Hair Loss and Horsetail Extract
Hair loss has really created chaos around the world now days. Recent data shows tendency of hair fall has increased in past two decades (1) being a psychological problem as well.
In particular, the Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) is a very common form of hair loss that can occur in all ages but most commonly in postmenopausal women. It is a non-scarring progressive thinning of hair and results from a progressive decrease in the ratio of terminal hairs to shorter, thinner vellus hairs, a process known as follicular miniaturization.
In the past, the term “androgenetic alopecia” (AGA) was the primary term used to refer to this condition in both men and women. The term “andro” from ancient Greek refers to male subjects and “genetic” referred to the contribution of heredity. Over the years, “female pattern hair loss” became the preferred term for this form of hair loss. This terminology helps to distinguish the different features of the condition in women versus men and shows the lack of clear hormonal contribution in many cases. Although hormonal factors and genetic predisposition are believed to contribute to FPHL, the complete mechanism remains elusive and the most affected women have normal androgen levels (2).
So, scientists don’t know yet why certain hair follicles are programmed to have a shorter growth period than others.
However, several factors may influence hair loss, specifically in the case of temporary loss:
- Deficiency of useful minerals & vitamins in body
- Mental & emotional stress
- Prolonged illness
- Hormonal imbalance commonly seen in hyperthyroidism, imbalance in androgen & estrogen
- Usually after child birth due to hormonal imbalance
- Certain medications like blood thinners, vitamin A if taken in excess amount, non-contraceptive pills, anti depressant drugs & medicines used in chemotherapy.
- Certain infections that can promote hair loss for example fungal infection on scalp
- Diseases like diabetes may also be a precipitating factor in hair loss
- Poor blood circulation or excess blood loss
- Lack of sleep & life style disorder
- Hereditary factors
Horsetail – composition, uses and DIY
Equisetum arvense (or field horsetail) is one of the oldest plants on earth and what remain today from tree-sized fossils are the field horsetails.
Composition: No other herb in the entire plant kingdom is as rich in silicon as is horsetail. This trace element really helps to bind protein molecules together in the blood vessels and connective tissues. Silicon is the material of which collagen is made. Collagen is the “body glue” that holds our skin and muscle tissues together. It contains silicic acid and silicates (5-10%), potassium (1.8%), calcium (1.3%), aluminium, sulphur, magnesium and manganese (4). It also contains flavonoids, alkaloids and phytosterols.
Uses: Equisetum arvense extract is used mainly as collagen promoting agent in cosmetics.
In skin care, it is considered to be the best possible tonic to cure acne and eczema, known to provide excellent healing effect for most skin conditions. Horsetail improves the texture and tone of skin, and it is also used as in cosmetics as a moisturizer and skin conditioning agent (5).
In hair care, because of the high content in silica, it promotes hair growth and improves the quality and condition of hair (6). It prevents grey hair, acts against dandruff and seborrhea (7,8).
Horsetail extracts showed hair growth-stimulating effect in an aged man with alopecia (9).
Horsetail infusion preparation for use at home: Add 3 Tsp of plant (the stems are pre-cut in very small pieces) to 1L of boiling water, cover the recipient and leave it for 10 minutes. Filter the solution and use it to rinse your hair and to massage the scalp very well. The procedure needs to be repeated every time you wash your scalp and continue for 4-5 months.
Jain Deepak, Jain Yogita1, Hair loss and Herbal Medicines, Global J Trad Med Sys. 2012 September 1(1): 13-15
Anja Vujovic and Véronique Del Marmol, The Female Pattern Hair Loss: Review of Etiopathogenesis and Diagnosis, BioMed Research International, Volume 2014.
Sasaki I, Inoue S, Togiya H. Collagen synthesis-promoting agents containing plant extracts. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 2001, 11.
Carnet A, Petitjean-Freytet C, Muller D, Lamaison JL. Content of major constituents of horsetails, Equisetum arvense L. Plantes medicinales et phytotherapy 1991; 25(1): 32-8.
Yamamoto Y, Takei M. Skin-moisturizing and -conditioning preparations containing plant extracts and lipids. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 2001, 22.
Semwal et. al/ Alopecia: Switch To Herbal Medicine, Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Medicine, 2011.
Fukuda R, Kidena E. Hair preparations containing Equisetum arvense extracts for prevention of gray hair. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 2001, 10.
Kuriyama K, Watanabe Y, Hotta H, Takisada M, Senoo M, Kameyama K. Anti-acne and anti-dandruff compositions containing lignan glycosides and antisebum/antibacterial agents. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 1998.
Ikemitsu S, Ikemitsu H, Maeda T. Hair growth stimulants containing Equisetum arvense extracts. Jpn Kokai Tokkyo Koho 2001, 5.