Can Propolis Prevent Hair Loss?

Early research results are showing huge promise for Propolis as an ally in the fight against hair loss, thinning hair and baldness

by Angela Ysseldyk, Nutritionist and Beekeeper's Daughter

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

For some time it has been considered that propolis might positively affect hair growth due to the hypothesis that certain types of hair loss are due to inflammation. Propolis then, being recognized as a natural inflammatory, was always a possible candidate for improving the problem. 

Research has 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.(1)

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.

Second Propolis Hair Study

Whereas the first study looked at the effects of propolis applied in isolation, the second study, published in 2016, examined the effects of propolis when it was used as a primary ingredient together with Eruca sativa seed oil as a base for a hair wax manufactured specifically as a general hair-care product. Again the tests were undertaken on rodents and measured against controls which included a marketed brand hair wax and those provided with a standard medication.

This study expanded on the findings of the first because it revealed that the propolis wax increased hair length, resulted in a greater percentage of hair follicles and also that the actual weight per hair increased (2). 

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 an alcohol free 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.   
  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.

Recommended Propolis Brands

I often get asked which brands of propolis I recommend.   I use, trust and recommend Dutchman's Gold line of propolis products only.  This is because I can personally vouch for the quality control, sourcing and purity testing that they conduct.  You can find them here.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.

Disclaimer: The information on Bee is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Angela Ysseldyk and her community. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified heath care professional.

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