If you’re suffering from hair loss, then zinc, pumpkin-seed oil and an active ingredient found in chili peppers may actually help, according to a new report.
A new research paper published in JAMA Dermatology noted that nutritional-supplement brands such as Viviscal, Nourkrin, Nutrafol, Lamdapil and Pantogar, as well as natural supplements including zinc, capsaicin (an active component in chili peppers), pumpkin-seed oil and omegas 3 and 6 with antioxidants, all showed “potential benefit” in treating hair loss.
The paper was based on a review of 30 different studies, including 17 randomized clinical trials, 11 clinical studies and two case series studies. The meta-analysis noted that negative side effects were “rare and mild for all the therapies evaluated.” But at the same time, it advised that “physicians should engage in shared decision-making by covering the potential risks and benefits of these treatments with patients experiencing hair loss” to stay on the safe side.
Hair-loss treatments represents a $3.9 billion industry, according to market researcher IBISWorld.
What’s more, hair loss has emerged as another symptom of long COVID. About 20% of people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 have experienced hair loss, and those who had more mild infections have also reported hair shedding following an infection.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, the chief medical correspondent for ABC News who has suffered from COVID-related hair loss, herself, reviewed the data in a “Good Morning America” report on Friday. She suggested that treatment options need to be tailored to the individual, and warned that the effectiveness of supplements can vary.
“I think the bottom line here is that you have to get at, pardon the pun, the root cause of your hair loss, because it’s not one size fits all,” Ashton said.
She added that it’s best to speak with a dermatologist about what treatment options would work best for your specific type of hair loss.
The research paper concluded by noting the findings suggest a “potential role for nutritional supplements in the treatment of hair loss,” and called for larger randomized clinical trials.