Hair loss can be attributed to a wide range of causes, which often means finding a suitable solution is like a needle in a haystack. However, there is no panacea for hair loss so finding remedies that have been proven to treat particular types of hair loss offers the greatest chance of correcting it. If you are looking for a natural solution for hair loss caused by alopecia areata, an ancient Chinese practice has yielded promising results.
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Alopecia areata is a common cause of non-scarring (does not cause scarring to the scalp) hair loss that can occur at any age, according to the British Skin Foundation (BSF).
“It usually causes small, coin-sized, round patches of baldness on the scalp, although hair elsewhere such as the beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, body and limbs can be affected,” explains the BSF.
If this description characterises your hair loss, evidence supports giving acupuncture a try.
Acupuncture has long been used in China as an alternative medical therapy.
Research investigating whether there is any scientific basis for its medicinal claims have turned up a surprising connection to hair growth.
In a study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science volume, researchers found that acupuncture occasionally proved to be more effective than medicine for the treatment of alopecia areata.
It’s unclear why acupuncture is effective at treating this condition.
Although, evidence investigating the clinical benefits of acupuncture suggest it may be related to increased blood flow and improved circulation in the skin.
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That could help stimulate hair follicles, nerves, and blood vessels so the hair loss will stop.
This could create the conditions for regrowth to begin again with additional treatment.
Other natural remedies for alopecia areata
One study found massaging the oil into the scalp daily, in combination with lavender, rosemary and cedarwood extract, provided some treatment for people with alopecia areata.
It is important to note that the benefits may have been enhanced by the application of rosemary oil.
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How to treat other types of hair loss
According to the NHS, finasteride and minoxidil are the main prescribed treatments for male pattern baldness.
Pattern baldness is a type of permanent hair loss that runs in the family.
It is important to note that minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness but women shouldn’t use finasteride, warns the NHS.
As is often the case with hair loss treatments, there are a number of drawbacks to taking finasteride and minoxidil.
As the NHS explains, These treatments:
- Don’t work for everyone
- Only work for as long as they’re used
- Aren’t available on the NHS
- Can be expensive
Some wigs are also available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
As the health site notes, you can also consider cosmetic options, although many of these treatments will not be covered.
- Steroid injection – injections given into bald patches
- Steroid creams – cream applied to bald patches
- Immunotherapy – chemical applied to bald patches
- Light treatment – shining ultraviolet light on bald patches
- Tattooing – tattoo used to look like short hair and eyebrows
- Hair transplant – hair cells are moved to thinning patches
- Scalp reduction surgery – sections of scalp with hair are stretched and stitched together
- Artificial hair transplant – surgery to implant artificial hairs
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