Using saw palmetto for hair regrowth can be slightly to moderately effective, but the herb is usually not very effective if used alone. Although saw palmetto is widely used as an alternative natural treatment to prevent hair loss, it is not typically lauded for stimulating hair follicles or engendering regrowth. Many people who have used saw palmetto for hair regrowth reported that hair loss dissipates after four to eight weeks of using the herb, but new hair does not appear as a result of it. Some moderate growth of hair has been possible for people who use saw palmetto for hair regrowth in conjunction with other hair boosting botanicals or supplements, however.
Few scientific studies have confirmed that saw palmetto will result in an extended or renewed growth cycle for hair. Research, however, does support theories that saw palmetto can block and slow baldness. Most evidence in support of saw palmetto for hair regrowth is anecdotal and from lay people experimenting with alternative treatments for alopecia and other forms of baldness or hair loss. These users claim to see a definite increase in the rate of hair growth, usually after three months of use.
The reason saw palmetto has proven effective in preventing or delaying baldness is because the herb can successfully thwart the effects the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for male-patterned alopecia. DHT is an androgen that reduces the size of hair follicles, choking off new hair growth and causing hair to fall out. This condition generally afflicts men who are age 30 and above; women with high levels of testosterone due to menopause or hormonal abnormalities can also be affected. Studies have shown that using saw palmetto daily can lower the amounts of DHT being produced and absorbed by follicles on the scalp.
Usually ingested, saw palmetto is not applied directly to the scalp in order to reap hair benefits. The standard daily amount for effectiveness in arresting DHT-linked hair loss is 320 mg of the extract or 160 mg of saw palmetto powder. Those using the crushed or dried fruit of the plant typically take an eighth of a teaspoon (about 0.61 ml) daily. Men who testify that their hair has grown from using saw palmetto for regrowth have typically used it daily, with roughly 100 mg of beta-sitosterol. This combination, according to at least one study, can boost hair growth up to 60 percent.
High in beta-carotene, saw palmetto comes from the fruit of the saw palmetto shrub. Ancient peoples for centuries used the fruit of this plant for prostate troubles before appropriating it for hair care. Other issues treatable with saw palmetto include bronchitis, migraines, and faulty sex drive.