Sahar Swidan, Pharm.D.

Sahar Swidan, Pharm.D.

BCPS, ABAAHP, FAARFM, FACA

Can Saw Palmetto extract be an added benefit in hair growth?

The effects of Serenoa Repens (Saw Palmetto) as a DHT blocker have been known for a while and oral saw palmetto has been used to treat elevated DHT levels.  Prior studies evaluated topical saw palmetto and reported efficacy; this study further confirmed the efficacy of this natural compound.  Saw Palmetto is a nice extract to use in compounds as it can have further synergistic action on hair growth.

Treatment of male androgenetic alopecia with topical products containing Serenoa repens extract.

Objective: To assess the efficacy of topical products containing Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) in treatment of male androgenic alopecia.

Design: This was a pilot open-label, within-subject trial. Hair count in a 2.54 cm2 area was measured before and after a 24-week treatment period in 50 male volunteers.

Treatment: Subjects used two different experimental treatments in the study: a serum and a lotion. The two products contained the same ingredients, but the serum was a more concentrated formulation. The volunteers applied 2 mL of lotion to the entire scalp daily for the full duration of the study, and applied 3.3 mL of the serum to the thinning areas daily for 4 weeks. Ingredients in the lotion and serum included saw palmetto, green tea extract, peony root extract, piroctone-olamine, and oligopeptides.

Results: Average hair count increased at weeks 12 and 24 compared to baseline. Positive results leveled off at week 24, likely because treatment with the serum only lasted 4 weeks. Side effects were limited, and patients were satisfied with the results.

Conclusion: Topically applied S. repens extract could be an effective alternative treatment for alopecia with minimal side effects.

Study: Treatment of male androgenetic alopecia with topical products containing Serenoa repens extract.

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