oleic acid seems to be the main focus, as it’s a major component within olive oil and canola oil.
Today, however, I’d like to focus on linoleic acid and what it can do for the good of your hair.
Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid. Omega-6 fatty acids are vital to human health, as they maintain bone health, regulate the metabolism, support the reproductive system, and even stimulate the growth of skin and hair.
As a polyunsaturated fat, linoleic acid contributes significantly to cardiovascular health and is also high in Vitamin E, a vital nutrient which I’ll discuss in further detail later.
In addition to the health advantages provided by linoleic acid, metabolism of this omega-6 fatty acid within the body converts it into various other fatty acids, all of which have their own roles to play.
Arachidonic acid plays a huge role in hair growth stimulation, which I’ll be sure to highlight later.
While male-pattern baldness tends to be one of the better known forms of alopecia, other types do exist.
One such type is scarring alopecia, and this is characterized by plaque-like skin lesions which damage the hair follicles and cause hair fall.
The healing abilities of linoleic acid, however, are something to be noted.
The lambs were split into two groups, one group treated with application of sunflower seed oil and the other group treated with Vaseline (control).
At the 7- and 21-day marks, it was obvious that the lambs treated with sunflower seed oil saw much better healing, both in terms of reduced wound size and increased rate of wound contraction.
By the 21st day, treated wounds showed complete resurfacing of the epithelium, including hair follicles.
While still untested on humans with scarring alopecia, the results of this study do provide promise.
First, this study shows that sunflower oil is a direct healer of wounds.
Second, and perhaps most important for those with scarring alopecia, the application of sunflower seed oil may even lead to the regrowth of hair follicles in previously scarred areas.
I mentioned above that linoleic acid synthesizes into other fatty acids. One such fatty acid, arachidonic acid, arachidonic acid, was shown to induce hair growth in mice in a 2016 study performed by Munkhbayar et al.
In the particular part of the study which focused on hair growth in mice, the dorsal region of female mice was shaved, and the hair follicles were confirmed to be entering anagen phase.
The mice were split into three groups and received an applied mixture of either a) a placebo; b) arachidonic acid; or c) minoxidil. This treatment took place over the course of four weeks.
At the end of the 28-day study, it was seen that mice receiving the applied mixture of arachidonic acid grew longer hair in a faster amount of time than those in either the control or minoxidil groups.
In another part of the study, researchers were looking at the effect arachidonic acid had on the elongation of the human hair shaft and the proliferation of dermal papilla cells.
Using hair shaft samples collected from healthy males between the ages of 20 and 50, researchers cultured the samples for 12 days, eventually adding varying concentrations of arachidonic acid (AA) to determine its effects.
Researchers found hair shaft growth at AA concentrations of 1 µM, 2 µM, and 5µM.
The growth seen was higher than that of the control group. Further, the scientists wanted to see if AA played a role in follicular cell proliferation, and they used a known proliferation marker, Ki-67, to do so.
With the use of immunofluorescence staining, scientists saw that concentrations of AA from 1 µM to 5 µM caused an increase in Ki-67 found along the follicular matrix, leading to significant proliferation of cells over the control group.
This research study provides scientists with two essential pieces of information.
The first piece is in regards to arachidonic acid’s hair growth abilities. As was shown in the application of AA to the dorsal regions of mice, arachidonic acid was more effective at growing hair than even minoxidil.
The second piece of information shows the concentration levels which arachidonic acid shows to be most beneficial.
As too much arachidonic acid can induce inflammation, negatively impacting the growth of hair and the production of new hair follicles, high levels of AA are to be avoided in treatment.
In this particular study, the concentrations of 2 µM and 5 µM seem to be the most effective, while 10 µM is shown to reverse the positive effects.
Free radicals are the culprit in a number of age-related processes, such as hair greying, wrinkles, and hair thinning and loss.
Through the destruction of vital cells, as well as the targeting of important molecules such as proteins and lipids, free radicals lead to the breaking down and interruption of necessary processes.
Now, as a result of this damage, the body (and particularly the scalp) responds by producing inflammation as a way to fight the attack.
Unfortunately, chronic inflammation can be just as destructive, if not more, than free radicals.
And, while inflammation may be a temporary fix for free radical damage and cell destruction, it cannot properly handle the threat.
So, what can be done?
This is where antioxidants come in.
Antioxidants are the free radical fighting heroes of the body, donating a part of themselves to ensure that free radicals don’t go looking elsewhere (like, to the molecules within our body) for their needs.
There are hundreds, possibly even thousands, of different antioxidants. Sunflower oil has one particular antioxidant, however, and that’s Vitamin E.
Vitamin E works by interrupting the process of lipid peroxidation.
This occurs when free radicals target the lipid molecules within the body, leading to destruction of these vital molecules and ultimately causing tissue damage.
To understand the role which Vitamin E plays in preventing hair loss, let’s take a closer look at a 2010 Malaysian study.
For eight months, researchers tracked the effects of tocotrienol (a member of the Vitamin E family) on male and female volunteers suffering from varying levels of alopecia.
Out of the 38 total participants, 17 received a placebo while 21 received an oral dose of 100 mg of mixed tocotrienols. All participants took their oral supplements once per day.
Throughout the study, Beoy et al. counted the amount of hairs found within a predetermined area of scalp, as well as collected hair clippings to collect weight data.
Unfortunately, tocotrienol did not have a significant effect on hair weight.
What did the researchers believe was responsible for these results?
Well, while the researchers do know that Vitamin E’s antioxidants play a significant role in the results seen, Vitamin E supplementation may also increase the size of blood vessels.
This means that hair follicles will see an increase in nutrients, as well as an increase in the amount of harmful waste which is removed from the scalp.
Supplementation of sunflower oil can either be done through oral consumption or direct application. However, while increasing your oral consumption of sunflower seed oil may provide you with a few general health benefits, direct application to the scalp and hair appears to be the most efficient method of supplementation.
So, how can you add sunflower oil to your usual hair care routine?
The light taste of sunflower oil makes it an excellent addition to your favourite recipes.
Add it to your salads and soups for an extra dose of healthy fats and Vitamin E, or use it to stir fry your favorite vegetables. If you’re in a hurry, eat sunflower seeds as a snack.
Sunflower seed oil makes an excellent carrier oil for a variety of homemade hair care products.
If you’d like to give sunflower oil a try, then take a look at the Rosemary Oil & Zesty Lemon conditioner below.
Mix the above four ingredients until thoroughly combined. After washing your hair, apply the conditioner to your wet scalp and hair, allowing it to soak in for 5 minutes. After absorbing all the nutrients, rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water.
The apple cider vinegar acts as a gentle cleanser, removing any left behind shampoo residue and naturally cleansing your hair strands and scalp.
Lemon juice, doubly beneficial in this recipe, provides both a boost of Vitamin C and a shock of antioxidants. The rosemary oil adds a soothing effect, while simultaneously dilating the blood vessels to ensure proper nutrient delivery to the hair follicles.
For the majority of healthy individuals looking to supplement with sunflower oil, the side effects are few.
For dermal application, these side effects may include mild irritation or allergic reaction.
This is why it’s a good idea to test any supplements on the inside of your wrist prior to applying to the scalp. In moderation, those who consume sunflower oil should stick to a consumption of between 25% to 35% of their daily recommended calorie intake.
If you suffer from chronic medical condition, such as high cholesterol or heart disease, speak with your physician prior to supplementation.
Women who are pregnant or nursing are likely safe to supplement with sunflower oil, both dermally and orally, however your physician can provide you with the best advice.
In conclusion, sunflower oil can provide your hair and scalp with a variety of benefits which may contribute to accelerated hair growth and strengthening of the hair strands.
Shown to be more effective at growing hair in mice than minoxidil, those who are looking for an all-natural alternative to the popular over-the-counter medication may find sunflower seed oil to be an appropriate substitute.
Looking for more minoxidil replacement options? Check out my post on a homemade alternative to Minoxidil solution.
I do believe, however, that there are more effective methods of treating hair loss. While the properties of sunflower oil may provide you with a bit of a boost, there are even more effective ways to reverse hair loss than sunflower oil.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
Whether you’re only now beginning your journey of hair loss treatment, or you’ve been sampling various treatment products and supplements for years, you may have come across Wild Growth Hair Oil as a way to re-grow your hair.
Of course, as with anyone looking for genuine results, you may be asking yourself, “does this stuff really work?”
As with any other product, the answer is, “it depends.”
However, to provide you with a better answer, I’ve taken a deeper look at the product and its ingredients. So that you can learn more about the product prior to usage, in the sections below, you’ll discover:
As is to be expected, the formulation of Wild Growth Hair Oil will tell us a lot about what it can do for individuals with hair loss.
Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients and some hair growth benefits each ingredient may provide:
This moisturizing, inflammation-fighting ingredient can reduce scalp inflammation, induce anagen hair growth, and has even been shown to be more effective than minoxidil when treating hair loss.
Nearly identical to the structure of sebum, the oil produced by sebaceous glands, jojoba oil has been shown to be effective in generating hair growth (and even new hair follicles!).
Coconut oil’s unique structure allows it to penetrate the hair shaft, better than even mineral oil and sunflower oil.
This ingredients provides your hair with necessary moisture and can also prevent the loss of protein in hair strands.
Deficiencies in Vitamin D have been shown to interrupt the chemical processes involved in hair growth, and can even lead to the breaking down and loss of already-present hair.
This vitamin, vital to the health of the liver, brain, nerves, and muscles, is also known to have moisturizing properties which may lend itself to hair growth benefits.
While research studies have found that inositol has no effect as a treatment for alopecia, the application of inositol did appear to have beneficial and rapid effects on various skin conditions.
An element found within the human body, iron plays a critical role in the circulatory system. As part of the bloodstream, iron deficiencies can lead to health problems seen throughout the body, including hair thinning and balding.
A lot of effective hair loss treatment methods are concerned with the balancing of chemical imbalances within the bloodstream and scalp.
Magnesium is no different, balancing the levels of calcification found within the hair follicles and levels of calcium within the bloodstream.
Practitioners of homeopathy have looked for years at phosphorous as a successful treatment option for individuals suffering from alopecia areata, a patchy form of hair loss.
In fact, calcium is a vital nutrient which can only be found in food sources, and a deficiency of calcium can cause weakening of the bones and increased risk of kidney stones.
Natural Color and Fragrance
This catch-all phrase is found as the last item on the lists of a variety of cosmetics and hair care products.
And, while you may be kept in the dark as to the exact colorants and fragrances used, only those listed by the FDA as “natural” may be listed as such.
So, what does Wild Growth claim about their hair oil, and should these claims be taken seriously?
First and foremost, Wild Growth guarantees hair growth results in 95% of Wild Growth Hair Oil users.
This statistic, however, has been collected from the testimonials and survey results provided by users, and has not been verified in a research study or review.
Additionally, Wild Growth boasts an array of hair benefits, though none of these are backed by research.
Such benefits include the product’s promotion of thick, long hair growth, its detangling and softening abilities, and its effective use as hair strengthener and protector.
Now, does the lack of studies mean that the product is ineffective?
However, hair growth results are certainly not guaranteed, and the decision whether to utilize the product for hair loss treatment is up to your discretion.
Wild Growth claims their products work on a variety of hair types, including black/African, Asian, European, Indian, Middle Eastern, Native American, and Central/South American.
For individuals with particularly oily scalps or fine hair, Wild Growth Hair Oil may still be used, though it’s important to keep in mind that a little oil goes a long way.
While no research has been done specifically on Wild Growth Hair Oil and its effectiveness as a treatment for alopecia, studies have been done on various ingredients found within the product.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, though I have included research which I believe will be most helpful for you in your decision making.
I’ve recently explored the use of olive oil as a hair loss treatment option.
And, while you shouldn’t expect olive oil to reverse the effects of aggressive hair loss, there are a few components found within it (namely, oleuropein and oleocanthal) which seem to contribute to its use in the prevention of further hair loss.
In my previous research, I discovered a study which tracked the hair growth results of mice within a 28-day period.
The results of the study showed that, not only did the daily application of oleuropein prove to be more effective than the application of a control vehicle, but it also beat out minoxidil in hair growth results.
Another oil found in Wild Growth Hair Oil’s formulation is jojoba oil, a waxy substance which has been used commonly for the treatment of hair-, skin-, and nail-related issues.
One study, performed by Hay et al, utilized a combination of essential oils and carrier oils (in this case, jojoba and grapeseed) to determine its effectiveness at treating alopecia areata.
Now, while researchers were focusing on aromatherapy’s impact on hair growth, that’s not to say that the two carrier oils, jojoba and grapeseed, didn’t play their roles as well.
The penetrative abilities of coconut oil contribute to its use as a successful moisturizer, as well as its effectiveness at preventing the loss of protein in the hair.
In figure 1 on the right, the protein loss seen in undamaged hair following the application of coconut oil and sunflower oil is illustrated.
Results show that, applied both as a pre-wash and post-wash, coconut oil leads to less protein loss from wet hair brushing than does sunflower oil.
While human studies are limited, a review of scientific literature regarding the role which Vitamin D plays in hair loss was performed by Amor, Rashid, and Mirmirani in 2010.
Scientists found that, while the role of Vitamin D in hair loss and regrowth was still unclear, the Vitamin D receptor did play a vital role in hair cycling, including the initiation of the anagen phase of hair growth.
As a result of this review, the three researchers suggested that treatments which regulate the Vitamin D receptor may be successful forms of hair loss treatment and should be further studied.
This is a very common cause of hair loss, but one which may be preventable with Vitamin D supplementation.
Telogen effluvium can be caused by a triggering event, or it can be chronic. Either way, the condition can cause brittle, thinning hair and may also lead to the dislodging of hair from the follicle.
One example of choline’s use in the treatment of hair loss is seen in a 2007 study by Wickett et al.
Forty-eight women, all of which had fine hair, participated in this study. They were treated for nine months with either a 10mg/day dose of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid or a placebo.
At the end of the study, researchers studied the effects of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on elasticity, break load, and hair thickness.
While elasticity decreased in both groups, the group which received the supplement only say a 4.52% reduction compared to the 11.9% reduction in elasticity seen in the placebo group.
Additionally, the placebo group saw a 10.8% decrease in break load, while the group which received the supplement only saw a 2.20% decrease in break load.
A 2013 Korean study linked pattern hair loss to lower levels of serum ferritin, the protein within the body which is necessary to store iron.
This study strongly supports the link between iron deficiency and the progression of female-pattern hair loss, and further studies may be beneficial in discovering the why behind these results.
As I established in a previous article, an excess of calcium in the bloodstream and hair follicles can cause chronic inflammation.
And, as you know, inflammation has a direct impact on the hair follicle, leading to miniaturization of the hair follicle and hair loss.
Magnesium, however, has been shown to reduce the levels of calcium found in blood vessels. This means that inflammation caused by calcium can be decreased—and even reversed—when magnesium is used.
While a number of the ingredients found within Wild Growth Hair Oil have been shown to contribute to hair growth or the slowing of hair loss, this doesn’t mean that the combination found within the product offers any additional benefits apart from the ones previously mentioned.
Simply put, while Wild Growth Hair Oil may provide you with a convenient source of nutrients and natural ingredients, it doesn’t have any superior benefits over a homemade combination of your own.
As with the supplementation of anything, adverse effects and allergic reactions are always a possibility.
Even with the use of natural ingredients, such as those seen in Wild Growth Hair Oil, you may still experience sensitivities or reactions to one or more of the product’s constituents.
To determine whether this product will cause a reaction, apply to the inside of your wrist prior to scalp application. This will ensure, if a reaction does occur, that the reaction is contained.
As with any of the supplements featured on Hair Loss Revolution, individuals with chronic health conditions, or women who are pregnant or nursing, should consult with a medical professional before beginning use.
Wild Growth Hair Oil can be used on either damp or dry hair, though the results you’re looking for, as well as your hair type, will largely determine how you apply the oil and how much to use.
Split your hair into four parts, and apply 15-20 drops of the Wild Growth Hair Oil to each section. After application to each of the four sections, apply to the scalp thoroughly while avoiding saturation.
Let the oil soak into your scalp for 3-5 minutes and, using the tool of your choice, detangle, brush or comb the oil through your hair.
You may now style as usual.
For the entirety of your hair and scalp, apply 5-10 drops to your palms and apply.
Let the oil soak for 3-5 minutes, and then comb or brush through your hair to evenly distribute the oil.
You may continue brushing your hair every 3-5 minutes until your hair has completely air dried in order to lessen the amount of oil present on your scalp, or leave as is following application.
If the application has left your scalp and hair feeling too oily, apply less until you’ve found the right amount for your scalp.
Between washings, you’ll want to apply the oil sparingly as scalp flakiness or dryness occurs. Additionally, you can use the oil as a frizz fighter.
Using wet hands, apply 3-10 drops of the Wild Growth Hair Oil to the thickest parts of your hair, and slowly make your way out to areas of thinner growth.
To rid scalp of oil residue, allow the oil to soak for 3-5 minutes, and then brush every 3-5 minutes thereafter in order to ‘set’ the hair and allow maximum oil absorption and dispersal.
As an over-the-counter hair care product, Wild Growth Hair Oil is available online (both in the U.S. and in various non-U.S. countries, such as Australia, the UK, India, and Nigeria) as well as in various independent and chain cosmetics stores throughout the United States.
A single 4 oz. bottle of Wild Growth Hair Oil is available, from Amazon, for $9.99, though to save money, you may want to consider the 2-pack option (2 4-oz bottles) for a total of $14.39.
At the beginning of this article, we sought to answer the question, “is Wild Growth Hair Oil an effective treatment option for individuals with alopecia?”
As outlined above, while the various ingredients found within the product, such as olive oil and Vitamin D, may provide benefits for users, that doesn’t mean that the product will work for you, or that you cannot get these benefits on your own.
If you’re still unsure whether you’d like to give Wild Growth a try, or you just want to learn more about the type of hair loss you suffer from, take the quiz below to discover all-natural treatment methods which may be better suited for you.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In this article I’m going to look at all the scientific and anecdotal evidence that canola oil can be used for hair growth, and stopping hair loss.
I’ll cover the medical study conducted in 2009 that showed some of the fatty acids contained in canola oil may be useful to help to inhibit 5-alpha reductase, and therefore DHT (the hormone responsible for hair loss.)
You’ll also learn about the scientific study from 2010 that showed how vitamin E (which is present in canola oil in very high amounts) helped to increase hair count in 28 volunteers who were suffering from hair loss by 34.5% over the placebo.
(Not bad results!)
Finally, I want to show you how to start using canola oil (if you decide to after reading this article) in the most effective way to help re-grow your own hair – thats at the end of the article where I’ll show you my specific recipes and uses.
Sometimes villainized and often misunderstood, canola oil is a popularly-used oil found in the kitchens of millions of households throughout the world.
The complex history behind canola oil’s cultivation, however, has led many people to believe that canola oil is not what it seems.
Even with numerous studies which cite canola oil’s various health benefits, many individuals are wary of the oil and its usage.
Why the hate?
Canola oil’s origins can be a bit confusing. This leads to misunderstanding and, for some individuals, fear.
Canola is actually the name for a cultivar of the rapeseed crop. Rapeseed, which is high in erucic acid, has been used for centuries in both cooking and as a source of fuel.
It was discovered, however, that the high levels of erucic acid found within rapeseed oil made its consumption toxic.
As a result of this discovery, Canadian scientists set to work and selectively bred rapeseed plants in order to produce a low-erucic acid crop. The result was canola oil, a non-toxic cultivar which is safe for human and animal consumption.
Aside from its use as a healthy fat, there are a few scientific studies which also hint at its effectiveness as a treatment for hair loss, and more specifically, male-pattern baldness.
5-alpha-reductase is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
For individuals with androgenetic alopecia (AGA), DHT can cause hair thinning and loss. This is due, not to high levels of DHT, but instead to the sensitivity which those with AGA have inherited.
Over time, DHT-sensitive hair follicles will miniaturize. This occurs when the active phase of hair growth, the anagen phase, shortens. Eventually, the phase will become so short that hair will no longer protrude from the follicle.
So, what can be done?
A testosterone blocker would seem the likely option. After all, DHT is converted by 5-alpha reductase from testosterone.
This, however, would lead to a whole plethora of other problems, including hot flashes and sexual dysfunction. A better method, it seems, would be to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase from doing its job.
That is, stop it from converting testosterone into DHT.
In the above-mentioned study, scientists were able to do just that with the help of several fatty acids, two of which were oleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA).
One way in which researchers tested this theory was to determine the effect that oleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid had on prostate cancer cells.
Why? In previous years, testosterone was thought to be the culprit which enabled cancer cells to rapidly increase in number within the prostate gland.
However, a 1986 scientific study shows that DHT, not testosterone, is the true enabler of cancer cell proliferation.
In conclusion, researchers found that both oleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid were useful in inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
What does this mean for those looking to use canola oil as a hair loss treatment?
Canola oil is high in oleic acid, with levels greater than 60%. Alpha-linoleic acid can also be found in canola oil, though to a lesser extent.
This means that, both fatty acids being inhibitors of DHT, canola oil can be an effective way to remove DHT buildup from your scalp and prevent DHT conversion from occurring.
Canola oil is an oil rich in two vital nutrients: Vitamins E and K.
More specifically, canola oil is rich in a particular type of Vitamin E known as α-tocotrienol.
In 2010, researchers in Malaysia recruited the help of 38 male and female volunteers.
Ranging in age from 18-60, these individuals suffered from some degree of hair loss or another. The goal of this study? To determine what effect, if any, tocotrienols have on hair growth.
The volunteers were split into two groups. The first group, consisting of 21 volunteers, would receive tocotrienol supplementation.
The supplement consisted of 30.8% α-tocotrienol, 56.4% γ-tocotrienol and 12.8% δ-tocotrienol, and also included 23 IU of α-tocopherol. The supplement was taken twice daily for 32 weeks in the form of a gel capsule.
The second group of volunteers, 17 altogether, were given a placebo capsule. This capsule was 100% soya bean oil, and they were instructed to take this capsule similarly to the tocotrienol supplement group.
The researchers chose two parameters to study the effectiveness of the tocotrienol supplementation. Prior to the start of the study, as well as at 4 months and 8 months, the two parameters (hair count and hair weight) were measured.
Well, by the end of the 32-week study, the effectiveness of the tocotrienol supplementation was certainly clear.
From the beginning of the study to the end, volunteers in the tocotrienol supplement group, on average, saw an increase in hair count over the placebo group by 34.5%.
Hair count results in the tocotrienol supplementation group and the placebo group, taken at baseline, 4 months, and 8 months.
Unfortunately, there was no significant difference of measured hair weight between volunteers in the tocotrienol supplementation group and those in the placebo group.
Of course, aside from results, researchers are also looking to answer the question: Why?
While further studies would be helpful, preliminary findings seem to point to the potent antioxidant activity of tocotrienols.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an abundance of free radicals within the body.
Free radicals are responsible for the breaking down of various vital molecules, leading to cell damage and signs of premature aging.
Lipid peroxidation is the mechanism which is linked to oxidative stress, because as lipids break down, free radicals are able to “steal” molecules from the lipids.
Researchers believe that the antioxidant properties of tocotrienol inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This slows the breakdown of lipids and protects the lipid molecules from scavenging free radicals.
When it comes to canola oil and its benefits, there are two main ways you can go about enjoying them.
First, you can apply canola oil directly to the scalp. This no-fuss method is great for individuals looking for a quick and easy hair growth solution.
Second, you can substitute canola oil into your diet.
The fatty acids found within canola oil can soothe and repair damaged and dry skin. This can lessen inflammation and general scalp irritation, and can help to stimulate hair growth.
All you’ll need is canola oil and a small bit of time.
First, apply the canola oil to your palm. Rub the oil between your hands, and then massage it onto your scalp. Be sure to distribute the oil evenly across the scalp, adding more oil if necessary.
Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, pour directly on to your hairline and massage in (help from a friend can be useful.)
To increase the benefits, massage in a circular motion for 5 minutes. This will improve blood circulation and increase the chances of oil absorption.
You can leave the oil on overnight, or rinse with lukewarm water after 30 minutes.
As the study on α-tocotrienol and its positive results for those looking to regrow their hair has shown, the addition of canola oil to your diet can be an excellent way to aid in the stimulation of hair growth.
One of the great things about canola oil is its versatility in the kitchen.
You can easily substitute canola oil for other oils or fats in your cooking, and its mild taste is perfect in already-flavorful dishes.
Speaking of flavorful dishes, check out the recipe below, which was slightly modified from the one provided on All Recipes.
Begin by heating your skillet over medium heat, only adding the chicken livers in once the skillet is heated and ready to go.
Cook the chicken livers in the skillet, stirring occasionally, until the livers are cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the canola oil, lemon juice, and salt to the chicken livers, and stir together until thoroughly mixed.
Remove skillet from heat, and sprinkle the minced garlic cloves over the top.
Alternative: If you’d like for the dish to have a more garlic-rich flavor, heat the minced garlic in the skillet with a tablespoon of canola oil prior to cooking the chicken livers.
Remove the garlic and set aside once it begins to brown, and then rinse the oil and wipe the skillet dry prior to adding in the chicken livers.
The chicken livers in this dish are a rich source of iron, excellent for individuals suffering from iron deficiency and hair loss related to it. To boost the iron levels in your meal, consider preparing it in a cast iron skillet.
Further, garlic is a source of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and garlic has been shown to be an effective treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a condition which has been linked to male-pattern baldness.
As a monounsaturated fat, canola oil is widely beneficial and a recommended source of fat. As an essential part of your diet, calories from fat should make up about 35% of your daily caloric intake.
Allergies to canola oil are rare, though if signs of an allergic reaction occur, stop supplementation immediately.
All in all, canola oil is a safe supplement for healthy individuals. If you have any questions or concerns surrounding fat intake, consult with your primary care physician.
Personally, I don’t use canola oil for my own hair loss.
There are more beneficial oils available.
However, if canola oil was the only choice available to me then I would use it topically (massaged into my scalp.)
But I don’t see strong enough evidence that taken as a supplement its worth it.
Instead I would recommend you try a supplement like pumpkin seed oil which has been proven medically to stimulate significant hair growth in humans.
I add pumpkin seed oil to my morning smoothie every single day because of this.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In this article I’m going to show you exactly how you can start using olive oil for hair growth – Using a method that shows results within 28 days.
You’re going to learn about the scientific study carried out oleuropein (which is found in olive oil) which showed it was more effective than the leading topical hair loss product at regrowing hair.
Finally, I’ll show you how you can start using olive oil yourself to help reverse hair loss – and why there are other steps you need to do to, to give your hair the best chance of success.
After that, I recommend taking the hair quiz to see if your hair loss is reversible.
Commonly used in the culinary arts as a frying oil or salad dressing, olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive crop.
This highly-valued tree crop, originating from the Mediterranean Basin, is made into oil through the process of pressing.
Beyond its use in the kitchen, olive oil has made a name for itself in the cosmetics and homeopathic industries and has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
And now, as more individuals are turning to natural and organic cures for their ills, olive oil is being celebrated as a miracle of sorts—from its treatment of dry skin to its use as a hair growth stimulator.
Olive oil is also one of the main ingredients in Wild Growth hair Oil.
A recent study performed by Tong, Kim, and Park shows that oleuropein, a component found in the leaves of the olive tree, induces anagen hair growth in telogen mouse skin.
There are three phases within the hair growth cycle.
Phase 1, Anagen – This is the phase of active growth and rapid cell division.
Phase 2, Catagen – This phase is transitional and allows for the newly-grown hair sheath to properly attach to its root.
Phase 3, Telogen – This phase is known as the resting phase, where shedding typically occurs. During this phase of the cycle, healthy individuals will lose 25 – 100 hairs per day, on average.
In individuals who suffer from alopecia, the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle significantly shortens over time.
As the length of the hair is proportional to the length of the anagen phase, the shorter the phase becomes, the shorter the hair which is produced.
Eventually, those with alopecia are left with hair which is too short to poke through the hair follicle, leading to thinning and baldness.
In this particular study, 24 mice were split into three groups of eight.
The backs of the mice were shaved at 8 weeks of age, and the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle was confirmed.
For 28 days, each mouse received a 200 μL application of either control, control + 0.4mg concentration of oleuropein, or control + 3mg concentration of Minoxidil.
The control consisted of 50% ethanol, 30% water, and 20% propylene glycol.
The mice were photographed on days 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28, and 10 random hairs from each mouse were measured on the same schedule.
A comparison of hair growth in mice being treated with either A. a control; B. oleuropein; or C. minoxidil.
A comparison of the hair length (in cm) of mice treated with a control, oleuropein, or minoxidil.
Now, it’s no surprise that the hairs in the oleuropein-treated group were longer than those in the control group.
However, it is surprising that the oleuropein-treated group also had better results than the mice in the minoxidil-treated group.
What caused such drastic results?
At the end of the 28-day study, skin samples of the mice were examined.
In the oleuropein-treated group, the mice had a significant increase in the mRNA levels in four separate growth factors (insulin-like growth factor – 1, hepatocyte growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and keratocyte growth factor).
In fact, compared to mice treated with only the control, the mice in the oleuropein-treated group saw a 71% increase in dermal IGF-1 levels.
Each of the mentioned growth factors plays their own role in the growth and development of hair follicles. IGF-1, for example, is known to regulate cell proliferation which occurs rapidly during hair follicle formation.
There’s no doubt that the upregulation of growth factor gene expression played a significant role in the study’s results, but there’s another reason that treatment for hair growth proved to be so effective in the oleuropein-treated group of mice.
In a 2010 research study published in Developmental Cell, it was discovered that deletion of the β-catenin gene in dermal papilla cells of fully developed hair follicles led to the premature induction of the catagen phase in mice.
Further, the Wnt10b/β-catenin signaling pathway seems to play a role in the maintenance of the anagen phase.
In the oleuropein-treated group of mice mentioned in the previous study, researchers found that not only was there an increase in the mRNA levels of different growth factors, but oleuropein also led to the modulation of the Wnt10b/β-catenin pathway.
This pathway, proven to prolong the anagen phase, is largely responsible for the significant hair growth seen in the mice.
Certain forms of alopecia are caused by inflammation of the scalp.
This inflammation can be caused by a weakened immune system, allergies, or any other number of circumstances.
Whatever the source of the inflammation, the fact remains that chronic inflammation can be damaging to the hair follicles and induce premature hair thinning and loss.
As was shown in a 2008 randomized trial, the daily ingestion of virgin olive oil led to a decrease in circulating concentrations of interleukin-6, a known pro-inflammatory, and C-reactive protein, a responsive protein that indicates inflammation within the body.
But what makes olive oil such a powerful treatment option for inflammation, and are these results external as well as internal?
Oleocanthal, a phenolic compound within virgin olive oil, seems to be the underlying reason for olive oil’s effective treatment of inflammation and inflammatory diseases.
Chemical structure of oleocanthal.
Phenolic compounds can be found within a number of plant-based foods, such as chili peppers, oregano, and sesame seeds.
Oleocanthal, however, is unique to virgin olive oil, and its various components are present within its very name (oleo – olive; canth – sting; and al – aldehyde).
This unique compound is responsible for the irritating sensation felt by most individuals in the back of the throat when olive oil is directly consumed.
Interestingly, this very attribute is believed to be felt most strongly in individuals who are particularly sensitive to the positive effects of oleocanthal.
And, while this phenolic compound is structurally dissimilar to Ibuprofen, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, both compounds inhibit the very same enzymes in the prostaglandin-biosynthesis pathway which triggers inflammation.
As a natural inhibitor of cyclooxygenase enzymes, there’s no wonder that oleocanthal plays such a large role in the reduction of inflammation.
Does this mean that the use of olive oil can reduce inflammation of the scalp for individuals with alopecia?
As previously discussed, oleocanthal reduces the circulating concentrations of interleukin-6 and other inflammation-causing enzymes.
This means that the anti-inflammatory effects are seen throughout the body, which makes oleocanthal a viable option for individuals looking to reduce scalp inflammation and irritation.
Olive oil is a commonly ingested oil, and ingestion of 2 tablespoons per day can be tolerated in those looking to supplement, though up to 1 liter per week has been safely used as part of the Mediterranean diet.
Another effective approach, however, is the application of olive oil directly to the scalp.
Whether through the use of homemade shampoo or the application of an all-natural scalp scrub, olive oil can be easily incorporated into your hair loss treatment routine.
A particularly potent way to introduce olive oil into your regular hair care routine is by making your own homemade shampoo.
While the task may seem daunting, all you need is a cleansing agent + carrier oil + essential oil.
If you’re ready to get started, here’s a recipe which will reduce scalp inflammation and unclog blocked hair follicles.
Combine all ingredients in the container or bottle of your choice.
Mix the ingredients thoroughly, and be sure to break up any baking soda clumps.
Wet your hair and scalp thoroughly in lukewarm water.
Lather the shampoo mixture onto your hair, and massage into the scalp for 2-4 minutes. After massaging, you may allow to sit for an additional 2 minutes if you’d like.
Evening primrose oil is an essential oil which boasts a number of hair growth benefits.
Its rich omega-6 composition makes it an effective treatment for hair loss, and its anti-inflammatory properties help to nourish the scalp and relieve any itching, inflammation, or general irritation.
The apple cider vinegar and baking soda combine to make a powerful, yet gentle, cleansing agent.
If you’re looking to cleanse your scalp while simultaneously enjoying olive oil’s many benefits, take a look at this 3-ingredient scalp scrub from hello glow as outlined below.
Add the salt, lemon juice, and olive oil into a container of your choice, and mix together well.
Wet your hair, and then massage the above mixture into your scalp for several minutes. Be sure to pay equal attention to all parts of your scalp.
Once down massaging, rinse the scrub thoroughly.
The sea salt and olive oil in this simple scrub act as cleanser/moisturizer duo, which is a great combination for individuals with dandruff or hair product buildup.
In addition to the salt’s abrasive texture, the lemon juice breaks down the chemicals and pollutants which come into contact with your hair everyday.
Further, the olive oil’s fatty acid composition will protect your hair from breakage and keep your locks strong.
While side effects associated with olive oil supplementation are few and far between, there are those individuals who may need to consult with their doctor prior to supplementation.
Such individuals include those with diabetes, low blood pressure, and those currently taking high blood pressure medications.
The consumption of olive oil can lower both blood sugar and blood pressure, and even with the consent of your physician, individuals with diabetes or low blood pressure should monitor their levels closely.
The best way to add olive oil to your diet is by using it as a dressing for salads and other foods.
Contact dermatitis, or an allergic skin reaction, is rare. However, those with allergies may develop a skin rash similar to eczema and should cease supplementation immediately.
As always, women who are pregnant or nursing should consult with their obstetrician to ensure the safety of supplementation.
The studies have shown that oleuropein which is found in olive oil can significantly speed up hair -regrowth (in mice.)
It has proven to be more effective than the control, and the expensive (FDA approved) hair loss solution, minoxidil.
Since I personally tend to favour natural products I would definitely prefer to use olive oil rather than minoxidil.
However, this is just the first few steps to regrowing your hair.
The best way to rapidly reverse your hair loss is to fix the underlying cause of hair loss in the first place.
If you are interested in learning the step by step method to do this then first take the free hair loss quiz and then follow my instructions.
So, in conclusion, olive oil can be used for hair loss, but it will only help a very small amount.
The best course of action is to fix the underlying triggers to hair loss and then perhaps use olive oil to speed up hair re-growth.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?
In this article I’m going to show you how Vatika oil (and its ingredients) can be used for hair growth.
Scientific studies have taken place that show the herbs which make up vatika oil can successfully be used to stimulate hair growth in just a few weeks.
And they can be even more effective than minoxidil.
Firstly I’ll expalin which exactly is this oil, then I’ll share and discuss the findings from the study.
Finally I’ll show you exactly how you can start using vatika oil (and close alternatives) in trigger hair growth for yourself.
Vatika oil is a combination of a carrier oil (coconut, almond, cactus, olive) and various herbs used in the Ayurvedic tradition.
If you’re interested in adding a new oil to your hair care routine, consider the information on vatika oil and its many benefits mentioned below.
There are various formulas of vatika oil available.
Each one has its own unique properties and benefits. To determine which one may work best for you, check out the four most common carrier oils below and their various advantages.
This oil has a combination of moisturizing and inflammation-fighting abilities, which makes it a fantastic choice for individuals looking to nourish and hydrate their scalp and hair.
If you suffer from cicatricial alopecia (also known as scarring alopecia), this oil may be one of your best options due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Cactus oil, also referred to as prickly pear seed oil, is high in fatty acids.
Lack of fatty acids has been linked to alopecia which makes supplementation with oils high in fatty acids beneficial for those suffering from male-pattern baldness or thinning.
Perhaps the most commonly used carrier oil for vatika oil, coconut oil has numerous beneficial properties.
Foremost, coconut oil’s ability to penetrate the hair shaft makes it one of the more moisturizing oils available.
This allows coconut oil to reduce the amount of protein lost in hair, leading to stronger hair strands and less hair loss.
One of the more easily-available oils on the market, olive oil is a great addition to any hair care product or treatment.
This vitamin-packed and antioxidant-loaded oil has various moisturizing and strengthenings properties.
For individuals with male-pattern baldness, this DHT-fighting oil may be what you’re looking for.
The herbs vary from formula to formula, however there are a few herbs which are commonly found in Vatika oils worldwide.
One of the better known Ayurvedic herbs, amla is revered for its anti-aging abilities and its many therapeutic uses.
This antibacterial herb fights infection and can keep your scalp clean, healthy, and well-balanced.
The bark of the terminalia tree has been used for over 3,000 years in India, serving as a remedy from numerous maladies, including heart disease and poisoning.
It is now known, however, that when combined with amla and hirda, bahera has anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial for those suffering from immune-related hair loss.
Traditionally, this herb has been used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and anxiety, and it is known by many names, including waterhyssop and indian pennywort.
This herb is now known to be moisturizing and packed full of antioxidants, making it beneficial for use on the scalp and hair.
This sweet, nutty flavored seed can be found throughout the world, though it has been used in the Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years.
Sometimes referred to as methi, fenugreek is known scientifically for its antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Henna is popularly known in the Western world as a form of temporary hair dye, but the herb from which the dye is derived is actually beneficial for those looking to improve hair quality and increase hair growth.
This flowering herb has also recently been found to contain strong antimicrobial properties, which likely contribute to its various benefits.
Botanically known as Hedychium Spicatum, kapur kachri is commonly found in vatika oil and has numerous health benefits.
From the treatment of asthma to its use as an anti-ulcerative, kapur kachri has positive effects on inflammation and this may be why kapur kachri has positive effects on the scalp and hair.
While there haven’t been any scientific studies which specifically discuss the use of vatika oil, a number of the herbs infused into this nutritious and hydrating oil have been studied.
One study performed in 2009 tested the efficiency of four different herbal extract oils: amla, brahmi, hibiscus, and methi. Each of the herbs tested was dried, crushed, and then passed through a sieve.
The oil base was olive.
The first part of the study used four rabbits, each of which had 11 bald patches of 2 cm2.
The herbal oils were applied in various strengths (from 1% to 10%, with the first patch kept as control) on the different patches and monitored for growth.
The hair growth was monitored for 10 days, and each herbal oil showed growth at various concentrations.
Amla showed growth in 8-9 days, with the 7% and 8% concentrations showing the best results.
Brahmi showed growth in 7-8 days, with the 7% and 8% concentrations also showing the best results.
Hibiscus showed results the fastest, in just 6-7 days, with the 6% and 7% concentrations showing the most significant results.
Lastly, Methi showed growth in 9-10 days, with the 7% and 8% concentrations showing the greatest hair growth results.
Further, this study wanted to look at the results of hair growth that a combination of the above four herbs would produce.
In the second part of this study, researchers used rats. There were 25 rats total, and they were split into five groups of five.
Group 1 was the control group in which no treatment was applied. Group 2 received an application of 10% Minoxidil.
Groups 3, 4, and 5 received various concentrations of the combined herbs: OD1 (2.5%), OD2 (5%), and OD3 (7.5%).
First, let’s take a look at the qualitative observations.
OD3, the group which received an application of the 7.5% concentration of the combination of all four herbs did the best overall with complete growth seen in 18 days.
That’s one day earlier than the group which received the 10% solution of Minoxidil, and 6 days earlier than the untreated group!
Now, let’s dig a bit deeper and look at the hair growth rates during the different phases in the hair growth cycle.
On the right side of the chart, the population percentage measures the increase in the number of hair follicles for each of the five groups.
If both of the percentages of the anagen phase are combined (that is, the results for A3 and A5), these are the results we get:
The control group had a 47% increase in the number of hair follicles.
The standard group, which received application of 10% Minoxidil, saw an increase of 69% in the number of hair follicles.
The groups which used various concentrations of the four-herb infusion, OD1, OD2, and OD3, saw increases in the population percentage of hair follicles by 74%, 87%, and 89%, respectively.
This study shows that the four Ayurvedic herbs used (amla, brahmi, hibiscus, and methi), two of which (amla and brahmi) are commonly found in vatika oil, are beneficial in the treatment of hair loss and can produce hair growth results in a matter of days.
As is evidenced by the research outlined above, four commonly used Ayurvedic herbs (amla, brahmi, hibiscus, and methi) are effective treatments for those suffering from hair loss and looking to regrow their hair.
Individually, each of the herbs used provided hair growth results in just a matter of days.
The effectiveness of each herb varies, of course, however each one contains its own chemical constituents which lend themselves to their abilities and make them viable individual options for the treatment of hair thinning and loss.
Further, consider that when combined, just as they would be in vatika oil, these four herbs proved to be a powerful hair-growth boosting treatment, even beating out Minoxidil in overall hair growth results.
So, if you’re a hair loss sufferer looking for an all-natural treatment, you may want to add vatika oil to your arsenal and consider using it on a regular basis to fight against further hair loss and boost your hair growth efforts.
As with the use of any supplement, it’s important to speak with your doctor before use. This is especially important if you suffer from chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or low/high blood pressure, or if you suffer from a heart condition.
Of course, allergic reactions are also possible with the use of any herb or supplement. Prior to use on your scalp, it’s best to test vatika oil on a small patch of skin on your arm or leg.
Some of the herbs in vatika oil do have their own side effects. Brahmi, for example, may cause nausea, fatigue, or dry mouth if taken orally for a long period of time.
Amla is another herb commonly found in vatika oil which may have adverse side effects if taken orally in large amounts.
If you’re pregnant or nursing, it’s best to consult with your obstetrician prior to supplementation.
There’s no doubt that the addition of vatika oil to your hair care routine will provide numerous benefits for your scalp and hair. Luckily, there’s two simple ways to add this oil into your regular routine.
If you aren’t looking to spend tons of time adding a new hair loss treatment to your regular hair care routine, then using vatika oil as a moisturizer is the quickest way to go about including it.
Apply this oil directly to your scalp one or two times per week. It’s best to do this after showering, as your scalp will be at its cleanest and your hair follicles will be unclogged and ready for moisture absorption.
Start with a quarter-sized dollop of oil in your palm, and then massage into your scalp using your fingertips. Be sure to spread thoroughly, covering the entirety of your scalp and hair.
Hot oil treatments don’t seem to get the love that they deserve, but such an addition to your hair care routine can improve the health of your scalp and increase the quality and quantity of your hair follicles.
Pour 1 cup of vatika oil into a heat-safe bottle or container.
Bring water to a boil, either in a pot or tea kettle.
Once the water has boiled, remove from heat and place the container of oil directly into the water, either in the pot the water was boiled in or the cup or bowl the hot water was transferred to from the kettle.
Allow the container of oil to sit in the hot water for a few minutes, picking up the oil bottle and swirling its contents around a few times to provide equal heat distribution.
To see if it’s done, test the oil on your wrist.
Contrary to what you may believe, hot oil treatments are done prior to shampooing.
Once the oil is heated through, apply thoroughly to your scalp and hair from root to tip.
Your hair does not need to be saturated, but you do want to ensure that the oil has made contact with all strands of hair and the entirety of your scalp.
For best results, massage your scalp in a circular motion for 5 minutes. Once done, place the plastic shower cap (or plastic bag) over your scalp.
Next, you’ll take your bath towel and dip or rinse it in hot water. Wring out the excess water, and then wrap the towel around your head and secure.
You may keep this treatment on overnight, but 30 minutes is the minimum amount of time recommended in order to see results.
Once you’re ready, rinse the oil from your hair and scalp and then shampoo.
In conclusion, there is some truth that vatika oil can be used successfully for hair loss.
I recommend the first thing you do is adding one of the oils to your own homemade shampoo.
Or using it in a hair mask.
However, lets be clear; if you have aggressive hair loss, this will not make much difference.
You will need to find the underlying root cause of the problem to make any real difference.
I would firstly recommend taking the quiz, and then joining my email newsletter where I share my most effective remedies for hair loss and show you exactly how to fix the underlying problem so that hair growth takes place automatically.
This way you can simply use Vatika oil to speed up the process, instead of fighting a losing battle.
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