A late entry for possibly the strangest hair loss
story of 2018, has emerged.
A report by the Reuters news agency about the Chinese cockroach industry revealed how the critters are being used in a number of novel ways ranging from waste disposal to ingredients in hair loss treatments.
Cockroach essence for hair growth
Cockroach farms supply the insects in huge quantities to pharmaceutical companies, such as Gooddoctor in Xichang, Sichuan province.
Gooddoctor has a dedicated cockroach facility which collects their essence when the creatures die at around six months old. When this happens they are steam-blasted, washed, dried and placed in a tank where their nutrients are extracted.
The facility manager, Wen Jianguo, told Reuters "the essence of cockroach is good for curing oral and peptic ulcers, skin wounds and even stomach cancer."
In other places, including Mexico and Taiwan, cockroaches are eaten for their nutritional properties, whilst fried cockroaches can be ground to make pills for stomach and liver ailments. Cockroach milk is thought to be high in protein as well as packed with iron, calcium
and zinc, though also has a high fat content.
Although cockroaches were used in homeopathic medicine during the 19th century, their presence in modern western medicine has been notably lacking so far. Now, however, the number of cockroach farms in China is growing with researchers finding ever more innovative ways to use them. This includes trialling the use of cockroach essence as an ingredient in beauty products, diet pills and hair growth treatments. Whether these hair loss solutions will be topical or oral - or effective - remains to be seen.
Creepy-crawly-free hair loss solutions
Though protein and zinc
are known to be good for healthy hair growth and strong hair, whilst a deficiency in iron
can lead to hair loss, there are easier ways to obtain these key nutrients. Most notably, the obvious - and preferred - method is through eating a balanced diet with a 'rainbow' of fruit and vegetables as well as healthy fat and protein sources.
Even then, however, there are cases where hair loss conditions
may develop - particularly when it is genetic (Male Pattern Baldness
and Female Pattern Hair Loss
). Whilst maintaining good nutrition via your diet, topped up with a specially-targeted food supplement
if desired, can be beneficial to the condition of the existing hair, it will not treat hair thinning nor receding.
There are two clinically-proven hair loss treatments
which are both MHRA licensed and FDA approved for this purpose. By inhibiting the underlying cause of androgenetic alopecia and accelerating hair growth, this well-established approach - bolstered where appropriate by additional hair growth supporting products
- can help in regrowing hair and preventing baldness
without a roach in sight.