Female Hair Loss Improves with Certain Nutrients
A new study has found that use of certain nutrients can result in a significant improvement in women who suffer with female hair loss. Hair loss affects up to 40 percent of the female population and more than half of women older than 50.
Even though female hair loss may not be a life threatening condition, it can be devastating psychologically and can even take a toll on physical health. Yet the medical arena does not typically treat hair loss among women as a serious problem.
Treatment options for female hair loss is limited to topical minoxidil and a variety of vitamins and other nutrients, although the amount of scientific evidence to support their use is scarce. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topical used by both women and men to stimulate hair growth and slow balding.
In this new study, researchers evaluated the use of specific nutrients on hair density, hair diameter, and telogen hair percentage among 120 women who were randomly assigned to take the special supplement or a placebo for six months. Telogen is the resting stage of the hair growth cycle.
Female hair loss study
The 80 participants in the treatment group consisted of 40 premenopausal and 40 postmenopausal women; in the control group, 20 were premenopausal and 20 were postmenopausal. Women in the treatment group took a supplement that contained 460 mg fish oil, 460 mg black currant seed oil (which is rich in gamma-linolenic acid, a beneficial omega-6 fatty acid), 5 mg vitamin E, 30 mg vitamin C, and 1 mg lycopene. All the women used a neutral shampoo throughout the study.
At the end of six months, the women in the treatment group showed the following benefits (measured scientifically) when compared with the controls:
- Significant reduction in telogen hair percentage
- Increase in hair density and diameter
- Based on self reports, 89.9 percent of women said they had a reduction in hair loss, 86.1 percent reported an improvement in hair diameter, and 87.3 percent said hair density had improved
Female hair loss causes
What causes women to lose their hair? Among the many factors are heredity, poor diet, excessive use of hair dyes and other chemicals, eating disorders, physical and/or emotional stress, pregnancy, hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, use of certain medications (e.g., chemotherapy, antidepressants, blood thinners), lupus, polycystic ovary syndrome, hormone imbalances, aging, and anemia.
This new study offers some insight into how women may be able to help reduce hair loss through use of supplementation. The authors noted that their work did not demonstrate the extent the observed benefits could be attributed to any of the nutrients, but they “hold that the present nutritional supplements combines the beneficial effect of each of its ingredients.”
American Hair Loss Association
Le Floc’h C et al. Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 2015 Mar; 14(1): 76-82