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Alopecia

Related Terms

Alopecia is a problem with the immune system that causes hair loss. It happens most often on the scalp, but it can also happen any place on the body. This health problem often alters a person’s social life and activities.

There is no cure for this health problem. Hair may fall out, grow back, then fall out again. It is treated by helping the hair regrow faster. This is done with medicine and sometimes surgery. Natural therapies are aimed at helping hair grow.

Natural Therapies

May Be Effective

Pumpkin seed oil may promote hair growth in men A5

A nutritional supplement with omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids and antioxidants may improve hair density in women.A10

These therapies may promote hair growth in both men and women:

  • Proprietary herbal extract A7
  • Red ginseng A1, A2
  • Rosemary oil A4
  • Total glucosides of paeony A12
  • Zinc A3

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Neutraceutical A8
  • Rice bran extract A9
  • Vitamin D A11

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any natural therapy you are taking. Make sure it does not get in the way of your treatment or other health issues you may have.

 

References

Herbs and Supplements

A1. A1. Kim J, Yi S, et al. Study of the Efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in the Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia. Journal of Ginseng Research. 2009;33(3):223-228.

A2. Oh G-N, Son S-W. Efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in the Treatment of Alopecia Areata. Journal of Ginseng Research. 2012;36(4):391-395.

A3. Sharquie KE. Oral Zinc Sulphate in Treatment of Alopecia Areata (Double Blind; Cross-Over Study). Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research. 2014;3(3).

A4. Panahi Y, Taghizadeh M, Marzony ET, Sahebkar A. Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. Skinmed. 2015;13:15-21.

A5. Verma H. Comment on “Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015;2015:1-2.

A6. Lai VWY, Chen G, et al. Systemic treatments for alopecia areata: A systematic review. Australas J Dermatol. 2019 Feb;60(1):e1-e13.

A7. Pekmezci E, Dündar C, et al. A proprietary herbal extract against hair loss in androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium: a placebo-controlled, single-blind, clinical-instrumental study. Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Pannonica Adriat. 2018 Jun;27(2):51-57.

A8. Ablon G, Kogan S. A Six-Month, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of a Nutraceutical Supplement for Promoting Hair Growth in Women With Self-Perceived Thinning Hair. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018 May 1;17(5):558-565.

A9. Choi JS, Park JB, et al. Safety and Efficacy of Rice Bran Supercritical CO2 Extract for Hair Growth in Androgenic Alopecia: A 16-Week Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Biol Pharm Bull. 2015;38(12):1856-1863.

A10. Le Floc'h C, Cheniti A, et al. Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Mar;14(1):76-82.

A11. Wat H, Dytoc M. Off-label uses of topical vitamin D in dermatology: a systematic review. J Cutan Med Surg. 2014 Mar-Apr;18(2):91-108.

A12. Yang DQ, You LP, et al. A randomized controlled trial comparing total glucosides of paeony capsule and compound glycyrrhizin tablet for alopecia areata. Chin J Integr Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):621-625.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/18/2020