Hair loss affects both men and women, although it appears to be more pronounced in males, they can be equally as severe in females. The hair forms an important part in how a woman looks so any abnormalities in hair growth and in the worst cases, bald spots, can affect a woman’s self-confidence and self esteem. Fortunately, there are many forms of treatment that work for both men and women. One of these treatments is saw palmetto.
Saw palmetto, in its raw form, is a short, dwarfy plant that is native to North America. The active ingredient is found in the plant’s brown to black berries. When extracted, the saw palmetto is purified and taken as a herbal supplement. Apart from its role in stopping or reversing hair loss in women, saw palmetto has also been traditionally used by Native American Indians in the treatment of various illness such as urinary problems in men and diseases of the breast in women. Today, saw palmetto is also a common herbal supplement for the alternative treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition characterized by the abnormal growth of the prostate gland in men.
Many women prefer to use saw palmetto compared to other hair loss medications like Rogaine because the latter often comes with severe side effects. Saw palmetto is also the preferred alternative treatment for women who have tried every other treatment in the past without any positive effects. Because this is a herbal supplement, side effects, like migraine and nausea are rare in most women who took the supplement and they were often mild in those who experienced the side effects.
Most women take saw palmetto in the recommended dose which is 160 mg along with 300 mg of Biotin. Both are taken twice a day for the best results. There are very few studies explaining why this combination works best, but a lot of users, both men and women, have seen the most favorable results when they took saw palmetto this way. Some users also report of seeing more visible results in a shorter amount of time when they take saw palmetto with other herbal supplements. Users report an improvement of 50-60% in the condition of the hair after taking saw palmetto supplements, while a few reported a gradual return to the former thickness and denseness of the hair a year or two after regular consumption of the supplement. The body’s metabolism may also affect how fast results are seen, so the visibility of effects may vary from one user to another. Eating a nutritious diet and avoiding foods that are known to promote hair loss can all help improve the effects of the supplement and raise the chances of reversing hair loss.
The effect of saw palmetto is believed to come from its ability to inhibit the action of an enzyme that plays an important role in hair loss. It also prevents the formation of DHT, a hormone that is one of the main causes of hair loss in both men and women. Without this hormone, the hair gradually stops shedding. Some users of saw palmetto herbal supplements report of seeing improvements after using the supplement, as well as recurrence of hair loss once they stopped taking the supplement, a good indication that it was the saw palmetto that caused the improvement.
The use of saw palmetto in pregnant lactating women is not documented, however, so it is best to consult a doctor before using the supplement. Saw palmetto may also affect the use of contraceptives so medical advice is important before women who are using contraceptives can safely start taking saw palmetto supplements for hair loss.
Although more studies on the efficacy of saw palmetto still need to be done, it is a fact that many female users have seen favorable results with the use of saw palmetto on hair loss. Whether the effect was mild or drastic, saw palmetto is a good contender for one of the most useful herbal supplements for hair loss for both men and women. As long as the supplement is taken in the right dosage and the right medical monitoring is done to reduce the risk of side effects, there is a good chance of reversing the effects of hair loss with saw palmetto.