Does Saw Palmetto Work for Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a big concern for many people worldwide. There are also many treatments available to solve the hair loss problem. Topical medications as well as oral medications are often recommended. Hair plug, a surgical treatment, is also available which tends to have good results. Besides these remedies, saw palmetto is an herbal remedy which is said to solve the problem. Does saw palmetto for hair loss really work?

Does Saw Palmetto Work for Hair Loss?

Yes, saw palmetto does work when dealing with hair loss. The extract of saw palmetto as well as saw palmetto supplements work by keeping the levels of testosterone in the human body balanced. As men get older, the levels of testosterone diminish, while those of DHT (5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone) increase. We all know that hair follicles are sensitive to DHT which causes the hair follicles to shrink, decreasing hair production and shortening the life span of these hair follicles.

Normally, the human hair is constantly regenerating, meaning that if hair falls out, the hair follicles start producing new hair. However, if the levels of DHT are higher than normal, new hair growth is decreased. Saw palmetto works by stopping the conversion of testosterone into DHT in the human body, normally lowering the levels of DHT and making it possible again for new hair to grow.

Is It Right for You?

First of all, it is very important to determine the real cause of your problem and identify why you are losing your hair.

  • For example, if you wear extensions, a wave or if you tend to tie your hair constantly, then probably you are dealing with traction alopecia. Just getting rid of the extensions, the wave or letting your hair fall freely without having them tight up constantly can help you solve the problem.
  • If you are having tinea capitis, then this is the cause of your hair loss problem and relative treatment is needed.
  • If you are having a thyroid problem and your hormones are not balanced, you are anemic or you have low iron levels in the body, your hair will become brittle and even hair loss may occur.

For all the above-mentioned problems, saw palmetto is not the solution and other treatment options are needed. Saw palmetto usually only works for male or female pattern baldness.

How to Use Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss

With saw palmetto, hair loss problem can be solved. Then how to use it?

In cases of alopecia, saw palmetto supplements in the form of tablets or capsules are the best way of treatment. The recommended dosage is 160 to 200 milligrams for adult men and women per dose and these tablets or capsules should be taken two times a day each day.

Don’t expect miracles in a day or two as it will take some time for saw palmetto to have its effects. You will need to wait at least two months before the first results appear. Full results like hair thickness improvement of the existing hair or appearance of new hair will need about six months and up to one year to become noticeable.

Saw palmetto for hair loss can be more effective when combined with other natural treatments such as castor oil, onion, garlic, rosemary, etc.

Saw palmetto berries or even saw palmetto liquid extracts can be used for hair loss, but their efficacy is limited either if they are administered topically on the head or taken internally. Saw palmetto can be brewed into a tea as well, but the effectiveness, in this case, is very limited. The best options for saw palmetto treatment for hair loss are tablets or capsules.

How to Choose the Supplements

If your doctor recommends you such a treatment, then you may want to consider these saw palmetto supplements from a reputable company. Make sure to read labels and buy only those products that contain about 85 to 95 % of sterols and fatty acids. Do not buy any products that contain less than 85 % of sterols and fatty acids as they don’t contain the necessary amounts of active ingredients needed for a successful hair loss treatment.

Watch Out for the Side Effects of Saw Palmetto

By using saw palmetto, hair loss condition can be improved. But saw palmetto also has side effects, including:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Interference with the absorption of iron, making anemia worse in those already being anemic
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Increased bleeding

Rarely, saw palmetto use can lead to serious complications such as liver damage, pancreas damage, etc. In order to avoid any side effects, it is necessary to take saw palmetto supplements in the recommended dosage and not exceed it.

Saw palmetto use can also interfere with certain medications such as Finasteride used for the treatment of hyperplasia prostate. If you are taking Finasteride, then you should consult your doctor first before starting any saw palmetto supplements.

Saw palmetto use can also interfere with blood-thinning medications and it has the effects to make the blood thinner and increase bleeding. If you need a surgery, it is recommended to stop taking saw palmetto supplements for at least two weeks and even more time before the surgery.

Saw palmetto is not recommended for all those taking hormone replacement therapies or hormonal birth control methods as they affect the hormonal receptors all over the body.

Saw palmetto supplements are not recommended for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding as well. 

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