Hair loss is rarely a cause for concern but the toll it can take a person’s self-image is far from negligible. It is often bound up in notions of masculinity and femininity so losing hair can be soul-crushing for both sexes. Finding a solution therefore becomes a matter of priority yet people quickly run into a brick wall.
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This is because the internet has no shortage of sham products and surgical procedures can be costly and off-putting.
You should not abandon hope, however.
Evidence suggests there are a range of natural remedies that can treat different forms of hair loss.
One such remedy is Jarilla extract, a gel containing the extract from two plants – Coffee arabica and Larrea divaricata.
“The gel has been used in Argentina to successfully regrow eyelashes and eyebrows in people with androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata,” reports Dr Deborah Lee, of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.
Androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata are common disorders of the hair follicle.
According to a review published in the journal Drug, androgenetic alopecia is caused by the heightened sensitivity of scalp follicles to dihydro-testosterone (DHT) (a hormone that gives rise to male characteristics).
Alopecia areata, on the other hand, is induced by an autoimmune reaction.
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In the Argentinian study, applying Jarilla extract led to a 20 percent increase in eyebrow thickness in 80 percent of women, and a 19.44 percent increase in eyelashes in 100 percent of women, Dr Lee reported.
The authors suggest that this product may work by converting the telogen phase of growth to the anagen phase as this process has been demonstrated in mice.
The telogen and anagen phase, along with the catagen phase, make up the three stages of hair growth.
“In addition, the extracts have antioxidant properties. Hair loss may be exacerbated by oxidative stress,” explains Dr Lee.
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Oxidative stress is a process whereby unstable molecules called free radicals, destroy cells in the body.
Antioxidants are compounds thought to neutralise free radical molecules and offset the cell damage.
Other ways to treat hair loss
The two main over-the-counter treatments are finasteride and minoxidil, according to the NHS.
“Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women shouldn’t use finasteride,” explains the health site.
These products do come with drawbacks should be considered beforehand, however.
According to the NHS, these treatments:
- Don’t work for everyone
- Only work for as long as they’re used
- Aren’t available on the NHS
- Can be expensive
Wigs are another viable option but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help, says the NHS.
If you are seeking emotional support for your hair loss, try these online support groups:
- Alopecia UK
- Alopecia Awareness
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