Tuesday, 3rd October 2023
<To guardian.ng

Scientists validate more herbs for hair growth

By Chukwuma Muanya, Stanley Akpunonu and Adaku Onyenucheya
18 April 2019   |   4:17 am
Scientists have validated the use of local herbs including sandal wood, onions, garlic, guava, shea butter, Aloe vera, neem oil, olive oil, black seed...


Scientists have validated the use of local herbs including sandal wood, onions, garlic, guava, shea butter, Aloe vera, neem oil, olive oil, black seed, rice water, tomato, pawpaw and coconut oil for hair loss, dandruff, baldness and premature graying of hair.

The use of shea butter, pawpaw (Carica papaya) and polysaccharide mixture to enhance hair growth and hair restoration for damaged hair has received a United States (US) patent: US 20050053564 A1.

The abstract noted: “The present invention includes methods for the treatment and/or prevention of hair loss and methods for the regeneration or restoration of hair growth comprising a step of identifying an individual suffering from or susceptible to hair loss or hair thinning or in need of hair regeneration, and a step of administering of a plant extract identified as Shea butter in combination with papaya and polysaccharides. Preferably, the extract is an aqueous extract and is administered topically.

“The present invention also provides a composition, preferably in the from of a lotion, gel, cream, or other suspension, and a distinct chemical compound or class of chemical compounds therein, effective in restoring hair growth, preventing hair loss, and/or reversing the effects of hair thinning. The composition may include an effective amount of a hair loss preventative or hair growth promoting composition comprising a plant extract identified as Shea Butter in combination with papaya and polysaccharides.”

Commonly called Shea butter in Nigeria, okwuma in Igbo and ori in Yoruba, Butyrospermum parkii/Vitellaria paradoxa, is a tree of Sapotaceae family, indigenous to Africa. The Shea fruit consists of a thin, tart, nutritious pulp, surrounding a relatively large, oil-rich seed, from which Shea butter is extracted. Shea butter is a fat obtained from the fruit of the tree. It is commonly used in hair and skin care products due to its properties as an excellent skin conditioner. It is believed to promote hair growth and is considered especially beneficial to processed, damaged and heat-treated hair.

The benefits of Shea butter can be attributed to the concentration of vitamins A, E and F, along with cinnamic esters, sterols, minerals and other nutrients. Vitamin F is made up of linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid. These fatty acids are believed to soothe, hydrate, balance and revitalize both the hair and the scalp.

Papaya is the fruit from the plant pawpaw (Carica papaya). It is mostly found in tropical countries like Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Indonesia, Brazil and Vietnam. Along with other benefits papaya is said to be great for hair. It helps hair by: maintaining the natural shine of the hair; keeping the hair soft; stimulating hair growth; restricting the dandruff; relaxing the hair; and making the hair fuller and stronger by firming it.

Papaya is rich in proteins, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene among others.

Another study published in International Journal of Pharmacy Research and Development (IJPRD) has found that onions have proven additional hair-restoring capabilities. The study concluded: “Onions contain a number of important minerals and vitamins, such as vitamins C and B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and germanium. Onion also has high sulphur content. Sulphur is a mineral present in every cell in our body, with its greatest concentration in hair, skin and nails. It has often been called the “beauty mineral” and the “healing mineral” because of its ability to promote circulation and decrease inflammation. These qualities also lend to the theory that adequate amounts of sulphur can jump-start hair growth in people with deficiencies.High amounts of sulphur in onions make them particularly effective in regenerating hair follicles and stimulating hair regrowth. In addition, naturally-concentrated sulphur compounds have been proven to show additional hair-restoring.”

Scientists have also successfully treated hair loss with Allium sativum (garlic). The researchers in a study published in Kufa Medical Journal concluded: “Garlic is an efficient and rapid topical treatment for alopecia areata. It is cheep, available and with negligible side effects.”

Alopecia areata is a non-scarring localized hair fall, probably of autoimmune ateology, that responds to treatment with many topically applied irritant substances.
Aloe vera has long been known as one of nature’s miracle plants, being used to cure everything from minor skin irritations to burns. But today, it is being touted as nature’s hair growth aid, able to help those suffering with thinning hair, alopecia, and even dandruff achieves impressive results. Aloe vera gel is good for promoting hair growth, moisturizing the hair, and eliminating bacteria that can be caused by excessive oil build up and dandruff on the scalp. Aloe vera gel contains an enzyme that helps to increase blood circulation in the scalp, which helps prevent hair loss and helps rejuvenate hair follicles for increased hair growth in both men and women.

If used at the onset of thinning hair and alopecia, the regular use of Aloe vera gel has been known to reduce or even cure some cases of baldness.

Another study published in Journal of Pharmacy Research has demonstrated the therapeutic potential of Psidium guajava (guava) and its polyherbal formulation on chemotherapy induced baldness (alopecia).

Specifically, the young leaves of the guava are rich in a myriad of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids. It has been studied and documented for its many health benefits, exemplifying its bioactive properties as, but not limited to, an antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-cough, and anti-inflammatory. It has been used to alleviate illness and ailments including but not limited to those related to cardiovascular, intestinal, allergies, diabetes and pain mediator.

Olive oil can actually slow down the body’s natural production of DHT when it is applied to the scalp, so it provides a minor decrease in the hair loss caused by male pattern baldness.

One of the main benefits of olive oil for hair growth is that it strengthens hair follicles and shafts, preventing hairs from breaking off quickly. The fatty acids of olive oil make an ideal conditioner for hair, and when hair is properly conditioned, in bends under pressure instead of breaking and snapping off.

Neem can also be used for hair related problems. Azadirachta Indica (neem) and other parts of the neem are useful to prevent dandruff, hair loss and to prevent grey hair. The neem-based cream can be applied on the scalp before going for bathing to treat dandruff. Various shampoo and other products made of neem are also available in the market to prevent dandruff, hair loss and to keep hair healthy. It can also be used to prevent scalp related problems which keeps scalp healthy. Neem oil is mixed with almond oil and coconut oil to keep the hair healthy.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies evaluated hair oil formulations used for hair loss disorder. The researchers noted: “Hair plays a vital role in the personality of human and for their cure we use lots of cosmetic products. The fading (pigmentation problem), dandruff, alopecia (loss of hair) is the major problem associated with hairs. Ayurvedic system is the traditional system of medicine having major treatment across globe. The aim of study is to develop a hair oil formulation using Azadirachta indica/neem tree (leaves), Semecarpus anacardium (fruits), Trigonella foenum graecum (seeds), Cocos nucifera/coconut (oil) for better growth of hair and diminution in loss of hair (alopecia).”

Meanwhile, 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. Bizarrely, hair follicles are thought to contain ‘smell receptors’ that respond to the aromatic odour and trigger the main protein in hair to multiply.

Although humans and animals are only able to smell through their noses, receptors in hair, sperm and even our guts are able to recognise chemicals in certain aromas. The findings could lead to a sandalwood-based balding treatment that may benefit the quarter of men who start to lose their hair by the time they turn 25.

Studies have already shown that exposing human skin cells to sandalwood in the lab causes the protein keratin to multiply, which speeds up wound healing.

Intrigued whether the aromatic wood may also boost hair growth, the researchers from the Monasterium Laboratory, Münster, exposed human scalp tissue to the artificial sandalwood-like odour Sandalore.

Sandalore is often added to fragrances and moisturisers to give a sandalwood aroma, and has previously been used in previous experiments investigating its effect on keratin. The scalp tissue came from donors, who were aged between 38 and 69 years old, who had recently undergone face-lift surgery. Six days after the tissue was exposed to Sandalore, its keratin levels began to increase.

This is thought to be due to the oil blocking the genes that cause keratin cells to ‘commit suicide’ in a process known as apoptosis. Results, published in the journal Nature Communications, also suggests the aromatic oil stimulates the release of ‘growth factors’.

These can include vitamins or hormones that are necessary for cells to multiply and thrive. Sandalore is thought to promote hair growth by acting on the smell receptor OR2AT4, which is present in hair follicles. When the scalp tissue was exposed to both Sandalore and the rose-like odour Phenirat, hair growth stopped. Phenirat is a known OR2AT4 blocker.

The researchers believe this demonstrates Sandalore stimulates hair growth by acting on OR2AT4. They add this could help them develop a balding treatment for humans. Although it may seem odd that scent receptors are present in hair follicles, such receptors are actually ancient chemical signalling systems that evolved before humans developed a sense of smell.

Also, cannabidiol or CBD is a very popular natural remedy used for different purposes. Hair loss is currently one of the major problems for some people all across the world. The CBD hair oil is also an exceptional natural hair growth product, which is prepared from the marijuana or hemp plant.

Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the major cannabinoid founded in the mixture of products of the Cannabidiol. Products of Cannabidiol can be used to fix pain related issues and symptoms without affecting the other parts of the body.

One of the main ingredients in traditional beard oil and a major component of beard balm is Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (also known as Hemp Oil).

Hemp Seed oil penetrates and is absorbed easily into the skin, helping to replenish oils missing due to sun exposure and poor nutrition. It is full of vitamins containing vitamins A, C, E, proteins, Beta-carotenes, as well as being rich in essential omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, along with nutrients that make it perfect for all hair types as well as giving benefits for skin. Although loved by many, its familiar nutty scent can take a little getting used to for some people.
hemp oil for hair

Hemp oil has high moisturizing properties which nourishes not just the beard and facial hair, but also the skin and scalp. Being high in Vitamin E makes it a great natural hair conditioner.

Hemp oil penetrates into the skin and hair easily and is an excellent source of Omega 6 which is also known as GLA (Gamma linolenic acid), a vital ingredient for hair growth, it both stimulates growth and nourishes hair, assisting in keratin production which gives thicker, stronger, and healthier hair.