Emu oil is one of the best topical treatments for hair loss. It has constantly produced positive results for men and women experiencing hair loss of all types. Some have even reported small amounts of new growth within weeks.
What is it?
Emu oil is produced from the native Australian bird, the Emu. The oil has been used for many years by Aboriginal Australians for many different purposes including to soothe dry and burnt skin and to treat other skin problems. The oil comes from the thick padding of fat on the back of the emu.
Almost 100% of the oil, when rendered correctly, is made up of triglycerides. For this reason, it is much more permeable on the skin, as compared to other oils. Which means, that besides it's other beneficial properties, the oil can be used as a carrier for other hair growth medicinal substances.
Properties of Emu Oil for Hair Loss
We've already discussed the important property of permeability. Another interesting property of the oil, which makes it key for hair loss, is that it is an anti-inflammatory. It has been accepted that hair loss is probably in large part due to an inflammatory process. Anything that decreases inflammation on the scalp, in theory, should help stop hair loss. Research on the anti-inflammatory property of emu oil is ongoing. There is a lot of evidence supporting the anti-inflammatory ability of the oil as it is also has been successfully used to ease pain resulting from arthritis, reduce muscle pain related to sports injuries, and reduce bruising.
Even more significantly, emu oil has been shown to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that metabolizes testosterone into DHT. DHT is known to attack hair follicles and leads to balding. This pathway is thought to be the reason for male pattern balding, and probably plays a role in some female alopecia. The take away here: stop 5-alpha-reductase, stop DHT, and you will probably be helping to stop some kinds of hair loss.
Unlike other types of oils, emu oil will not irritate your scalp or your skin. It is also non comedogenic, which is why many women are also able to use it on the face as a moisturizer and to combat wrinkles. Additionally, women have noted that they thicker skin after use (which coincidentally tends to be thinner in those suffering from hair loss).
List of the Beneficial Properties of Emu Oil for Hair Loss
- Highly permeable
- No side effects
- No odor or staining
- Speeds wound healing
Where's The Proof?
Well to be perfectly honest, we don't have "proof"... but we definitely have evidence. There have been many clinical studies that support the above-mentioned properties. We'll review one couple below but for more information you can visit website of The American Emu Association. There you'll find several white papers available for review.
Dr. Michael Holick, MD, Ph.D. conducted a study at Boston University school of Medicine, which looked at hair growth in shaved mice. The double blind study topically applied the oil to shaved mice, and use corn oil as the control. Dr. Holick found that where emu oil was applied, DNA synthesis (growth activity) increased by as much as twenty percent. He also found that the dormant hair follicles had been "woken up and began growing hair." It seems that in the emu oil was responsible for stimulating the hair follicles on these mice.
What Kind of Emu Oil Should You Buy
Not all oils are the same. You want to buy the most potent and effective oil. This means that the oil must be processed correctly, or else the product can be almost useless. Here are some tips you should keep in mind when you are considering which emu oil you should buy:
- Make sure that you buy oil that has not been contaminated by hormones, blood, or emu meat. You can do this by purchasing from a company that ensures that the bird has been handled properly.
- One of the most important things about emu oil is that is entirely made up of trans fatty acids. If the oil has been incorrectly processed (under high heat), the trans fatty acids will not be produced.
- Solvents, degummers, sodium hydroxides, should not be used in processing the oil. Top quality oils will not have been refined with these as they can remove other important substances.
- No preservatives should be added. As mentioned earlier emu oil is an antibacterial- so preservatives should not be necessary.
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