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Pumpkin oil and pumpkins.

Can Natural Oils Help with Male Pattern Hair Loss?

If you’re really serious about fighting male pattern baldness, your best bets are finasteride and its brand-name counterpart, Propecia. Natural oils might improve your hair’s appearance but are unlikely to significantly reduce hair loss.

A certain desperation seems to overcome men and women who find themselves confronting the specter of male/female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia. And desperate people often take desperate measures to fight back against such threats.

The internet is alive with articles and advertisements touting the ability of natural oils, most notably coconut and pumpkin seed oils, to fend off hair loss. Almost all are based on anecdotal evidence and have little to no scientific evidence to back them up.

What Causes Hair Loss?

Male pattern hair loss, which also afflicts women despite its name, is caused by the shrinkage of hair follicles to the point that they can no longer support normal hair growth. Triggering this gradual miniaturization of hair follicles is a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.

DHT is a derivative of testosterone, the primary male sex hormone. However, the catalyst for the conversion of testosterone into DHT is an enzyme known as type II 5-alpha-reductase, which resides in the oil glands of hair follicles.

Reducing Scalp Levels of DHT

To effectively combat hair loss and even regrow some of the hair that’s been lost, inhibiting this pesky enzyme effectively reduces scalp levels of DHT. By far the most effective medications against male pattern baldness are finasteride and its brand-name counterpart, Propecia. They work by shutting down the type II 5-alpha-reductase enzyme and thus decreasing DHT levels.

Touting the benefits of pumpkin seed oil to reduce DHT levels, an article posted at HairGuard.com cited a 2014 study in which participants were treated with an elixir that contained not just pumpkin seed oil but multiple other ingredients. These included octacosanol, a fatty alcohol chemically similar to vitamin E; gamma linolenic acid, a fatty substance found in such plant seed oils as borage and evening primrose; and lycopene, a plant nutrient plentiful in tomatoes.

Conclusions Hard to Draw

Although participants in the study experienced marginally higher hair counts than those treated with placebo, there’s no way to prove that pumpkin seed oil alone was responsible for these gains.

While widely used to condition hair and improve its appearance, coconut oil also has not yet been proven effective as a treatment for hair loss. At least not in peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Try Finasteride/Propecia

For now, your best weapons against hair loss are finasteride and Propecia, which work for both men and women, although at varying dosages. The typical finasteride/Propecia dose for men is 1 mg tablet daily, while women appear to get similar results while taking 2.5 mg daily, according to GoodRx.com. The drug should not be used by women who are pregnant or might become pregnant.

The American Hair Loss Association recommends finasteride (Propecia’s active ingredient) as “the first line of attack” in treating male/female pattern baldness.

Benefits of Ordering Online

If you prefer the convenience and privacy of ordering your drugs online, eDrugstore.com can supply you with both finasteride and Propecia. And prices at eDrugstore include not just the drugs you order but a bundle of time- and money-saving services as well.

Shipping and handling are free, and eDrugstore’s complimentary online consultation service can spare you a trip to the doctor’s office. You’ll be paired up online for a telemedicine consult with a physician licensed to practice in your state. If the doctor determines that you’re an appropriate candidate for the drug, a prescription will be authorized. To learn more, visit eDrugstore’s Hair Loss page.

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+