Melatonin is well known as the hormone of sleep, but there seems to be another possible use for it which doesn’t seem well known – Melatonin may help stem hair loss and regrow hair. Who would have thought! But apparently, melatonin does appear to have potential in the fight against hair loss. When we age, our melatonin levels naturally go down, whereas the rate of baldness goes up, so is there a link somewhere?
It seems melatonin appears to play a role in modulating the hair follicle growth cycle. It’s not clear how melatonin accomplishes this, but in one of the few experiments done, when melatonin solution was applied on the scalps of women suffering from hair loss, their anagen hair rate was boosted.
For those not aware, hair growth is categorized into three phases, namely the anagen (active growing) phase, catagen (end of active growth) phase, and the telogen (resting) phase. Hair loss often occurs when there are not enough hair follicles in the active anagen growth phase (for whatever reason) to offset hair fall. It has been demonstrated in some animals, depending on the time and season, when melatonin was applied on the animal’s skin, their fur growth rates were significantly improved.
Currently, hair loss is a major issue for many people worldwide, especially for men. Herbal treatments aside, there are only two accepted treatments for balding to date, that have been approved by the FDA (rather recently I may add), namely minoxidil (rogaine) and finasteride (propecia). Both are drugs that take a long time to see any results, plus the fact that propecia may give out side effects; and this may not appeal for those who like a more natural and safer approach. So in this regard, melatonin may have potential as a natural alternative to these hair restoration drugs.
Unfortunately at present, few companies manufacture melatonin as a topical solution or cream. There are very few trials of melatonin for hair regrowth to date. The potential of melatonin as a hair growth agent has yet to catch on, but wouldn’t it be great if melatonin could really be proven worldwide, to reverse hair loss?
Sidenote: It appears that for the purpose of hair growth, topical application of melatonin directly on the scalp is likely the only way to get any measurable results. Melatonin can be absorbed through the skin, but requires a large dose, which can only applied topically.