When people lose their hair it can be devastating, whatever the reason. There are many causes for hair loss.
Alopecia (the medical term for hair loss), can be related to different things such as genetics, hormones, drugs, or illness.
And there are many types of alopecia. Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that causes patchy baldness (this not the "male pattern baldness"hair loss). It affects men and women and is most likely caused by an inflammatory immune response often followed by stress.
This is the type of hair loss that can respond to the use of essential oils. A 1998 study was done with 84 people who had been diagnosed with alopecia areata who used essential oil applications to their scalp:
- Cedarwood (2 drops)
- Lavender (3 drops)
- Rosemary (3 drops)
- Thyme (2 drops)
- Placed in carrier oil mix of jojoba (3 mL) and
- grapeseed (20 ml)
Note: All of these oils have been used to treat alopecia for more
than a century.
Researcher Isabelle C. Hay and colleagues from the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland ran this study and had
half the group use this essential oil mixture and the other half use a plain carrier oil. Testing was done several times in during the seven month trial by photography and scalp measurements.
Of those receiving active treatment, 44 percent significantly improved, while 15 percent using placebo improved.
One male patient with alopecia areata as well as severe male pattern hair loss saw improvement in both areas after using the essential oil blend. These results suggest that one or more of the essential oils are biologically able to promote hair growth.
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Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. Randomized trial of aromatherapy.
Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Arch Dermatol .