Is Pumpkin Seed Oil an effective supplement to treat hair loss? Studies suggest that it may be an effective treatment for androgenic alopecia. In 2014, Korean researchers published a study that showed positive effects for pumpkin seed oil on androgenic alopecia or genetic hair loss.
After 24 weeks of treatment with pumpkin seed oil researchers found that patients with mild to moderate hair loss saw a significant increase in hair growth compared to the placebo group. Researchers reported a 40% increase in hair count in comparison to the placebo group.
Does this mean that pumpkin seed oil is a new miraculous drug that will cure genetic baldness? No. However, it may have some benefit for treating male and female pattern hair loss. Let’s discuss the mechanisms that may make pumpkin seed oil a viable option to treat hair loss.
Pumpkin Seed oil is rich in micronutrients such as zinc and linoleic acid which have both been linked with treating hair loss. Additionally, studies show that pumpkin seed oil can be an effective 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, which basically means it blocks the conversion of Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) the main catalyst for genetic hair loss. Furthermore, pumpkin seed oil contains anti-inflammatory properties which is thought to be the mechanism for inhibiting Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The biggest difference between Propecia (finasteride) and pumpkin seed oil is the direct and indirect inhibition of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Propecia (finasteride) directly inhibits the conversion of testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone by blocking the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. This may be the reason why sexual side effects are not reported with using pumpkin seed oil as a supplement for hair loss.
While the studies conducted in 2014 by Korean researchers sound promising, it is important to understand that the published study did not only contain pumpkin seed oil as an active ingredient. Therefore, it is impossible to deduce whether pumpkin seed oil was the sole purpose for the improvement in hair loss. Based on the studies available however it appears that pumpkin seed oil may be a safe alternative to FDA approved treatments such as Propecia (finasteride) but not likely to be as effective.
Melvin (HTSoon) – Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog. To share ideas with other hair loss sufferers visit our new Hair Loss Forum and Social Community.