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Is Fish Oil for Hair Loss an Effective Treatment?
Some people claim that you can use fish oil to prevent or reduce hair loss. But does it really work?
Hair loss can be a problem for many people. We live in an image conscious society and for some people the experience of having thinning, balding hair can be troublesome.
While hair loss may be a fact of growing older, I’m sure many of us would love to have a thick head of hair for our entire lives. Some people may experience hair loss before it’s time and there may be a number of reasons for this.
Researchers believe hair loss is caused by:
One of the most common hair loss conditions is called androgenic alopecia.
In men, this condition is typically called male pattern baldness. It begins with hair loss above the temples and may slowly lead to partial or complete baldness.
In women, androgenic alopecia presents itself as a more generalized thinning of the hair all over the scalp with minimal change in the hairline.
Researchers believe androgenic alopecia is caused by hormones, particularly an androgen called dihydrotestosterone.
It’s also believed there may be a genetic component to androgenic alopecia; however it’s unclear exactly how this mechanism occurs. Another possible factor involved in androgenic alopecia is inflammation of the hair follicle.
Research Reports on Fish Oil and Hair Loss
Research shows the omega 3 fatty acids in fish oils provide an anti- inflammatory effect in the body.
Due to the anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 fatty acids, would you be able to use fish oil to fight or prevent hair loss if it’s due to inflammation of the scalp or hair follicle?
Unfortunately, there are currently no published medical studies on the use of fish oil for treating or preventing hair loss.
I did internet searches for “fish oil” at hair loss forums such as Hair Loss Help Forum and Hair-Loss-Talk.com but couldn’t find many testimonials from people that have tried using fish oil to treat hair loss.
However, I did get an email from a visitor to this web site named Danielle who claims to have experienced great results from using fish oil for her hair loss problem.
Danielle experienced significant hair loss after going being on birth control pills. She had thinning patches of hair and continued to experience hair loss after discontinuing the birth control medications.
She began taking fish oil pills and reported her hair was starting to grow back after nearly 20 years of hair loss. You can read more about Danielle’s experience with fish oil and hair loss right here.
While it’s proven your skin benefits from fish oil, its use in treating male pattern baldness or hair loss is not medically proven.
This doesn’t mean that fish oil won’t work for hair loss. I think there are many factors involved in each individual case and depending on your situation, you may or may not experience good results from using fish oils.
You should know that there are no documented reports that fish oil will cause hair loss or balding. Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids can only benefit your existing hair and scalp health.
Natural Alternative Treatments for Hair Loss
Can you use biotin for hair loss? Biotin is part of the Vitamin B complex and is also known as ‘Vitamin H’. Biotin is an essential ingredient needed for the formation of fatty acids and blood glucose. This important nutrient also helps your body break down protein, fats and carbs.
Some people have reported using biotin to help them grow stronger and healthier nails and hair. While there’s few studies on using biotin exclusively for hair growth, a study in the 2007 May/June issue of Pediatric Dermatology Journal showed 5 mg/day of biotin helped improve hair appearance, but did not affect hair structure.
I’ve used a Biotin supplement and found it helped me grow thicker and stronger hair. I’m not sure if this will help re-grow hair for people that have already lost their hair, but for maintaining and improving hair, I think biotin is a simple and effective solution that may work for some people.
One of the most popular products for treating hair loss is minoxidil; it’s a vasodilator medication that’s marketed to stop or reduce hair loss and promote hair growth.
This drug was originally sold as Rogaine for Men Hair Regrowth Treatment, but the patent has expired. You can now get cheaper generic brands, such as Costco’s Minoxidil – 5% Extra Strength Hair Regrowth for Men.
One of the most common side effects of minoxidil is a dry itchy scalp. Some preparations of minoxidil contain alcohol, which may dry the scalp and lead to dandruff. So you should be aware if this if you try this form of treatment.
The pill form of minoxidil has been reported to cause facial swelling, irregular heartbeats, and light-headedness. The manufacturer of minoxidil states that some users may experience minoxidil-induced hair loss, also called ‘shedding’. They make no guarantee that new hair growth will replace this loss of hair.
Hair transplants are probably one of the few proven methods to replace hair loss, but it can be quite expensive. Some treatments may cost upwards of $2500 for 500 individual hair grafts.
Cold laser therapy is the latest non-invasive treatment for stimulating regrowth in hair.
The scalp is exposed to lasers of a specific wavelength that encouragese production of cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and enhances blood circulation. It’s believed these actions create an environment conducive to healthy hair growth.
The treatment is completely painless and it’s reported some individuals experience remarkable success with this method. One of the downsides is the high cost to purchase use-at-home laser therapy system.
You can find a number of Laser Therapy for Hair Loss products at Amazon.com and compare products and prices.
Using Specialized Shampoos for Preventing or Treating Hair Loss
Nisim Hair Loss Shampoo is a specialized natural, herbal-based product whose manufacturer guarantees it can control excessive hair loss.
A clinical study published in The Medical Post (Vol. 29, Page 61 – August 24, 1993) showed 85.7% of men using Nisim BioFactor Shampoo for 5 months experienced a 30% increase in hair growth.
I bought a 1 liter bottle Nisim Hair Loss Shampoo for Dry and Normal Hair to try it out. Nisim offers a 100% money-back guarantee so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying it.
The Dry Hair Formula comes in dark navy bottles as you can see on the left. You can also get a formula for Normal to Oily hair that comes in a gold colored bottle.
Nisim International claims their specially-formulated shampoo reduces a hormone found in your scalp that increases your risk for hair loss.
I was skeptical at first, but must admit I was pleasantly surprised at the positive results I achieved using Nisim shampoos.
After one week of regular use, I found that I was no longer finding loose hairs on my pillow when waking up and I don’t lose as much hair down the sink whenever I shampoo my hair. I also use to suffer from a dry itchy scalp and found the Nisim products seemed to lessen it. My hair also appears to feel thicker and healthier.
I’m not sure if the above changes to my hair were just due to a change in my regular shamppoo, but I’m going to continue using it and monitor my results.
Finding the right solution to your own hair loss situation may help improve the health and appearance of your hair.
Optimizing your diet, living a healthy lifestyle and reducing stress may help delay (and even reverse) hair loss. But as noted above, there can be a number of other factors responsible.
Immunopathology of the human hair follicle. Jaworsky C, Gilliam AC. Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Dermatologic Clinics. 1999 Jul;17(3):561-8.
Diagnostic and predictive value of horizontal sections of scalp biopsy specimens in male pattern androgenetic alopecia. Whiting DA. University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.
Familial Uncombable Hair Syndrome: Ultrastructural Hair Study and Response to Biotin. Pediatric Dermatology. May-Jun;24(3):E14-6.