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There have been several approaches to treating hair loss. The use of Nettle Leaf extract in treating hair growth has also, over time, grown quite popular. Although there are still several speculations on the use of nettle in hair loss. However, the three main reasons for the use of stinging nettle for hair loss. These reasons include the fact that nettle leaf extract can help in;
- Reducing inflammation in the scalp,
- Neutralizing free radicals in the scalp,
- Blocking DHT topically and internally.
This article highlights these points in more detail. More importantly, you can get more information on how you can effectively use nettle leaf extract in treating hair loss. You can check out effective methods to apply the extract. Before getting to this, however, it is important to understand where the nettle leaf extract is obtained.
The nettle leaf extract is obtained from a plant called the stinging nettle. The plant is quite popular in several areas around the world..
What Is Stinging Nettle?
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a heart-shaped plant found in several areas around the world. Some of these areas include North America, Asia, and Europe. The plant can grow as high as seven feet with rough and bristly hair all over the plant. These hairs can be painful to touch and can cause swelling, itching, and other forms of irritation.
The medicinal properties of the stinging nettle have been in use for centuries. In ancient Egypt, the plant was very useful in treating back pain and some form of paralysis.
The nettle leaf contains a wide range of constituents. which includes several essential vitamins and minerals. Some of these constituents include vitamin C and magnesium. The plant is also a good source of iron and omega-3 acid. All these amazing properties of the nettle plant is why it is a popular plant in around the world.
Nettle Plant and Hair Loss
One of the significant causes of hair loss is inflammation in the scalp. This can be due to tissue damage or the presence of harmful foreign substances in the hair like free radicals and bacteria. One of the responses of the body to these foreign materials in inflammation. The whole process of inflammation is a response to destroy or remove foreign cells before they cause any major damage.
Some scientific studies have linked severe inflammation in the scalp with hair loss. Chronic inflammation in the scalp activates a self-destructive mechanism. This leads to the damage of hair strands and follicles. However, studies have also shown that nettle leaf can have a positive effect on the inflammatory process.
How Does Nettle Leaf Extract Work?
As mentioned earlier, some constituents of the nettle leaf extract have anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from this, nettle leaf extracts also contain vitamin C and some other antioxidants. Antioxidants have high activity against free radicals, which are also significant causes of hair loss. Stinging nettle has shown antibacterial effects against a wide range of organisms, including the ones that affect hair and hair growth.
Stinging Nettle and DHT
Another major factor that has been strongly linked with hair loss, especially in male pattern baldness is Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a sex steroid that is majorly a byproduct of testosterone, the principal male sex hormone. This is why DHT is a major risk factor for hair loss in men. About 5-10% of the total circulating free testosterone in men eventually becomes DHT.
DHT handles several masculine features including; deep voice, chest hairs, etc. Some studies have also linked the sex steroid with the formation of prostate cells. Nettle leaf extracts significantly inhibit the activity of this steroid. It achieves this through the inhibition of an enzyme required for the steroid to carry out its effects. Some scientific studies have compared the effects of finasteride and nettle leaf extract. The result showed some similarities in the positive effects of nettle leaf extract in treating hair loss.
Applying Stinging Nettle For Hair Loss
There are several ways to go about the application of nettle when using for hair loss. Some of the options include;
- Use as supplement
Nettle extracts have been produced as supplements in several locations around the world. The most common form is capsules, although you might be able to get the extract as a powder or tablet in your region.
Irrespective of the form you’re taking, an equivalent of 500mg daily of the nettle leaf extract is good enough to get the positive effects of the plant.
- Drink it as a tea tonic
Another way to use the nettle leaf extract, especially if you are using the plant directly, is to make a tea tonic. However, you might want to be careful with the plant. Touching the plant without necessary caution can be painful and irritate. This is why, instead of removing the entire plant, you only need to cut the top two bracts of the leaves.
You can use this method if you are getting the dried leaves of the plant to use.
- Infuse the nettle into oil
Another very effective way to use Nettle leaf extract is by creating an oil infusion. This makes it better absorbed by the scalp. This is a major advantage of this approach of using nettle oil extract. Once you create the oil infusion, you can use it as a shampoo and even add to any other hair products you might be using at the time.
To create an only infusion, you need the necessary nettle parts and extra virgin golden olive oil.
Side effects of Stinging Nettle
Considering the fact that the extract is from an herbal source, anyone with known allergies to nettle should not use nettle leaf extract. Otherwise, the plant poses no risk, apart from its stinging effects during collection.
Drugs to avoid when using Nettle leaf extract
While nettle leaf extract has a myriad of benefits, there are certain medications that you should avoid using with nettle leaf extract. Some of these drugs include:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood-thinning drugs
- Blood pressure drugs
If you would be using any herbal product alongside any of these classes of drugs, then you should first call your doctor.
Herbal Vs Orthodox Treatments in Hair Loss
One controversy that trails the use of nettle leaf in hair loss is comparing its effectiveness with orthodox treatment options. The major factor to consider when trying to choose a treatment option is to know the cause of your hair loss. This makes the process of selecting a treatment option easier. Although there are also other factors to consider like duration of treatment, budget etc.
This is why you must to see a doctor before choosing a treatment option.
In conclusion, hair loss can be a major problem for some, causing major emotional distress. There are several treatment options to consider. Nettle leaf extract is one of these options. Being a home-made remedy, a lot of people often tend to look down on nettle leaf extract. It is also important to note that hair loss can be caused by several reasons. Understanding these causes helps choose a very suitable treatment option. The nettle plant contains several antioxidants that are beneficial to your hair growth and scalp health. This is why the nettle leaf extract can help you get over your hair loss problems.