Aromatherapy and Hair Loss
A recently documented study judging the effectiveness of essential oils in the treatment of Alopecia areata
Hay I.C., Jamieson M., Ormerod A.D., Department of Dermatology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Scotland
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy of aromatherapy in the treatment of patients with alopecia areata.
DESIGN: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of 7 months’ duration, with follow-up at 3 and 7 months.
SETTING: Dermatology outpatient department.
PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-six patients diagnosed as having alopecia areata.
INTERVENTION: Eighty-six patients were randomized into 2 groups. The active group massaged essential oils (thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood) in a mixture of carrier oils (jojoba and grapeseed) into their scalp daily. The control group used only carrier oils for their massage, also daily.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Treatment success was evaluated on sequential photographs by 2 dermatologists (I.C.H. and A.D.O.) independently. Similarly, the degree of improvement was measured by 2 methods: a 6-point scale and computerized analysis of traced areas of alopecia.
RESULTS: Nineteen (44%) of 43 patients in the active group showed improvement compared with 6 (15%) of 41 patients in the control group (P =.008). An alopecia scale was applied by blinded observers on sequential photographs and was shown to be reproducible with good interobserver agreement (kappa = 0.84). The degree of improvement on photographic assessment was significant (P =.05). Demographic analysis showed that the 2 groups were well matched for prognostic factors.
CONCLUSIONS: The results show aromatherapy to be a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata. Treatment with these essential oils was significantly more effective than treatment with the carrier oil alone (P =.008 for the primary outcome measure). We also successfully applied an evidence-based method to an alternative therapy.
In research conducted in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland, 43 alopecia patients received daily 2-minute scalp massges with essential oils of thyme, rosemary, lavender, cedarwood, mixed with jojoba and grapeseed oils. Another 43 received scalp massages using just jojoba and grapeseed oils. After seven months, 19 people in the essential-oil group grew hair, compared to 6 people in the control group. The results included one man who regrew a full head of hair from an almost completely bald scalp, says Isabelle C. Hay, MRCP, the medical doctor and specialist in dermatology who spearheaded the study. The above comments were excerpted from Prevention magazine.
You may try our version of the blend described above which we call Stimulating Scalp Oil in our online shop.