Can Saw Palmetto Be The Hair Loss Miracle We’ve Been Looking For?
So, you've heard of how saw palmetto can help in hair loss and finding more information on it?
In this article, we give a thorough look at the plant and at the end, you would know whether this is right for you.
We find out whether it works, any possible side effects and more.
What is Saw Palmetto?
Saw Palmetto is a plant also known as Serenoa Repens. Its extract comes from the fruit of the plant and has gone through extensive research for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
What does it mean for you?
It means that it may be comparable to alternative treatments for BPH like finasteride. Finasteride (Propecia) is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of androgenic alopecia (hair loss). A higher dosage of finasteride (Proscar) is used to treat BPH.
As a DHT Blocker
According to Healthline, saw palmetto berries could block the enzyme, 5 alpha-reductase. The enzyme helps to convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is thought to be the major contributor to hair loss and inhibiting it would lead to a reduction in hair loss. You can learn more about DHT here.
Does Saw Palmetto Work?
There are several studies done on the effectiveness of saw palmetto in treating alopecia.
Mayo Clinic classifies the herb with an 'A' rating for the treatment of BPH and a 'C' rating for hair loss. It mentions that saw palmetto might be similar to Propecia in treating hair loss. Here's the exact description they used.
In a recent study done in 2015, topical products containing saw palmetto were tested. The 24 weeks study was conducted on 50 male volunteers aged between 20 to 50 years old with no placebo.
The results of this study show that the average hair count at weeks 12 and 14 are higher than that at baseline. The side effects were limited.
Although further details were not available, the conclusion was that saw palmetto could be an alternative treatment for androgenic alopecia. Those who do not want the well-known sexual side effects of finasteride (Propecia) could consider this.
In another study, 34 men and 28 women aged between 18 and 48 years were divided into 3 groups and were tested for 3 months.
In the first group, participants were given 3 products formulated with serenoa ripens. The 3 products were a shampoo, lotion, and dietary supplement. In the 2nd group, participants were given all 3 products without any saw palmetto extract. In the last group, only the shampoo and lotion contained the extract but not the supplement.
What were the results?
In group 1, there was a 35% increase in hair based on number and mass. Group 2 experienced no results with the placebo. In group 3, participants had a 20% increase in hair.
Looking at the results of the research done, saw palmetto show some promising results. However, these are shorter range studies done. Further tests should be done on what goes on after that period.
Is saw palmetto safe?
WebMD has stated that Saw Palmetto is 'likely safe' for most people. Any side effects are usually mild and can come in the form of these symptoms: diarrhea, headache, dizziness, vomiting and constipation.
Some materials indicate that saw palmetto has lesser sexual side effects when compared to finasteride. This can be conflicting with what the WebMD has stated in their article that impotence does not occur more often with saw palmetto than with a sugar pill.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using it.
Saw Palmetto Uses
You can find the beneficial plant extract in various forms but mainly in supplements and shampoos.
With supplements, saw palmetto is usually included as a sole ingredient or a combination of other ingredients that help aid in hair loss.
The extract could also be found as a key ingredient in shampoos that are specially formulated to stop hair loss.
In the world of hair loss solutions, there can be many alternatives for you.
Choosing one may be tough, but most sufferers don't just rely on a single solution. They try different solutions at the same time. Why? Treatment may work for one but not for another. So that's why to increase your chances of growing hair and to make better use of your time, you may try other alternatives as well.
Saw palmetto makes a great herbal and natural substitute for reducing thinning hair. As compared to other hair growth products, it has fewer side effects as indicated in publications.
One thing's for sure. Try to do something about your hair situation fast. Time is crucial and sensitive. Further delay could aggravate your hair loss predicament.