Wed 16 Jan 2008
Tea Tree Oil as a Hair Loss Treatment
There are a number of herbal supplements out there that claim to work as a treatment for hair loss. Whereas there is no question that marketing is over-reaching at best in order to sell a product, the real question that any hair loss sufferer asks is: will this herbal product help fight against baldness? Is there any chance that this product will regrow hair? To date it is important to understand that there is no hair loss cure, therefore realistic expectations must be kept when considering any hair restoration product.
Below I decided to take a look at an herbal supplement that has been said to combat hair loss. This product is an “active” ingredient in a few hair loss remedies including HairMax MD. Tea Tree Oil is also sold as a stand alone product and is often found in fancier shampoos.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is a natural agent that may be effective against infectious organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Common use of this agent includes use as a germicide, antibacterial, antiseptic, fungicide, or anti-inflammatory agent. Additionally, it has been used for head lice, seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, athletes foot, mouth ulcers, herpes, after shave, toe nail infections, yeast infections, body odor, acne, mosquito bites, cold sores, mouth ulcers, herpes, among other uses.
Though certain promotional websites that sell Tea Tree oil have indicated this product as a treatment for hair loss, no clinical evidence of this claim has been provided. It is my opinion that the reason those who promote this as a hair loss medication can say this is because tea tree oil can be used to treat seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis is sometimes the cause of a more rare type of non-genetic hair loss called telogen effluvium (a common type of diffuse alopecia). This however, has nothing to do with male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness – the most common type of hair loss.
Though Tea Tree Oil may be an effective treatment against seborrheic dermatitus and therefore might help treat more rare non-genetic types of hair loss, I have found no clinical evidence to suggest that it has any benefit against Androgenetic Alopecia (hereditary hair loss) which is the most common type of hair loss.
In my opinion, it would be better to stick to the hair loss drugs that have been proven: Propecia (finasteride), and Rogaine 5% (minoxodil). As an adjunct hair restoration treatment, Nizoral shampoo or Revita shampoo both containing active ingredient ketoconazole may also be helpful.
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