Baldness is an unpleasant reality for the millions of men and women who notice that they are living the phrase, “Hair today and gone tomorrow.” While the average person will lose between 50 to 100 hairs per day, and even though some thinning is bound to occur as a normal part of the aging process, the onset of baldness can be anything from irritating to traumatic.

Saw palmetto is a small, dwarf palm plant that grows predominantly along the Atlantic coast of North America. Unlike many other herbal palm remedies, saw palmetto’s potency lies in its dark brown berries instead of its roots or oil. Its usage dates back to the early Native Americans who cherished the berries both as a food source and as a treatment of urinary tract issues.

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.

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.

 

Source(s): http://altmedicine.about.com/od/qalibrary/f/sawpalmetto.htm , http://www.wisegeek.com/how-effective-is-saw-palmetto-for-hair-regrowth.htm , http://healing.answers.com/personal-health/herbal-options-for-hair-regrowth-the-benefits-of-saw-palmetto