Hair loss is a growing concern for a lot of individuals. About 40-50% of people get hair loss starting at the age of 50. As it affects the overall appearance of a person, it causes a significant emotional distress for people who experience this.
Treatments such as medication, hair transplant and chemicals applied to the scalp are available and common and yet some opt for alternative therapies such as acupuncture to address their concern.
Does this practice have any effect to preventing further loss or in increasing the strands on the scalp?
Applications of acupuncture for hair loss
TCM views hair loss as an imbalance in the body’s “Qi” (or energy flow). As we have mentioned in a few of our articles, that Qi is vital to the health of an individual. The practice of acupuncture aims to restore this balance through stimulating specific points on the body (using specific sterile needles), believed to be connected to meridians – pathways through which Qi flows.
For this subject (hair loss), the ideal points to place acupuncture needles are on the scalp, hands, and feet which are commonly targeted. The scientific understanding of acupuncture’s effect on hair loss is still evolving.
Studies have suggested it increases the blood flow to the scalp, improving circulation which could deliver more nutrients and oxygen to and for hair follicles, potentially boosting growth.
Other reports also discuss chronic inflammation around hair follicles is linked to hair loss and that acupuncture therapy’s anti-inflammatory effects counteract this process. A medical report concluded on combined multimodal therapies, acupuncture included, “represents an effective integrative treatment for patients with AA” (Alopecia Areata – bald spot in head).
Still others cite hormones such as testosterone and cortisol can influence hair growth to which acupuncture helps regulate fluctuations of.
The scientific evidence for acupuncture’s effectiveness in treating hair loss is mixed. Some studies suggest it may be beneficial, particularly for alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition causing patchy hair loss. Acupuncture may help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation in the hair follicles, potentially promoting hair regrowth.
What to Consider:
If you’re considering acupuncture for hair loss, here are some key points to remember:
- Acupuncture typically requires multiple sessions over several weeks or months to see potential results. It is not a quick, one and done fix.
- It is always best to consult a licensed acupuncturist experienced in hair loss treatment. They create personalized treatment plans based on your specific needs and conditions.
- While acupuncture can be a complementary therapy, it’s crucial to discuss any underlying medical conditions with your doctor and follow their recommended treatment regimen.
While it is still out for conclusive and definitive effectiveness, acupuncture for hair loss holds as a promising complementary therapy, more particularly for alopecia areata. It has potential to address underlying imbalances, promote scalp and general health, making it a very inviting option for individuals looking at several and alternative solutions. However, manage your expectations, consult qualified practitioners, and feel free to combining them with conventional treatments, if necessary, for a holistic approach to hair loss management.
It is always best to consult your doctor before trying any new treatment, including acupuncture.