Saw palmetto works in a similar manner as the medication finasteride, which is used to treat hair loss and an enlarged prostate. You should not take them together, unless directed by your doctor. Saw palmetto may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives because it interacts with hormones.
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Does Saw Palmetto Work for Hair Loss?
Saw Palmetto hair loss treatments are becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers who want to restore their hair naturally. This article will discuss hair loss, and how Saw Palmetto hair loss products can help.
The most common type of baldness in men is known as male-pattern baldness. The scientific term is actually Androgenetic Alopecia. This type of hair thinning is characterized by the distinctive ‘M’ shape as the male hairline recedes.
You might not know that women can also suffer from the same condition, and it is called female-pattern baldness. The hormone dihydrotestosterone DHT is thought to be responsible for hair loss.
Baldness begins when the DHT levels in the scalp are too high. The hormone attaches itself to the hair follicles and the follicles shrink, causing the hair to thin.
Treatment for this condition is possible, but without some form of action the hair will eventually disappear completely over time. Decreasing the DHT levels is one form of treatment for baldness.
There are a number of medications that can be used to reduce the body’s DHT levels. Unfortunately, many of these treatments are prescription drugs and they often have side effects, including erectile dysfunction and chest pains.
Many people who are looking for a cure for their thinning hair are not happy to take these risks, and are looking for more natural hair loss solutions.
What Exactly Is Saw Palmetto?
Saw palmetto is an herbal supplement that is primarily used by men for a number of different medical issues. It is most commonly used to help treat prostate issues like BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate.
There are some other uses as well and some of the more common uses would be treatment for:
- Prostate cancer
- Preparation for prostate surgery
- Underactive bladder
- Urinary tract infections
- Male pattern baldness
How Saw Palmetto Helps to Treat Hair Loss
There are a number of different causes of hair loss including hormonal imbalances, medication side effects, illness etc. but the most common cause of hair loss in men is androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness is triggered by DHT, or dihydrotestosterone which is converted from testosterone and because saw palmetto is thought to block some of the effects of testosterone, it is used as a treatment for male pattern baldness.
Saw palmetto is usually taken orally in pill form rather than being used in shampoos or other products that are applied directly to the scalp. More studies are required to prove its effectiveness, but many people use saw palmetto to stop hair loss.
How Much Saw Palmetto Extract Should Someone Take?
If you are taking a saw palmetto supplement, you should follow the instructions on the label. However, an average dosage would be 160 mg twice per day, or 320 mg once per day. If you’re using saw palmetto for prostate problems your dosage may be a little higher.
It’s a good idea to start with a low dosage for a few days to make sure you aren’t experiencing any adverse effects then, gradually increase your dosage. Of course it is also a good idea to consult your physician before attempting to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
Can Women Take Saw Palmetto?
So far we have been talking mostly about the way saw palmetto can help men, not only with hair loss but also prostate problems and some other issues.
Some women do take saw palmetto to help with thinning hair but there have not been any studies to show if women do in fact benefit from using this herbal supplement as a hair loss treatment.