Combination of fish oil and GLA stimulates hair growth
Supplementation with a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and GLA, plus some vitamins and a pinch of lycopene, improves the condition of the hair. It makes hair denser and thicker, French researchers report in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
For six months, researchers at the French Laboratoires Inneov gave 80 women aged 18-65 a supplement containing 460 milligrams of fish oil, 460 milligrams of blackcurrant seed oil, 30 milligrams of vitamin C, 5 milligrams of vitamin E and 1 milligram of lycopene. Blackcurrant seed oil consists of 15 percent GLA and 13 percent ALA.
A control group of 40 women received nothing at all. So they didn't get a placebo.
Before and after the supplementation period, experts assessed the women's hair density using photos like the one below. The table below was created on this basis. Roughly speaking, the hair density in the supplementation group increased slightly.
The researchers plucked some hair from all subjects and then determined what percentage of those hairs were in the telogen phase. This means that the hairs stopped growing and could fall out at any time. The researchers found that the supplement reduced the percentage of end-of-life hairs.
The hairs in the anagen phase - i.e. hairs that grew - were also thicker in the supplementation group than in the control group.
The researchers suspect that the measured effects are mainly due to the fatty acids in the supplement. They base this on an unpublished study by L'Oreal, which is said to have shown that a diet with a relatively high amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids reduces the risk of hair loss and other hair problems.
As far as we have been able to find out, there is no supplement on the market with the composition of the product that the researchers have tested. Inneov does have a product on the market that is supposed to promote hair growth, but the composition does not resemble the supplement that this post is about.
J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Mar;14(1):76-82.
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