Tag Archive for: scalp massage

Can You Block DHT Naturally Without Medication?

“No way,” was my initial reaction when my dermatologist first recommended oral Finasteride for my rapidly receding hairline.  My mind was made up, and I was absolutely not taking prescription medication for my hair loss.  I was too afraid of the potential side effects I’d heard about.  Bald certainly was better than impotent, although neither seemed like a great option. True, the number of men who experience sexual dysfunction from Finasteride is minuscule.  With my luck, though, I would be one of the three men out of a million affected.

So, I started checking out natural DHT blockers.  Natural is a better way to go, right?  Here’s what I discovered.  Yes, some natural DHT blockers are showing promise and are worth a test drive.  Are they strong enough to stop your hair loss and regrow your hair?  After many nights of research and weighing the pros and cons, I ended up going the prescription route after all. That doesn’t mean that you won’t come to a different conclusion.   Here’s a guide to help you decide whether natural DHT blockers are the right choice for you.  

Do Natural DHT Blockers Work Differently Than Finasteride, Dutasteride, and Other Prescription Hair Loss Medications?

Is there a difference between how natural supplements and prescription DHT blockers work?  Yes and no.  Functionally, both natural and prescription DHT blockers do the same thing.  They prevent testosterone from converting into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that attacks and shrinks your hair follicles.  When your hair follicles are miniaturized, it’s difficult for healthy new hair to grow, and existing hair falls out.  So functionally, both natural and prescription blockers do the same thing.  The main difference is the way they block the DHT and their strength.  

What Enzymes are Being Inhibited?

One milligram per day of Finasteride selectively inhibits the Type 2 isoenzyme that converts testosterone to DHT.  Half a milligram of Dutasteride inhibits both Type 1 and Type 2.  Yes, Dutasteride is considered a stronger medication because it’s a broader spectrum drug.  How do natural remedies compare?  The jury is out.  Not enough research has been conducted to fully understand which enzymes natural DHT blockers inhibit or the amount needed to do the job.  That said, let’s discuss what we do know.  

Some Supplements Effectively Block DHT

Even though more research is needed, preliminary studies indicate that certain supplements show the potential to stop hair loss and promote new growth. Here are some to watch:

Pumpkin Seed Oil

According to a study conducted on 76 men with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness), pumpkin seed oil increased participants’ mean hair count by 40 percent compared to 10 percent of men who used the placebo.  Most participants did not experience any adverse effects from the pumpkin seed oil. (01)  Before you rush out and buy pumpkin seed oil, consider this.  The study was the first of its kind and the sample size was small.  The study also did not determine how pumpkin seed oil works.  Neither DHT nor prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were tracked.  

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil was put to the test in 2015 during a small research study of 50 men.  When compared to two percent Minoxidil, rosemary oil had a surprising result.  It was found to be equally as effective. (02)  Here’s the catch, though.  Five percent Minoxidil is stronger than two percent and more effective. (03)  Is there a dosage of rosemary oil strong enough to regrow your hair?  The jury is out.  More research is needed.      

Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto is a palm-like tree with berries.  Extracts are known to have medicinal purposes, and there’s evidence that saw palmetto stimulates hair growth.  Thirty-eight percent of men in one research study saw increased growth after using saw palmetto every day for two years.  Sounds promising, right?  It is.  That’s why we added saw palmetto to our supplements, shampoo, and conditioner.  

While saw palmetto is a good complementary treatment to prescription hair loss medications, we don’t recommend it as a stand-alone treatment for androgenetic alopecia.  In the same study, more men who used Finasteride experienced hair growth than men who used saw palmentto.  The study also indicated Finasteride was more effective for men with more advanced hair loss. (04)   

Green Tea

Green tea contains a plant compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that is believed to act as a DHT blocker and prevent hair loss due to male and female pattern baldness.  A study on mice indicated that 33 percent of the mice who drank extracted polyphenol from dehydrated green tea had significant hair growth compared to mice who drank plain water. (05)  Another study conducted in vivo and in vitro on humans substantiated the findings. (06)  Before you stock up, though, keep in mind that further research is needed.  We still don’t know exactly how much green tea is required to stimulate growth in humans or how green tea compares to other hair loss medications.  

Lifestyle Enhancements Can Help With Hair Loss

Sure, you know that eating a lot of junk food, drinking too much, and smoking are bad for you.  But, did you know that certain lifestyle changes can help you fight genetics?  Here are a few:

Scalp Massage

Research has indicated that just four minutes of scalp massage that stretches your skin to open the hair follicles can increase your hair thickness. (07)  Should you run out and get a scalp massager?  Maybe.  The study is promising, but it was only conducted on nine men.  A follow-up study indicates that scalp massage is more effective for frontal, temporal, or vertex thinning than diffuse thinning. (08)  More research is still needed.  

Exercise

Contrary to popular belief, exercise won’t make your hair fall out.  Although not proven, it may help promote hair growth and health by improving blood flow to your scalp.  

Diet

Certain foods aren’t likely to make your hair fall out, but nutrient deficiencies are another story.  Vitamin D and iron are the most common deficiencies that contribute to hair loss.  The good news is that the deficiencies are usually temporary.  Once supplements are taken, hair loss will be reversed.  Foods can help make your hair look thicker, healthier, and shinier.  If you’re concerned about hair loss, ensure you’re eating plenty of protein.  Protein is the primary building block contained in keratin that makes up your hair.  

Sleep

Little research has been conducted on the association between sleep and male and female pattern baldness.  One study did find that men with androgenetic alopecia tend to have more sleep disturbances than men who were not experiencing hair loss. (09)  Neither cause nor effect were established.  One explanation could be stress.  Chronic stress can push your hair into a resting phase and cause hair loss.  The solution?  A good eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Is There A Downside to Experimenting With Natural DHT Blockers?

If you’ve seen a Hamilton-Norwood scale, you know that male and female pattern hair loss progresses over time.  Early on, the hair follicles are still open, even though they may be starting to shrink.  It’s easier to regrow hair while those follicles are still viable.  If you use a natural DHT blocker that isn’t strong enough as a stand-alone treatment, the follicles could completely close, and you may lose the opportunity to maximize growth. 

What if you Need Something Stronger?

It’s understandable if you want to go the natural route to block DHT.  If going au natural isn’t right for you, though, there are options that will help you avoid the undesirable side effects that you may have heard about.  Topical treatments exist to treat male and female pattern baldness and have been proven to be as effective as oral pills. (10)  They avoid side effects because they are not metabolized systemically.  Here are the top contenders:

  • Topical Minoxidil 
    • Enlarges your hair follicles to allow for new, healthy growth
    • Sold over the counter in two and five-percent solutions
    • Available by prescription in higher dosages
  • Topical Finasteride
    • First-line DHT blocker 
    • Available to men and women who are not childbearing age
  • Topical Dutasteride
    • Broad-spectrum DHT blocker
    • Available to both men and women who are not childbearing age
  • Topical Spironolactone
    • DHT blocker 
    • Only prescribed to women

Another benefit of topicals is the ability to combine multiple treatments into one formula to give the highest opportunity for regrowth.  Minoxidil is often combined with DHT blockers to enlarge the hair follicles while preventing hormones that attack the hair follicles from converting.  

Want to try prescription topical medication?  Topicals can complement natural DHT blockers or work on their own.  New customers can get 50 percent off of their first order.  Visit us and learn how to get started.  

 

Resources:

(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4017725/

(02) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25842469/

(03) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12196747/

(04) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23298508/

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2569505/

(06) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17092697/

(07) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740347/

(08) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380978/

(09) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35469370/

(10) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34634163/#:~:text=Conclusion%3A%20Topical%20finasteride%20significantly%20improves,impact%20on%20serum%20DHT%20concentrations.

 

Five Essential Tips for a Healthy Scalp

 

For the most part, addressing hair loss means getting to the root of the problem. And, quite literally, the root might include those on your scalp. Maintaining a healthy scalp by caring for your roots might be the key to preventing hair loss in the future. 

What’s at the Root? 

Most people focus on their hair without a further thought to what’s at the base of their strands. Each hair on your head, however, grows from a single follicle located on your scalp. 

At the root of every strand of hair is a hair follicle. It’s this follicle that keeps the strand in place and through which each hair grows through. For hair to remain anchored and thriving, the follicle needs to be clean, unclogged, and nourished with the proper nutrients. (01)

Your Scalp is Alive, Your Hair…Not So Much 

On its own, hair is not alive. That prized hair on your head is, in fact, a strand of dead cells. That said, all the factors that keep hair growing and attached to the head depend on living cells. As the hair begins to grow, it nudges itself up from the base of the follicle and through the uppermost levels of the scalp. Small blood vessels feed the cells in each follicle, providing nutrients to keep the hair growing. (02)

Almost every hair follicle is attached to a sebaceous gland, also known as an oil gland. These oil glands secrete a substance called sebum which coats and moisturizes the skin and keeps hair shiny and healthy. A hair follicle blocked by excess sebum, dandruff, or dead skin can’t grow or hold hair effectively.  (02)

5 Healthy Scalp Tips

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, taking care of your scalp can boost the health of your hair and, perhaps, even improve your self-confidence. The following are five tips for a healthier scalp and hair. (03)

1 Protect Your Scalp from The Sun

Although you diligently use sun protection and SPF on your body and face, you may forget about your scalp. Thinning hair or bald spots leave the scalp vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays. Also, even a head full of thick hair can still need shielding from the sun. Where your hair parts or the crown of your head needs extra attention because these areas can sunburn in direct sunlight. 

To protect your scalp from the sun, apply sunscreen onto the exposed areas on your scalp whenever you’re outside for prolonged periods. The following are a few sunscreen options for your scalp: (04)

  • Avoid standard sunscreens used for the body because they make hair oily. 
  • A stick sunscreen works for small areas (like the crown or part). 
  • Powder sunscreen options are excellent for both bare and covered scalp areas but can be pricey. 
  • Sunscreens with a spray or mist are a cost-effective choice but can weigh hair down. 

One practical method to protect your scalp is by wearing a hat or some other type of head covering to block the damaging rays of the sun. 

2 Wash your hair regularly

Maintaining a clean scalp is a critical way to keep your scalp and hair healthy. Unwashed hair can lead to oil, dirt, and cell buildup, which blocks hair follicles. However, over-washing your hair can also lead to problems like dryness and flaking. To determine how frequently to wash your hair, you must figure out your hair type. (03)

Oily hair needs almost daily washing. Dry hair, however, may require twice or once a week washing, depending on the environment and your activity level. For example, people with dry hair who live in humid areas and exercise often may need to wash their hair more frequently than someone with the same hair type who lives in a dry, cool climate and doesn’t sweat. 

3 Choose Your Shampoo Wisely

It’s tempting to purchase whatever shampoo is on sale at the drugstore, but the ingredients in the shampoo matter. For instance, many shampoos have sulfates to create a thick “lather,” which leads people to believe their hair is getting “clean.” Sulfates create bubbles for lather, but bubbles aren’t what clean your skin, hair, or scalp. 

Unfortunately, the addition of sulfates can strip beneficial oils from the hair. People with sensitive skin may develop skin irritations from sulfate shampoos. Using sulfates can result in dull, dry, and brittle hair — which then lead to heart loss or thinning. 

You can boost hair growth, however, through quality ingredients. Some ingredients that may improve scalp health: (04)

  • Peppermint oil 
  • Tea tree oil
  • Vitamin E oil 
  • Rosemary leaf extract 

Finding quality ingredients will help you find the right shampoo to clean your hair without stripping it of healthy oils. 

4 Eat a Healthy Diet 

Your scalp needs specific nutrients. Oxidative stress, damage to the body caused by free radicals, can cause hair loss. A nutritious diet filled with fresh produce and low on processed foods can counter oxidative stress through antioxidant consumption. (05, 06)

Found in nuts, fruits, and vegetables, antioxidants fight oxidative stress. The following are some examples of antioxidant-rich food sources: (05, 06)

  • Kale
  • Strawberries
  • Artichokes
  • Spinach 
  • Blueberries 
  • Beans 
  • Red Cabbage

Another nutrient that may help to thicken hair and keep the scalp healthy are omega-3 fatty acids. Found in fatty fish, nuts, and plant oils, omega-3 strengthens cells throughout the scalp by stimulating circulation. Additionally, omega-3 reduces inflammation and makes the scalp less reactive to irritants. (07)

5 Treat Your Scalp to a Massage 

Massaging your scalp can result in thicker and healthier hair. According to a small 2016 study, men who received a daily 5-minute scalp massage for 24 weeks ended up with thicker hair at the end of the study compared to the beginning. Gentle scalp massage may promote hair growth in cases of thinning hair or hair loss, like alopecia. 

A scalp massage stimulates hair follicles and encourages blood flow through the area. Improved blood flow delivers nutrients to hair follicles and fortifies follicles. Regular scalp massages are easy to do yourself, using your fingertips or a massage tool. Be sure to use a gentle touch and avoid tugging your hair. (07)

Following the five tips above can help to keep your hair strong by giving you a healthy scalp. Your scalp is where your hair starts, so it should receive the same amount of attention you give your hair. 

What Unhealthy Scalp Looks Like 

Most people don’t inspect their scalp closely, but maybe they should! Spotting signs of an unhealthy scalp can alert you to possible sources of hair loss. By addressing problems before they grow, you can slow or prevent hair loss.

  • Itching: Itching on the scalp can be a sign of an unhealthy scalp condition. Itching often occurs because of skin dryness on the scalp caused by an irritant, like a harsh soap, shampoo, or hair product. If the itching involves large areas or remains for long periods, it’s best to see a doctor to rule out dermatitis or psoriasis. 
  • Redness: Red areas on your scalp may indicate inflammation. These inflamed areas can occur as a response to an irritant or as a response to an infection. Eczema, scalp ringworm (tinea capitis), and psoriasis are some common causes of redness on the scalp.
  • Pain or Burning Sensations: Pain or burning sensations are rarely a good sign, and your scalp is no exception. If your scalp feels like it’s on fire or is painful to touch, it’s likely a sign of infection that needs medical intervention.

Getting to the Root of It All

There’s more to hair than the strand of the hair itself. Keeping hair on your head starts from your hair’s foundation — your scalp. Furthermore, if you’re considering a hair loss treatment, a healthy scalp is a must. Topical treatments work best when your scalp is in good condition.

Happy Head individualizes every hair treatment, ensuring the appropriate amount of medication for your situation. With a six-month moneyback guarantee, Happy Head is confident you’ll be satisfied with your results! 

Resources:

(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6369642/

(02) https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hair-loss/science-hair

(03) https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/hair-scalp-care/scalp

(04) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26278532/

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

(06) http://Peppermint oil (04) Tea tree oil Vitamin E oil  Rosemary leaf extract (05)

(07) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740347/#__ffn_sectitle