Background: Hair loss or alopecia is a common dermatological condition affecting up to 2% of the world population. It is often caused by hereditary factors, such as male or female pattern baldness, but it can also result from various environmental factors, an unbalanced diet, or chronic illness. While hair loss is not life-threatening, it can cause significant anxiety, depression, and other psychological problems, ultimately impacting an individual's quality of life.
Objective: Various treatments for hair loss, including both synthetic drugs, such as minoxidil and finasteride, or medicinal herbs, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Despite synthetic drugs' effectiveness, they may come with potential side effects. Natural remedies have been proposed as a viable option for treating hair loss because many chronic disorders can cause alopecia. As such, this review focuses on identifying alternative, efficient treatment agents with limited side effects. Specifically, it looks into medicinal plants as potential healing agents for treating hair loss.
Methods: To gather relevant information for the study, multiple databases were searched, including Scopus, PubMed, and Google Scholar. A comprehensive search was conducted using a range of search terms, such as "hair loss," "alopecia," "natural remedies for hair loss," "herbal treatments for hair loss," and others to extract relevant scientific articles.
Results: Many medicinal plants and natural compounds have shown potential in reducing hair loss, thanks to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and the ability to improve local metabolism when applied externally. According to existing literature, herbal extracts and formulations derived from plants, such as Urtica dioica, Humulus lupulus, Serenoa repens, Vitis vinifera, Pygeum africanum, Cucurbita pepo, etc., as well as certain individual herbal compounds, micronutrients, bee products, and keratin, may be effective in reducing hair loss directly or indirectly.
Conclusion: Research suggests that medicinal plants and a variety of natural compounds hold promise in promoting hair growth and preventing alopecia.