This Morning: Dr Ranj discusses treatments for hair loss
Hair loss and hair thinning are considered normal, often occurring with ageing. While no treatment is 100 percent effective, sandalwood has shown some impressive results regarding the ability to increase hair growth.
Sandalwood essential oil is used in the treatment of inflammatory and eruptive skin diseases.
Millions of men who are going bald may benefit from rubbing sandalwood oil onto their scalps.
Laboratory tests of scalp tissue by German researchers found it stimulates hair growth after just six days.
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Researchers from the University of Manchester found that applying sandalwood to the scalp helped prolong human hair growth.
The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications explaining how the experiment conducted with the synthetic material and human skin samples achieved startling results.
The team found that a receptor cell in the skin known as OR2AT4 was sensitive to chemicals in synthetic sandalwood and when applied to the skin a growth of keratinocytes was stimulated.
As skin healing and hair growth are closely related, the researchers hypothesised that if applying sandalwood would new hair be able to grow.
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The researchers reported that the treated hair follicles survived longer than those that went untreated and produced more growth factor.
It was verified that sandalwood interacted with the OR2AT4 receptor which increased hair growth.
The study concluded that sandalwood helps hair to grow due to stimulation of the root caused by the oil and that hair growth occurred due to a process in which the follicle cells were converted into hair.
It’s noted that the scent acts on the smell receptor OR2AT4 and blocks the genes that causes keratin cells to die.
A potential research area to cure baldness, a lot more work will need to be done to verify the results.
The aromatic sandalwood oil comes from the wood and roots of the East Indian sandalwood tree.
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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