Take the Hairguard Quiz here:
If you’re wondering how nettle root extract can combat hair loss, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s video we’re gonna look at what nettle root extract is, what it does, the science behind it, and how you can start using it as part of your hair care routine. Stay tuned.
Hello everyone and welcome to the Hairguard YouTube channel. On this channel we create tons of science-backed videos on various aspects of hair loss, just like this one on nettle root extract.
So if you’re new here, please do consider subscribing, and hit that notifications bell at the lower right of this video, so you won’t miss any of our uploads.
Now let’s get straight into it.
What is nettle root extract? Well, it’s exactly what is says on the tin: the extract from the roots of a plant called nettle. The plant also goes by various other names, such as common nettle, stinging nettle or nettle leaf.
It can grow up to 2 meters in height, so it’s a relatively large plant. Its scientific name is urtica dioica, and it can be found in most parts of the world, including Europe and North America. As you might have guessed by the name, this is not something you wanna be touching. The plant’s leaves and stem are covered with needle-like hairs called trichomes, which defend the plant from being eaten by animals.
Upon contact, trichomes inject a chemical cocktail rich in histamines and neurotransmitters, like serotonin and acetylholine.
If you’re like most people, you’ve brushed against a nettle during a walk through the countryside on many occasions.
So you probably know what it feels like: not exactly painful, but very unpleasant never the less – an unusual combination of stinging and itchiness.
The nettle has been used for its medicinal properties going back many centuries, at least to the ancient Romans and Greeks.
The name of the plant – urtica dioica – is actually derived from the latin “urere”, which means “to burn”.
Today the nettle plant is used as a herbal remedy for a variety of conditions including hayfever, allergies, joint paint and benign prostate enlargement, which we’ll come back to shortly.
Now when it comes to hair loss and nettle, there are no direct clinical studies on humans.
But given what we know about the plant’s composition and its long-standing reputation as a hair loss remedy, there is a decent case to be made that nettle root extract can aid hair growth in three ways: a) reducing scalp inflammation, b) neutralizing free radical damage and c) blocking DHT.
Nettle is rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols, which also have anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants play a powerful role in fighting free radicals and oxidative stress, which has been found to be higher in men suffering from male pattern baldness.
But when it comes to the effects of nettle on blocking DHT in humans, we have very compelling indirect evidence from a recent study which looked at nettle as a treatment for benign prostate enlargement.
If you’re a regular viewer of this channel you probably know very well that increased sensitivity to DHT is the immediate cause of male pattern baldness, but DHT is also the chief culprit in benign prostate involvement.
It is no coincidence that finasteride, the only FDA-approved oral medication for male pattern baldness, is also approved for the treatment of benign prostate enlargement.
So the results of a 2005 double-blind, placebo-controlled study that found nettle root extract to be superior to placebo in the treatment of benign prostate enlargement should certainly grab our attention.
The researchers found that after 6 months, 81% of patients on nettle root extract reported an improvement in their prostate-related symptoms, compared to 43% of patients who were on placebo. And this was no small study, recruiting a total of almost 600 participants.
Now in all fairness, the research team behind this very promising study did not want to make any assumptions behind the plant’s molecular mechanism of action, and they did not claim that it works by blocking DHT.
But given all the other evidence this seems like a reasonable assumption to make, and, if it turns out to be correct, then it could have significant implications for the treatment of male pattern baldness.
At Hairguard we keep an eye on all the latest hair loss research, and if any new nettle-related research comes out, you can be sure you will find it covered here.