The Nettle plant is a popular herbal remedy for hair loss. Conventional consideration attributes nettle\s pro-hair effects to its ability to "block DHT". When the fact of the matter is, the androgen/DHT theory of hair loss is highly misconstrued and has been disproven on many accounts.
However, despite the inaccuracy of nettle root's physiological mechanisms for promoting hair health, nettle does indeed have profound capabilities in restoring hair.
In this article, we will discuss two more probably and accurate mechanisms in which nettle corrects hair loss and promotes hair growth.
2 Ways Nettle Corrects Hair Loss
1. Prostaglandins: Researcher Garza et al made a landmark discovery that prostaglandin D2 inhibited hair growth and accumulates in the scalps of balding men. Prostaglandin D2 is synthesized from the so-called "essential fatty acid", arachidonic acid, which is comprised mostly from linoleic acid, in the liver.
In study, it was found that PGD2 inhibits hair growth in explanted human hair follicles and when applied topically to mice. The researched demonstrated that elevated levels of PGD2 in the scalp develops alopecia through follicular miniaturization, and the hyperactivity of the sebaceous gland, which are all hallmarks of alopecia.
These results clearly define PGD2 as an inhibitor of hair growth and therefore suggest the inhibition of PGD2 pathway as a potential therapy for hair loss.
Fortunately, nettle root extract also inhibits prostaglandin formation through inhibition of Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and Hematopoietic Prostaglandin D(2) synthase (HPGDS), central enzymes in pro-inflammatory pathways. 1, 2
2. Anti-aromatase: Estrogen plays major roles in the development of hair loss; it induces mast cell degranulation and releases inflammatory agents such as histamine, prostaglandins, serotonin, and nitric oxide. In addition, it inhibits carbon dioxide production, which further inhibits mast cell degranulation.
Nettle root extract constituents have been found to possess anti-aromatase activities which will help stop the conversion of androgens to estrogen that would attribute to elevated estrogen. 3
The Bottom Line
Although the DHT theory is an inaccurate measurement of hair loss; as well as a poor therapy, nettle is indeed a very helpful herb for restoring the hair. It has two well established mechanisms for correcting the underlying inflammation associated with hair loss - namely, the inhibition of prostaglandins D2, the degranulation of mast cells and the production of estrogen.