Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Holistic and Alternative Therapies for Hair Loss in Men?

Many men are familiar with the thinning (or absence) of hair at the hairline or on top of the head, also known as alopecia. And most men can blame it on their genes: 95 percent of cases of hair loss are genetic in origin. While there are several conventional treatment options, including Rogaine, which is available over the counter, and Propecia, available by prescription, these medications require on-going use for maintained success, as well as regular visits to the doctor to watch for side effects. Surgery, such as a hair transplant, is another conventional option but an expensive route.

Since this condition is fundamentally a cosmetic one, any treatments must be weighed against potential side effects and costs. While numerous complementary and alternative treatments exist, their success has been limited. Still, as less expensive alternatives, you may find them worth a try. As always, be sure to let your doctor know of any complementary or alternative therapies you pursue.

Nutrition

  • Reduce the amounts of saturated fats, dairy products, and other animal products in your diet. Increase your intake of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and protein from non-animal sources like nuts and beans. These changes in your diet will help insure that the essential nutrients for normal hair growth are available.
  • Biotin (300 mcg per day) and trace minerals, such as those found in blue-green algae (2 to 6 tablets per day), may help hair growth.
  • Vitamin B6 (50 to 100 mg per day), zinc (30 mg per day), and gamma linolenic acid (1,000 mg twice a day) can help to stop the chemical process that leads to hair loss.


Herbal Medicine

  • Combine the following in equal parts and take as an herbal tea (2 to 3 cups per day) or tincture (20 to 30 drops two to three times per day): ginkgo, rosemary, prickly ash bark, black cohosh, yarrow, and horsetail.
  • Take green tea (2 cups per day) in addition to saw palmetto (100 mg twice per day).


Massage

Therapeutic massage increases circulation and decreases stress. Scalp massage using essential oils of rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme, and cedarwood may help to increase circulation. Add 3 to 6 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of jojoba or grapeseed oil. Massage into scalp daily.

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