Throw a dart at the average family’s weekly grocery shopping list and it’s likely that whatever item you hit will have been hailed at some point as a miracle cure for hair loss
, cinnamon, honey, onions
they’ve all been singled out as magical treatment options for those with the genetic conditions Male Pattern Baldness
and Female Pattern Hair Loss
, and sometimes as cures for the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, too. This is a very different condition to these hereditary ones, and much rarer too though far from uncommon.
Turmeric promoted as hair loss treatment
Warming spices are traditionally believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and have been used in Ayurvedic medicine
for centuries. As certain hair loss conditions
can involve inflammation of the hair follicles, this often leads people to believe that spices such as ginger
and turmeric - which has become particularly popular among the health conscious - can treat hair loss. Though, alas, it is not quite that simple.
Recently a press release from a Vegas-based herbal supplement company hailed turmeric as “a potential natural alternative for hair loss.”
The article cites unnamed studies in which it states “researchers tried turmeric essential oils in the potential treatment of Alopecia Areata
.” Two success stories were apparently recorded one patient achieving “peach fuzz” on the head with the other seemingly enjoying freshly-grown locks of hair.
What should also be noted, however, is that in many cases of this autoimmune hair loss condition the hair regrows naturally within up to twelve months.
Although the precise reason for this disorder, which can cause patchy hairloss anywhere on the scalp, is unknown, triggers include sudden shock or trauma. The body responds by suspending non-critical processes, such as the hair growth cycle
, leaving hair production stuck in the dormant phase where hair sheds with no new hair being produced to replace it. In the majority of cases normal hair growth will resume of its own accord, but this is not always the case. Unfortunately, and frustratingly for those affected, it is impossible to predict which outcome is likely.
As such, whether the turmeric supplements being promoted actively helped to promote hair growth, or if it was simple coincidence, is unknown.
Natural hair loss cure myths
Sadly, the internet is awash with unsubstantiated reports that claim to prove the efficacy of natural products as a cure for hair loss. This can be extremely misleading given there is currently no
cure for alopecia areata nor for androgenetic alopecia (pattern hair loss). What is certainly true is that following a balanced diet
rich in vitamins, minerals and other natural products can improve the condition of both the scalp and the hair. What none of these can do, however, is reverse hair loss. Luckily, however, many hair loss conditions can be treated.
There are only two clinically-proven hair loss treatments
available for Male Pattern Baldness and these are both also MHRA licensed and FDA approved for this purpose. The only topical solution, which comes in a number of formulations all of which are applied directly to the scalp where needed to encourage localised hair growth, can also be used to treat Female Pattern Hair Loss.
In both cases supplementary hair growth supporting products
can be used in tandem. These include low-power laser treatment delivered by a patented hand-held device called the HairMax LaserComb
, and also Belgravia's proprietary dietary supplements - Hair Vitalics
- which contain a blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids including biotin, zinc and selenium for the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth.
Whether or not turmeric does have magical hair growing properties remains to be scientifically investigated. There is certainly a chance it can promote healthy hair just a few months ago, in fact, a nutritionist in Japan made a claim for curry
(and the spices that go into it) being one of the reasons that Japanese and Indian men have relatively low baldness rates. As was pointed out at the time, however, the argument falls flat by dint of sheer common sense: no matter how much curry Japanese people eat, it is probably far less than in the UK, which is one of the baldest nations on earth.