Hair loss can be a terribly distressing condition that affects men and women alike. Hair is an essential feature of human appearance and can have a significant impact on a person’s perceived attractiveness and self-esteem.
If you have ever experienced any type of hair loss or thinning hair, you understand the devastating psychological effects it can bring—and the willingness to try different approaches that could help restore your hair and your confidence.
One common treatment is acupuncture. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, acupuncture is a time-tested technique used in traditional Chinese medicine. Practitioners stimulate specific points on the body—most often by carefully and strategically inserting thin needles through the skin. Acupuncture is known to help alleviate medical conditions such as chronic head, neck and knee pain in some individuals.
Can acupuncture help with hair loss, too? Let’s take a closer look at what science says…
The goal of acupuncture when combatting hair loss is to correct imbalances that negatively alter hair quantity. Acupuncture has been found to be particularly effective for individuals suffering from hair loss as a result of hormonal imbalances (especially women with an overabundance of male hormones), stress and nutritional deficiencies. One important study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that women who obtained daily acupuncture for six months experienced similar improvements in hormone levels to women who took the drug metformin 3x daily (Pacific College of Oriental Medicine).
An additional study of patients with alopecia aerata was published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science. Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body.
Of the 78 participants in the study, 43 were treated with acupuncture while the other 35 were treated with a combination of cystine, vitamin B1 and minoxidil over a four-month period. At the end of the treatment cycle, the results were very positive. The patients who received acupuncture had a 97.7% effective rate, while the other patients had a 77.1% effective rate.
Your physician may determine if acupuncture is an appropriate treatment option for your hair loss. It’s important to first diagnose the root cause of your hair loss—whether it’s an undiagnosed thyroid disorder, hormonal imbalance, stress, certain medications, heredity, etc.
Remember, realistic expectations are key. Acupuncture is not a miracle cure for everyone experiencing balding or hair thinning. But the clinical results mentioned above (in addition to ongoing research in the study of hair loss) are promising!
Keep reading our blogs for more helpful hair care information and much more!
The Advanced Hair Solutions Team