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Hair loss treatment: The plant-based oil that may promote new growth and strengthen hair

Hair loss treatments often come with considerable caveats, such as exorbitant costs and invasive procedures. This makes natural solutions a much more appealing offer but the research is often inconclusive. Nonetheless, some natural remedies have shown promise in treating hair loss.


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One such solution is evening primrose oil, which is extracted from the seeds from the night willow herb plant that mostly grows in North America and Europe.

The oil that’s extracted from the seeds is commonly found in formulations of health supplements, topical treatments, and ingredients in beauty products.

Research suggests specific properties contained in evening primrose oil can promote hair growth.

Like other plant oils, evening primrose oil contains arachidonic acid.

This ingredient has been shown to promote new hair growth and help existing hair shafts to grow longer.

Hair loss can also be caused by inflammation and Gamma linoleic acid (GLA), an omega chain fatty acid found in evening primrose oil, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Some research also suggests that plant compounds called sterols found in evening primrose oil can help reduce inflammation.

Evening primrose oil may also counter the harmful processes of oxidative stress.

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Oxidative stress, a process whereby an imbalance of compounds called antioxidants and unstable molecules called free radicals cause damage to the body, is said to play a role in hair loss.

Evening primrose oil is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which is known to relieve oxidative stress.

In fact, researchers in one study found that taking oral vitamin E supplements helped improve alopecia symptoms.


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Participants taking vitamin E supplements also had a higher hair count per inch of scalp than the participants who took the placebo.

This suggests that evening primrose oil could stimulate and protect hair follicles, keeping them healthy and active.

Evening primrose oil can be applied topically or consumed orally.

Other recommended treatments

Finasteride and minoxidil are the main drug treatments for male pattern baldness, notes the NHS.

Male pattern baldness is a permanent form of hair loss that usually runs in the family.

Some wigs are also available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.

While you consider what option is best for you, you may want to get some psychological support.

“If your hair loss is causing you distress, your GP may be able to help you get some counselling,” advises the NHS.

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