If you haven’t already heard, there’s a new natural remedy for hair loss called saw palmetto. This new hair loss treatment has been taking off on Reddit for helping slow the effects of hair loss, also known as androgenic alopecia.
Saw palmetto extract is used as an herbal hair loss treatment for men and women. Saw Palmetto is a small palm tree typically found in the southeast United States AKA Sabal Serrulata. Indigenous Americans have used the small tree berries for hundreds of years for its homeopathic properties.
There are many benefits to using saw palmetto, but we’ve seen studies that show how great this ingredient is for hair growth and preventing hair loss. If you have issues with going bald and want to stop your hairline from receding, saw palmetto is something you should try.
Saw Palmetto Benefits
It’s an ingredient you may have seen in hair growth shampoos and creams, but it’s also used to treat acne, low sex drive, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).
Used a Topical DHT Blocker
DHT is the reason that many lose hair. The saw palmetto DHT inhibitor works by blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that converts testosterone to DHT.
According to a 2019 study on alopecia, saw palmetto was found to inhibit dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is a modern breakthrough for men and women suffering from pattern hair loss. Since many scientists have found that DHT contributes to the rapid advancement of androgenic alopecia.
Saw Palmetto Shampoo
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Saw Palmetto Oil and Extract
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Saw Palmetto Supplement
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Saw Palmetto vs Finasteride (Propecia)
When applied orally or topically, saw palmetto works just as well, if not better than finasteride and hair growth creams. You can read about the beneficial effects from this study of saw palmetto for hair growth published in the 2019 journal of Archives of Dermatological Research.
Research is in its early stages, but this has to be the biggest breakthrough in a natural formula for hair growth. There are some side effects that have also been studied in patients who have used this natural remedy.
What are the Side Effects?
As with most medicines and herbal remedies, there are some side effects depending on your saw palmetto consumption frequency and dosage. If you use saw palmetto for a long period of time, it could lead to some mild symptoms.
The side effects include:
- Stomach pain
- Lightheaded, dizziness
- Sexual dysfunction (but less than with finasteride)
These are the mild symptoms and side effects, but there are other reported risks for those using it over a long period. Using large doses of saw palmetto may lead to:
- Liver damage
- Heart disease
- Sex hormones
- Blood clotting
- Interference with other medications
- Cholestatic hepatitis
There isn’t enough research to know whether saw palmetto directly caused these health problems, but there have been a few cases where these problems have developed in those taking this supplement.
Always seek medical advice before starting any treatment for hair loss. Talk to your doctor about the effects of saw palmetto, proper dosage, or not sure if you’re at risk for these health conditions.
Saw Palmetto for Hair Growth
Losing your hair has to be one of the worst feelings as you get older. It can be tempting to shave it all off, and we have plenty of help if you want to go bald, but if there’s a way to save your hair, we think saw palmetto may be your first stop to treating it.
Studies have shown that saw palmetto improves hair growth in 60% of participants with male pattern baldness.
When used regularly, studies have shown that saw palmetto creams and oral supplements can prevent hair loss in some individuals. While the research is still new and growing, it’s a positive sign that patients experienced hair growth after taking saw palmetto daily for 60 days.
Positive Hair Regrow Results
A randomized, double-blind study found that saw palmetto improved hair growth in 60% of the men who participated. These participants also had male pattern hair loss and were between the ages of 23 and 64.
One of the main reasons is because saw palmetto inhibits DHT from blocking your hair follicle. It can also increase hair density and overall hair count by decreasing this enzyme related to hair thinning.
Saw Palmetto for Women
It’s not recommended for women to take saw palmetto if they meet the following:
- Taking oral contraceptives
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
Significant research has found that saw palmetto interferes with hormones and may cause oral contraceptives to be ineffective. It’s also dangerous to take while pregnant or if you want to get pregnant. Always consult your doctor first.
Should You Take Saw Palmetto?
There are a number of reasons to take saw palmetto, but we think it’s a great remedy to explore for hair loss. It also contains antioxidants that decrease inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.
If you have issues with testosterone levels and hair loss, then taking saw palmetto has the most benefits for you. It can help men boost testosterone naturally, too.
Before starting saw palmetto, it’s important to you check with your doctor to weigh any health risks versus the benefits for you.
Saw Palmetto FAQs
How long does it take for saw palmetto to work for hair loss?
In a small study, 6 of 10 males taking saw palmetto orally had improvement of their androgenic alopecia. Another study found that after 62 adults applied saw palmetto topically, hair increased in density by 35% after 3 months.
How much saw palmetto should I take for hair loss?
There’s no formal recommended dosage for saw palmetto since scientists haven’t determined conclusively that it will prevent nor treat hair loss. However, articles on Healthline and NCBI suggest 200mg to 320mg daily.
How do you use saw palmetto for hair loss?
You can apply saw palmetto directly to the scalp using oils, serums and shampoos that contain the saw palmetto extract. Studies have shown saw palmetto shampoo to increase hair density by 30-40% in as little as 3 months.
What are the side effects of taking saw palmetto?
Many studies suggest saw palmetto supplements are typically safe for the average person. However, consult your doctor. When taken orally, common (usually mild) side effects may include dizziness, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, decreased libido, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and vertigo.