If you’ve looked online for solutions to natural hair growth recently, you’ve probably encountered some pretty out-there stuff.
But what about melatonin for hair growth? This hormonal treatment is often touted as a natural remedy for premature balding and thinning hair. And while this may seem like it belongs among the ranks of hair loss hats and magnetic hair brushes, melatonin can actually be a viable solution for people experiencing hair loss.
What Is Melatonin?
Ask any regular jetsetter how they manage to beat jet lag, and they’ll probably have one word for you: melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycle in mammals. Our bodies produce it naturally to tell us when to fall asleep and wake back up, but you can also find it in supplement form.
Melatonin supplements are a common resource tapped by travelers and people who live in locations that experience intense periods of daylight, or lack thereof. (We’re looking at you, Alaska.) Switching time zones, or being exposed to long periods of sunlight or darkness, disrupts our circadian rhythms and can make it difficult to fall asleep. Melatonin helps restore the body’s circadian rhythm, lulling users back to sleep.
However, melatonin doesn’t only help with sleep loss — it helps prevent hair loss, as well.
The Link Between Melatonin and Hair Loss
Melatonin, applied topically, has been proven as an effective treatment for certain types of hair loss. But in order to understand melatonin’s effects on hair loss, we should first understand how the hair growth cycle works to begin with.
The hair growth cycle consists of three stages. The first is the anagen stage, in which hair strands are actively growing. This occurs when cells actively divide in the hair bulb at the bottom of each strand. The hair grows for between two to seven years before the hair follicles become dormant.
The second stage, called the catagen stage, is a short transitional phase that lasts about three weeks. The hair, now called a club hair, has completely stopped growing and is preparing itself to shed.
In the final telogen stage, a new hair grows underneath the club hair. About three months after the telogen stage, the club hair sheds and new hairs begin to grow from the follicle.
Hormonal disruptions in the body can cause hairs to prematurely enter the telogen stage, causing them to fall out and create the appearance of thinning hair. Additionally, environmental stressors can damage hair and cause it to shed. Thanks to its properties as both a hormone and a powerful antioxidant, melatonin has the unique power to tackle both of these issues.
How Melatonin Works
Hair loss is often aggravated by exposure to free radicals (unstable atoms that can damage cells) via external stressors like pollution, UV radiation or cigarette smoke. Luckily, melatonin is an antioxidant, a type of molecule that counteracts the damaging chemical reactions created by free radicals. Topically applying melatonin to the scalp serves as a shield from free radicals, which can prevent unwanted hair loss.
What’s more, hair follicles actually contain melatonin receptors, pointing to evidence that the hormone plays an important role in the hair growth cycle. Topically applying melatonin has been shown to improve the density and thickness of hair in people suffering from premature hair loss. A study conducted by the University of Lübeck reported that subjects showed a significant reduction in the degree of severity of alopecia after 30 and 90 days of topical melatonin application.
Other Treatments For Hair Loss
While melatonin is viewed as a natural alternative to common hair loss treatments, it’s not a cure-all. Applying melatonin can help stimulate hair follicles and protect them from free radicals, but that doesn’t mean it will yield 100% perfect results.
Results can also be achieved through natural hair restoration procedures, which employ either surgical or non-surgical methods to visibly thicken hair density. And if you aren’t ready to commit to a procedure just yet, prescription-based capsules or serums might just give your hair that extra oomph it needs.
Whatever your hair growth goals are, Look Natural Hair Restoration is here to help you discover your options and find bespoke solutions to fit your needs. Get in touch with us today and our hair restoration specialists will gladly assist you!