Not long ago, I talked to you about how supplementing with omega-3 DHA can relieve dry eyes during menopause. But, this essential fatty acid can also eliminate the dry hair that happens with age.
You see, as you get older you lose the natural oils that lubricate your scalp and follicles. This results in dry, dull, brittle hair.
Even worse… it can cause your hair to fall out.
Replacing this lost oil is key to healthy hair. I tell my patients at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging that a key step to regrowing long locks is by massaging certain follicle-stimulating oils into the scalp every day.
The research backs up the benefits of this type of massage…
In one study, 340 men and women with androgenic alopecia — or male pattern baldness — massaged their scalps twice a day for an average of 15 minutes.1 By the end of the study, 69% of participants said that their alopecia had greatly improved.
A second study found that massaging the scalp resulted in thicker, healthier hair. This research involved nine patients who received a four-minute massage every day. After 24 weeks, every patient reported thicker hair than they had at the start. The oil you choose makes all the difference. Here are two I recommend to patients:
- Black cumin seed oil. In a recent study, an herbal hair oil containing Nigella sativa reduced hair fallout by up to 76%.2 Another study found that a combination of coconut oil and black seed oil effectively promote hair growth.3 Nigella sativa works by strengthening the roots of your hair — thanks to its antioxidant properties — giving it the incredible ability to give the appearance of new hair. Look for organic 100% pure black seed oil.
- Rosemary oil. I suggest mixing this oil with your black cumin seed oil. Rosemary oil is packed with antioxidants that help combat thinning hair. In a recent study that looked at 100 men with androgenetic alopecia, rosemary oil applied to the scalp showed to be equally as effective as 2% minoxodil (Rogaine®) at increasing hair growth.4
Choose The Right Omega-3 Formula
Topical applications of oil are a great start to addressing hair loss. But, to really “get to the root” of the problem, you need to stimulate hair growth from the inside out.
The research backing up omega-3 is incredible…
A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology followed 120 healthy females who took omega-3 with other antioxidants for six months. By the end of the study:5
- 89% of women reported a reduction in hair loss
- 86% reported an improvement in hair diameter
- 87% reported an improvement in hair density
A second study looked at women with androgenetic alopecia (or male pattern baldness). After supplementing twice a day with an omega-3 formula that included melatonin, a stunning 80% of women saw an increase in hair growth.6
We used to get all the omega-3s we needed for good health and good hair from the food we ate. Unfortunately, modern food practices stripped most omega-3s from our food. Grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish are your best food sources, but it’s almost impossible to get what you need from your diet.
However, I don’t recommend supplementing with fish oil for two reasons…
First, the majority of fish oil comes from polluted waters that contain chemicals like PCBs and heavy metals like mercury. This is worse than not taking a supplement in the first place.
Second, most of the fish oil supplements available today are severely lacking in the unique omega-3 fatty acid that your body needs most. I’m talking about DHA.
I tell my patients to get between 600 mg and 1,000 mg of DHA every day. That’s 1,900% more DHA than over-the-counter fish oil supplements.
Replace Your Fish Oil With THIS
Here’s what I suggest instead of fish oil…
- Take this tiny animal oil instead. Krill are shrimp-like animals that don’t live long enough to absorb large amounts of toxins — so they don’t get contaminated. And their omega-3s are stored in phospholipid form instead of triglycerides. This helps it pass through cell membranes better.
- And combine it with calamari. But make sure your calamari oil comes from squid (illex argentinus) that live off the coast of South America in the pure waters of the South Pacific.
- Always take omega-3 fatty acids with a meal. This allows the fats to be properly digested.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. English RS and Barazesh JM. “Self-assessments of standardized scalp massages for androgenic alopecia: Survey results.” Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019;9:167-178.
2. Dulal SR, et al. “Formulation and finding out the efficacy of the herbal hair oil over simple coconut oil (purified) – a formulation and clinical study in Bangladesh.” Int J Pharm Sci Res. 2014;5(5):1801-1805.
3. Muhammud A, et al. “The effectiveness of coconut oil mixed with herbs to promote hair growth.” Int J Ethics Eng Manage Edu. 2014;1(3):2348-4748.
4. Panahi Y, et al. “Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: A randomized comparative trial.” Skinmed. 2015;13(1):15-21.
5. Le Floc’h C, et al. “Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women.” J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Mar;14(1):76-82.
6. Nichols A, et al. “An open-label evaluator blinded study of the efficacy and safety of a new nutritional supplement in androgenetic alopecia: a pilot study.” J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017 Feb;10(2):52-56.