Saw Palmetto and Hair Loss

There is no doubt that hair has great significance on a person’s appearance. With the amount of hair, style and color that a person wears, he can do a number of things: make a fashion statement, proclaim his gender and even announce his ideology. Studies have shown that hair length and style do affect how people perceive an individual. For example, bald men are generally seen as less attractive and older and long-haired women are often regarded as sexy. We have only to see the myriad hair care products that are made available for both men and women to realize the importance people put on hair. Thus, when a person starts losing his hair, he will do all things possible to stop it.

Hair loss is known in the medical world as alopecia. It is an inherited medical condition that occurs to both men and women. Men usually start to lose hair even when they are still young, indicated by a receding hairline and a bald spot on top of the head. Women, on the other hand, will observe thinning of their hair on the entire scalp. Though not fatal, it can cause a great amount of psychological distress to the person who has it.

Several treatments are available to treat hair loss. Some involve medical procedures and surgery and others are natural. Although the degree of success for the treatments varies from person to person, some forms of therapy have been identified as effective, such as saw palmetto. For a number of years, experts have tried to find out the connection between saw palmetto and hair loss.

Saw Palmetto is a palm-like plant that is native to the warmer areas of North America, specifically in the Southeaster part of the United States. The fruit of this plant are berries which are the sources of the extract being marketed for its benefits. Europeans have been known to use this plant for many years but it has only become recently popular in the United States to treat urinary tract, prostate, bladder ailments and chronic bronchitis. It is also used as hair loss treatment because it has properties that inhibit both the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone or DHT and the binding of DHT to androgen receptors.

This anti-androgen activity exhibited by saw palmetto is similar to the action of Propecia, a drug that combats hair loss. What it does is lower the levels of DHT in the body and then blocks the absorption of DHT in the cells. Although studies on the link of saw palmetto and hair loss have to be carried out extensively, it is a known fact that DHT levels in the body affect the incidence of a medical condition knows as alopecia or hair loss. DHT is formed when testosterone reacts with an enzyme. Saw Palmettos and hair loss can be a good treatment combination because the plant can deliver the benefits without the side effects. Because of this, it can be a great alternative to prescribed medications.