| Last updated
Researchers in Thailand believe a mangrove tree extract could help to tackle baldness.
The extract, called Avicequinon C, was found to stop the body producing hormones that can result in hair loss.
Thus far, the research team at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences have tested the extract on a group of 50 men and women with androgenic alopecia, the most common form of hair loss.
Participants had made visible improvements after a month, and what's more, it seemed the treatment not only stemmed hair loss, but also boosted hair growth.
This means it may help people who have already lost more than their fair share of hair.
The next step is to test the extract on more volunteers, so that it can be approved by Thailand's Food and Drug Administration.
Should it get the go-ahead, a private company has already bought the patent of the research, which it can use to develop a hair loss product.
Professor Wanchai Deeknamkul, from the faculty of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, said: "We found out it had many benefits. First, it stops the enzymes from producing hair loss hormones and second, it could also help produce the protein that stimulates hair growth.
"We took pictures of the volunteers' heads in every corner and also used a microscope to look at the hair loss area to examine the nature of the hair loss and make an appointment after a month and repeat the same process for four consecutive months.
"We compared pictures of the same spot and found that only after a month, participants showed positive changes with improvement in hair strength that also sticks well to the scalp, while none of the participants showed any allergic reaction."
He added that its natural derivation could make it a more desirable option than synthetic alternatives.
He explained: "We screened more than 50 herbal extracts and more than 20 pure substances and found that Avicennia Marin extract contains the active ingredient Avicequinone C, which inhibits the enzyme that produces hair loss hormones.
"Also, Avicennia Marin extract helps to build proteins that can promote hair growth as well. Thus helping to solve the problem of hair loss completely.
"Several cosmeceutical products claiming to treat hair loss mostly consist of chemically synthesized drugs. Which may cause unwanted side effects especially allergic reactions and skin inflammation and affect the body's system.
"Besides, almost all of them have not been scientifically proven or researched to determine the mechanism of action of the substances used.
"In the past, we've imported synthetic drugs from foreign countries both topical and oral medication, but those only showed results at 30 percent and 48 percent respectively. Furthermore, the side effects were also much more.
"Therefore, extracts from the Avicennia Marin plants found in Thai mangrove forests will reduce the import of those synthetic drugs. It may also be an export product that creates market value for the country as well."
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read