As the demand for holistic healthcare increases, people often ask us about natural hair loss remedies. Sadly, from onion juice and chillies to argan oil and camphor, these traditional ‘cures’ tend to promote shiny, well-conditioned hair, but are not effective methods for fighting hair loss.
Given there are currently only two MHRA and FDA approved male hair loss treatments – finasteride 1mg and minoxidil – both of which are pharmaceutical, could a natural supplement really be effective? This is what a new study hopes to find out.
Investigating Hcap Formula
A clinical trial is currently underway which seeks to evaluate the safety and competency of a nutritional supplement in relation to the treatment of male pattern hair loss. Known as ‘HCap Formula’ the research information states that the oral supplement comprises ‘medicinal plants, vitamins and minerals’ although no specific ingredient information is provided.
The phase two trial, which is taking place in Israel, is called, ‘Evaluation of the Efficacy of Hcap Formula Nutrition Supplement for Treatment of Men With Androgenic Alopecia: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial’.
Test subjects are all healthy males aged between 18 and 40, who have male hair loss classified as levels IIv, IIIv, IV or V on the Hamilton-Norwood scale. Each participant has to take their tablet – either active or a placebo, they will not know which they have been given – once every other day throughout the first six months of the twelve month study. This year-long period consists of a six month treatment phase and a six month follow up phase.
Selection criteria dictated that those taking part must not have any other hair loss condition or scalp problem, they must not be on medications that can cause hair loss, or have had a hair transplant or scalp tattoos – including micropigmentation – in the past. They are also required to keep the same hairstyle, use the same shampoo, not dye their hair or undergo any type of therapy that may affect their hair during this time. This is to help minimise other influences on their results which will be monitored at assessments to be undertaken at the 3, 6, and 12 month stages.
Each of the results will be measured in relation to baseline – the individual’s pattern and extent of hair loss at the start of the trial – and hair counts to gauge density changes will be carried out using standardised photographic comparisons.
Difference between supplements and treatments
Natural hair supplements – whether for hair health, hair growth or both – can be beneficial to men and women whether they have thinning hair or not. It is not always easy to incorporate all the necessary nutrients needed for strong, vital hair into your diet so, whilst they should not in any way replace a healthy approach to food, a dietary supplement is a convenient way to ensure these needs are met.
There are certain natural ingredients, such as Saw Palmetto, which are believed to help inhibit DHT – the hormone which causes the miniaturisation of affected hair follicles in those with a genetic predisposition to male pattern baldness.
However, whilst this may assist in slowing down the process, which sees the follicles around the top of the head gradually weaken and die, causing hair to thin and fall out, its actions are in no way comparable to those of the recognised pharmaceutical male hair loss treatments.
This is particularly true of finasteride 1mg which works by actively blocking the formation of DHT. When this hormone is prevented from reaching the follicle, it averts hair loss and allows normal hair growth to prevail.
Convenient source of hair nourishment
Nutritional supplements are best thought of as a ‘hair growth booster‘ which usefully compliments clinically-proven hair loss treatment, rather than as a solution for male or female pattern hair loss in their own right.
Belgravia’s dietary supplement, Hair Vitalics – which is available to everyone, not just our clients – is especially formulated to provide nourishment for your hair, to help strengthen it from within. Vitamins A, C and B6 are combined with minerals including biotin, iron and zinc sulphate, and extracts of aloe vera, saw palmetto and ginkgo biloba to promote healthy hair.
Given the current approach, it will be interesting to hear what the researchers, led by Principal Investigator David J Friedman, MD and Study Director, Lilach Gavish PhD of Israel’s Friedman Skin & Laser Centre, find out. They have set a study completion date of February 2016 and hope to have results ready to publish in June 2016. We will publish an update on their findings as soon as these become available.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.