Can You Use Fish Oil for Hair Loss?


man worried about hair loss with his hand on side of head

Can fish oils prevent or reduce hair loss?

Hair loss can be caused by hormonal changes, heredity, medications or medical conditions. While hair loss is common in men and women, it’s usually more common in men.

Eating a healthy diet, and getting enough healthy fats in your diet, can improve your skin, scalp and hair follicles.

And while you may not be able to completely stop hair loss, you may be able to reduce it and improve the overall health of your hair.

Research shows that ingredients in fish oil may help improve the scalp, which may lead to healthier hair growth.


Fish Oil May Reduce Hormone That Causes Hair Loss


diagram of different stages of hair loss

Fish oil may reduce DHT levels in the scalp

Doctors believe that one of the most common hair loss conditions is called androgenic alopecia.

In men, this condition is called male pattern baldness. It usually begins with hair loss above the temples and can slowly lead to partial or complete baldness.

When women get androgenic alopecia, they’ll usually experience thinning over the whole scalp and they may show minimal changes in their hairlines.

So what’s the cause of Androgenic alopecia?  Scientists believe it’s caused by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Testosterone converts into DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.  Finasteride is a commonly prescribed drug used to treat an enlarged prostate and hair loss by reducing DHT in the prostate and the scalp.

A study published in The Biochemical Journal showed that the fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), commonly found in fish oils) also inhibits the production of dihydrotestosterone.

So while eating fish oil may not completely stop your hair loss, it may help reduce levels of the hormone responsible for causing the hair to fall out.




Fish Oils May Improve Scalp Health

Another possible factor involved in hair loss is inflammation of the hair follicle.

Studies show that fish oils have an anti-inflammatory effect and enhance wound healing.

Other research shows fish oils can reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, which may help dry skin and eczema.

All of these properties could help improve  scalp health and promote hair growth.


Adding Fish Oil to Diet May Stop Hair Loss

Having a deficiency of certain vital nutrients in your diet may also increase your risk for hair loss.

Research published in the Jan. 2013 issue of Dermatologic Clinics concluded that a deficiency of essential fatty acids can lead to hair loss, as well as hair color changes.

A study in The Archives of Dermatology looked at a 19 year old man who suffered from hair loss and had a dietary deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids. Researchers applied a topical solution of essential fatty acids to the scalp.  They found it helped reverse his alopecia and improved his overall hair health.

Scientists at a university in South Korea also found that fish oils made from mackerel promoted hair growth in animal studies. 



The above research highlights the possible benefits of fish oils for reducing hair loss and improving scalp health.

Studies indicate that fatty acids in fish oil may help reduce the hormone and inflammation that causes hair loss in some people.

Due to the wide variety of factors involved in hair loss, there’s currently no recommended fish oil dosage. 



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Author Details
Kevin is a full-time blogger with a passion for functional, whole food nutrition. A former Registered Respiratory Therapist with over 25 years experience in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, he also has additional training as a Certified Natural Products Advisor. He enjoys a vibrant lifestyle that includes healthy foods, workouts focusing on core strength with flexibility and longboarding to stay fit and agile.