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To a diva, thinning hair is the equivalent of losing a limb. Okay, maybe it's not quite as dramatic as that, but thinning tresses still can be a beauty trauma. Saw palmetto shampoos might be the answer for getting your hair loss under control. They still need some study, however, and aren't right for every fashionista.
Saw palmetto shampoos are shampoos that contain the extract of Saw Palmetto berries, which come from a type of palm tree that primarily grows in the Southeastern United States. Aside from this extract, you won't notice much difference between saw palmetto shampoos and others. Because saw palmetto extract is classified along with other herbs and extracts, these shampoos sometimes are labeled as herbal shampoos, although you may see nonherbal ingredients on the label.
Saw palmetto is supposed to be a simple way a diva can slow hair loss from androgenic alopeica. This is a common form of hair loss in both gals and guys and is better known as female- or male-pattern baldness. On fashionistas, it makes the hair get abnormally thin all over. Scientists and doctors think that androgenic alopeica happens because of certain hormones called androgens, which end up destroying your hair follicles. Specifically, the hormone dihydrotestosterone is identified as the major culprit of hair woes. Saw palmetto is supposed to inhibit these hormones and thus keep your follicles in tip-top shape. Shampoo is a topical way to use saw palmetto for this purpose.
When It Does and Doesn't Help
Saw palmetto will only work for you if you have hormonally based hair loss. You can take a pass on saw palmetto shampoos if you're losing your hair due to mistreating your hair, such as dying it too often or keeping it in hairstyles that are too tight. You might not need these shampoos if you're super young, but if your hormones take a turn, such as during menopause, you might produce more follicle-harming androgens than before.
Even though there are some studies that suggest saw palmetto helps treat your thinning tresses if you take it orally, there's virtually no study that has proven that it's effective as a topical remedy. It might be that saw palmetto shampoos amount to little more than snake oil in a pretty bottle. To make things more complicated, the Food and Drug Administration hasn't evaluated saw palmetto yet, so people really don't know what side effects it could have. Doctors don't recommend it if you have any bleeding disorders such as ulcers, breathing problems or issues with your heart or liver. Doctors aren't sure if saw palmetto passes to babies in the womb or who are breastfeeding.