From today we know that there is a new ally against thinning and hair loss, we are talking about pumpkin seed oil. In fact, topical applications of this oil on the scalp have been shown to stimulate hair growth and counteract the action of testosterone that, on the other hand, promotes hair loss. This is what emerges from a scientific research published some time ago in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine by a team of Iranian researchers (Hajhashemi et al, AJP, 2019).
Hair loss remedies
Two drugs are mainly used against hair loss, finasteride, also used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy, and minoxidil. These drugs are taken by mouth for long periods of time and can have side effects. This is why scientists are looking for more natural remedies to treat hair loss. Some plants have been shown to actually be able to stimulate hair growth, such as serenoa repens or saw palmetto, nettle and green tea. The focus then shifted to pumpkin oil. Previous studies had already shown that its oral intake, 400 mg for 24 days, was able to increase hair growth. However, the effect of its topical application had not been tested.
Pumpkin seed oil stimulates hair growth, the experiment
To understand the possible anti-hair loss properties of pumpkin seed oil once applied locally, scientists have developed a study conducted on animals. To better understand the experiment, a premise is necessary. Testosterone is converted by the alpha reductase enzyme into dihydrotestosterone. Well, this substance is able to miniaturize the hair follicle, causing a thinning of the hair and its subsequent fall. Therefore, the researchers applied a testosterone-containing solution to the skin to promote hair loss. Subsequently, some of the subjects studied were applied pumpkin seed oil, others minoxidil and a group was kept as a comparison. What emerged was that, as might be expected, the application of testosterone alone inhibited hair growth. The application of pumpkin seed oil and minoxidil, on the other hand, made it possible to promote hair growth. In fact, following these treatments, a significant increase of the number of hair in the anagen phase, which is the first phase of the hair life cycle, the one in which the hair grows, was observed. Pumpkin seed oil is believed to be able to counteract the action of testosterone on the hair. However, other nutrients present in pumpkin seed oil, such as phytoestrogens, vitamin C and fatty acids, can also contribute to the anti-hair loss properties of pumpkin seed oil.