Hair loss: Taking a vitamin E can increase hair growth – study findings

Jennifer E. Engen

Permanent hair loss can leave people feeling upset but there are a number of natural remedies that have shown promising results in stimulating hair growth. Vitamin E, for example, which helps to maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthen the body’s natural defence against illness and infection, has been shown to improve hair loss.

One study published in Pub found that hair growth may be helped by taking a vitamin E supplement.

It says: “Patients with alopecia generally exhibit lower levels of antioxidants in their scalp area as well as a higher lipid peroxidation index.”

It explains: “Tocotrienols belong to the vitamin E family and are known to be potent antioxidants.

“Hence, a study was conducted to investigate the effect of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in volunteers suffering from hair loss.

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The study reads: “In conclusion, this trial demonstrated that supplementation with tocotrienol capsules increases hair number in volunteers suffering from hair loss as compared to the placebo group.

“This observed effect was most likely to be due to the antioxidant activity of tocotrienols that helped to reduce lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in the scalp, which are reported to be associated with alopecia.”

There are some treatments which may help with hair loss and hair health. Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.

Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women should not use finasteride.

“Many drugs, including minoxidil and finasteride, are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.”

The Cleveland Clinic says: “It is important to note that premenopausal women should not take medications for hair loss treatment without using contraception.”

Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.

The health service says that some types of hair loss are permanent, such as male and female pattern baldness. It’s estimated, for instance, that around 40 percent of women aged 70 years or over experience female-pattern baldness.

As well as alcohol, hair loss can be caused by illness, stress, weight loss, some cancer treatment, and iron deficiency.

For older women, hormonal changes that are linked to menopause also contribute to hair loss.

Moreover, as we grow older, there is a tendency for our hair fibres to become finer and shorter and we may experience hair loss or greying.

Hair is primarily made of a protein called keratin that also makes nails and forms the outer protective layer of skin.

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