How To Boost Hair Growth with This One Simple Ingredient
If you are dealing with thinning hair or growing bald patches, you probably have looked up dozens of “solutions” for boosting hair growth and fighting baldness. But many of the remedies out there are backed only by anecdotal evidence and not by science.
If you want to really boost hair growth then you have to turn to the one remedy which is backed by scientific research.
This is pretty cutting-edge, so right now it is not the most practical solution to hair loss (you will have a hard time finding a product to use), but it is exciting news, and may point the way to hair care advancements in the future.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is an herb. It is a member of the ginger family, and is native to southern Asia. If you have ever eaten Indian or Pakistani food, you have doubtless partaken of this delicious spice. Turmeric has a bright yellow color, and lends that distinctive hue to many curry dishes.
Turmeric is touted these days as a kind of herbal cure-all. Scientific studies have demonstrated the following benefits for people who take turmeric supplements:
- Reduction in inflammation (an impressive study can be found here)
- An increase in antioxidant capacity
- Protection against brain diseases and improved brain function
- Reduction in the risk of heart disease
- Improvements in arthritis and other joint pain conditions
- Turmeric may prevent and even treat cancer effectively
- Turmeric may also prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease
You will notice I did not list anything about hair. That is because research into turmeric and hair growth is in the initial stages. Not many people would think to associate this delicious spice with hair growth—but there is some promising evidence that one special variety of turmeric may help to curb hair loss.
Enter Curcuma aeruginosa
There are actually multiple varieties of curcumin. The one which has received study as an antidote for hair loss is called Curcuma aeruginosa.
This is different from the type which is traditionally used in food, which is known scientifically as Curcuma longa.
Curcuma aeruginosa has rhizomes (a type of underground stem) which are pink at the tips and which have a blue or grayish-blue color in the centers. In fact, the colloquial name for this plant is “pink and blue ginger.”
What Does Research Say About Curcuma aeruginosa and Hair Loss?
A study in 2012 recruited eighty-seven men with androgenetic alopecia, also known as “male pattern baldness.” These participants were randomized into four different groups. One group received 5% Curcuma aeruginosa. Another received 5% Minoxidil (Rogaine), and a third received a combination formula consisting of 5% hexane extract of Curcuma aeruginosa + 5% Minoxidil. The last group was given a placebo.
The patients were instructed to apply the treatments twice daily for a period of six months. The researchers then looked at the hair count by evaluating photographic evidence as well as subjective assessments from the participants themselves.
The researchers concluded, “In men with hair loss in the vertex area of the scalp, the combination of 5% hexane extract of C. aeruginosa and 5% Minoxidil slowed hair loss and increased hair growth.”
Minoxidil alone also led to “some degrees of hair regrowth,” as did Curcuma aeruginosa alone.
No adverse effects were reported among any of the participants.
So in short, you can get good results with hair regrowth using Minoxidil by itself, or by using this particular form of turmeric by itself. But you can achieve even better results if you use the two treatments in combination with each other.
While you are at it, I also recommend checking out this study on peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is another natural substance which has been tested against Minoxidil, and which has actually been found more effective.
Peppermint oil is also easier to come by than Curcuma aeruginosa (most turmeric supplements on the market right now are for other varieties). If you can manage to acquire both, you will have a powerful means to fight balding and hair loss while improving growth.
Why does Curcuma aeruginosa work? Right now there is not enough data to say conclusively what all the mechanisms are, but it is entirely possible it has something to do with fighting inflammation. This is a property which is possessed by peppermint oil as well.
Look For More Research on Curcuma aeruginosa In the Future
Right now, you will have a pretty tough time hunting down a Curcuma aeruginosa supplement or topical application for hair growth, even online.
Can you try out other forms of turmeric? You can, though you may not get the same effects. Plus, the kind of turmeric which is used in cooking tends to leave yellow stains. If you are trying to emphasize blonde hair, that may be desirable, but if you have another hair color, you may want to avoid it. From my own experience, I found the effect to be rather subtle, but the results may differ on your hair.
So for now, I would stick with peppermint oil if you want something natural—or try out Minoxidil or a combination of the two. But sooner or later, more researchers will become interested in Curcuma aeruginosa, and will investigate more about how this form of turmeric may help to curb baldness and stimulate hair growth. In the future, that may mean that more Curcuma aeruginosa products will be available for hair care.