Hair loss treatment: The natural extract proven to promote hair growth
Hair loss treatments can quickly get expensive and invasive so natural solutions are more appealing. Knowing where to begin can seem overwhelming – particularly as there is no short supply of sham products to sift through. Fortunately, evidence can provide a way through the morass.
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One supplement that has produced favourable results is Procyanidin B-2.
Procyanidin B-2 is a natural compound extracted from apples that has been shown to stimulate hair growth.
Researchers in a study published in the journal Phytomedicine investigated whether the topical application of procyanidin B-2 would lead to hair growth.
The human trial investigated the effects of a small dose of Procyanidin B-2 on human hair growth over a six-month period.
The study involved 29 subjects divided into two groups – 19 men applied Procyanidin B-2 and 10 men were in the placebo control group.
These researchers found that men who used Procyanidin B-2 had a significant increase in total hairs grown, number of terminal hairs, and no reported side effects.
Terminal hair is the thick, long, pigmented hair found on the scalp, face, armpits, and pubic area.
When the researchers compared their results with those of currently available medications, they found that Procyanidin B-2 caused slightly less hair growth than minoxidil but a greater increase in total hairs than finasteride.
Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness, according to the NHS.
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Researchers attempting to understand the hair-growing mechanisms behind Procyanidin B-2 concluded that procyanidin B-2 acts to diminish protein kinase C isozymes, which play an important role in the hair growth cycle.
Another natural approach
A somewhat more unconventional treatment for hair loss is massaging the scalp.
Massaging the scalp has been shown to stimulate the hair follicles.
In one small study, healthy Japanese men who received four minutes of scalp massage each day for 24 weeks had thicker hair at the end of the study.
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If all else fails, wigs are another solution to hair loss.
Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
There are also a number of drawbacks to consider before choosing a wig.
As the NHS explains, Synthetic wigs:
- Last six to nine months
- Are easier to look after than real-hair wigs
- Can be itchy and hot
- Cost less than real-hair wigs
Real-hair wigs, on the other hand, last longer but
are harder to look after than synthetic wigs and more costly, notes the health body.
Losing hair can be upsetting – for many people, hair is an important part of their identity.
“If your hair loss is causing you distress, your GP may be able to help you get some counselling,” advises the NHS.
You may also benefit from joining a support group, or speaking to other people in the same situation on online forums.
Try these online support groups:
- Alopecia UK
- Alopecia Awareness
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