Hair loss treatment: Nettles are rich in antioxidants which could increase hair growth

Hair loss: Dr Ranj discusses causes of male pattern baldness

As with most things in life, as we get older, so the inevitable changes occur. One such change which can cause much dismay is noticing less hair on our heads. However, by turning to nature this dreaded age-old curse could be halted. Experts recommend using nettles to help increase hair growth.

According to a 2018 study, nettle leaf extract contains high amounts of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help protect our scalp from damage and stimulate new hair growth.

Nettle leaves are also rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc, which can all give our follicles a great boost.

Nettles are also rich in antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids and vitamin C which act as a shield and protect hair from damaging free radicals.

Free radicals are harmful atoms that are produced in our body, and their number can rise exponentially because of an unhealthy diet, environmental toxins and the most dreaded ageing.

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In a study with US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, herbal extracts from stinging nettles were used to treat alopecia.

The study noted: “Typically men are affected by androgenetic alopecia (AGA), but it is a widespread dermatological problem affecting women also.

Androgens have a significant role probably independent from genetic predisposition which is known as the main etiologic factor in AGA.

The study found that nettles have been used for centuries because of their anti-inflammatory properties in some problems such as rheumatism, wound healing and skin inflammation.

An extract showed an improved expression profile of cytokeratin as well as an increase in epidermal thickness.

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Using nettle oil is another great option for stimulating new strands on the scalp.

Experts advise adding a few drops mixed in a hair oil to apply on to the thinning areas of your head.

Rich in iron, a rinse made with nettles can help combat hair loss and promote hair growth.

Experts recommend steeping a bunch of nettle leaves in boiling water.

Remove from heat and then strain them out, letting the water cool.

This liquid could then be used as a hair rinse.

Pour the liquid overt the strands and make sure to work it into the roots and down to the tips.

Use this method at least once a week to help increase hair growth.

Other hair loss treatments

Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness, recommended by the NHS.

Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness, but women shouldn’t use finasteride.

But it’s important to know these treatments don’t work for everyone, and may only work for as long as they’re used.

They also aren’t available on the NHS and can be expensive.

Other ways to treat hair loss include hair transplant – when hair cells are moved to thinning patches, and tattooing – tattoos used to look like short hair and eyebrows.

If your hair loss is causing you distress, speak to your GP who may be able to help you get some counselling.

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