Can Propolis Prevent Hair Loss?

Angela, CNP

Hair loss.   We all fear it.   Billions are spent each year attempting to stop or reverse it.

While more prevalent in men than women,  hair loss is becoming a growing problem in woman as well.  The number of middle aged women I am encountering with thinning hair is staggering.

While nutritional deficiencies are certainly a contributing factor to hair loss in both men and women along with thyroid issues, the exact cause and treatment of baldness has yet to be discovered.  We know in men that excess DHT can lead to male pattern baldness and studies have shown that poor nutrition and deficiencies in certain nutrients like biotin, protein, zinc and iron can cause thinning.

Propolis and Hair Growth

Research has also shown that propolis promotes the growth of certain cells involved in hair growth, though no one had yet tested whether that in turn would result in new locks.

When researcher Ken Kobayashi and colleagues tested propolis on mice that had been shaved or waxed, the mice that received the treatment regrew their fur faster than those that didn’t. The scientists also noticed that after the topical application, the number of special cells involved in the process of growing hair increased.

Although they tried the material on mice that could grow fur, rather than balding mice, the researchers noted that hair loss conditions often result from abnormal inflammation. Propolis contains anti-inflammatory compounds, so they expect it could help treat balding conditions.

They add that further testing is needed to see whether the beehive material affects human hair follicles.

Propolis and Your Hair

So what are you to do?  Should you start rubbing propolis tincture all over your scalp daily to see if it is the magic elixir to stimulate your vertically challenged hair follicles back to life?   It may be too early to say but here are my thoughts:

  1. We know from dozens of studies that propolis is highly anti-inflammatory.   Almost all major health conditions are now being revealed to be rooted in abnormal inflammation, including hair loss.   Less inflammation is good.
  2.  This study was done on mice which is encouraging.  While mice aren't humans, the fact this study was successful in a setting beyond a test tube is very encouraging.

Propolis Hair Health Protocol

There are no propolis based shampoos currently on the market that I know of so if you're going to give propolis a try for hair loss, what I'd recommend is below.   I've suggested some other nutritional strategies and tests you'll want to consider along with some proven supplements.

  1. Add 5 - 10 drops of propolis tincture to your shampoo daily.   Keep a bottle of tincture in or near your shower and simply add the drops to the shampoo in your hand before applying to your head.
  2. Take propolis internally in capsule or tincture form.   I recommend 1000 mg - 2000 mg per day for inflammatory conditions such as hair loss.
  3. Remove all chemicals from your hair care products.  Use only natural hair products.   Chemical load = increased inflammation.
  4. Eat foods high in lignans.   Lignans have been shown to block DHT.   I recommend organic milled flax seeds.
  5. Consider the supplement Collagen Plus which boosts hair health and strength.
  6. Get your iron levels tested.  Low iron can lead to hair loss.   If your iron levels are low, use this iron to supplement.
  7. While the research has not yet been done in humans, it may be worth testing propolis as a topical treatment to hair loss.   I recommend using an alcohol free tincture.   Apply it twice daily for 30 days.
  8. Add bee pollen to your diet.  One tablespoon per day has resulted in faster hair growth for many of our customers.

The study appears in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.


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