In the quest to stave off hair loss
, easy and affordable “natural solutions” can be very tempting... but they rarely live up to the hype. And such is the case with birch water.
Gained from tapping wild tree trunks (in as picturesque and marketable an environment as possible), bottled birch water is the latest in a long line of "miracle cures" that fail to hit the spot.
Already gathering steam across Europe thanks to its undeniably healthy characteristics, birch water is widely acclaimed for its cleansing and detoxifying properties. Global market research company Mintel reports that birch water is so on-trend that “as seen in the case of coconut, which has appeared everywhere from water to dairy, bakery and even beer, birch as a lead ingredient is also starting to spread to other food and drink sectors.”
While most of the birch water products available don’t make any bold claims about hair suddenly growing back after drinking, the internet contains numerous references to the liquid’s apparent hair restoring properties.
Sadly, these are somewhat wide of the mark.
At the time of of writing, there were no natural remedies
or products that have been clinically proven to make hair grow back.
Birch tree sap
These mythical benefit claims are mostly based on the properties of birch tree sap, from which birch water is made. It is packed with vitamins and minerals such as manganese, calcium and magnesium, however unless your shedding is solely due to a specific dietary deficiency
covered by this product, it will have no effect on a true hair loss condition
Hairloss is complex, the root causes of which can only be tackled by either time (hair can sometimes grow back on its own in several conditions), change of hairstyle (removing stress to the scalp is important to recovery in cases of Traction Alopecia) or, most often, by using clinically-proven pharmaceutical formulas to address the reasons why hair is falling out.
This is especially true in cases of Male Pattern Baldness
and Female Pattern Hair Loss
, where steps are required to reverse a genetic tendency for hair to thin out when people reach a certain age (which could be as early as their late-teens).
Healthy hair growth
What birch water probably does is encourage healthy hair, which is a different thing entirely from stopping hair loss and regrowing lost hair. Once a genetic hair loss condition has been diagnosed, treatment needs to continue in order for the testosterone by-product DHT which attacks follicles around the top of the head, weakening them and leading to increasingly thinning hair
and even eventual baldness to be suppressed.
There are two clinicaly-proven, hair loss treatments
that are both MHRA licensed and FDA approved - two for male pattern baldness (one oral, one topical) and one (topical) for female pattern hair loss.
For supporting normal healthy hair growth, specially formulated food supplements
can also be brought into play, and hair loss specialists take into account non-pharmaceutical products too when devising a customised treatment plan for each client.
While birch water might well prove useful at this stage, taking it on its own would be a little like putting an insulating cover on a hot water tank and hoping it fixes a broken boiler.