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Ingredient Spotlight: Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto & Hair Loss - Can Saw Palmetto Help?


Estimated Read Time:  3.5 minutes


Summary: In this blog we detail and explore what saw palmetto is and how it works for hair. We’ll discuss what saw palmetto does, whether you should be using it in your hair care and the saw palmetto benefits. Read on to discover more about saw palmetto, where it comes from and how it can serve your mane…


What Is Saw Palmetto?

Saw palmetto is a herb plant that’s shrub sized, native to the Caribbean and found in the South East of the USA. It was first used for medicinal purposes, as well as for food, by the Native Americans. Saw palmetto in its supplement form is usually derived from this plant’s berries and made into a powder.

Saw Palmetto & Hair Loss - What Can It Do?

Saw palmetto is thought to help in blocking and preventing the effects of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone).

High testosterone levels have been linked to hair loss across all genders; specifically DHT which is derived from testosterone by the body by using an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5-AR). Once DHT is in the bloodstream, it can travel to the scalp and attach to the hair follicles causing them to reduce the capability of the follicle when producing healthy hair.

It’s believed that saw palmetto can help stop the body converting DHT from testosterone, whilst also prevent the absorption of it. It’s thought to benefit all hair types and textures suffering hair loss too, in both of the sexes.

What Are The Saw Palmetto Benefits?

Official research on the effectiveness of saw palmetto on hair and it’s growth is limited but very promising. This study found that half of their participants increased their hair count by nearly 12% after 16 weeks of topical saw palmetto treatments (combined with a 10% trichogen veg complex). This medical study saw noticeable improvements to hair growth after the introduction of saw palmetto too.

Saw palmetto is also thought to fight inflammation because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties. The more inflamed the scalp is, the less optimal the hair growth environment is. Improving the condition of the scalp can only improve the hair that grows from it.

Saw palmetto is also touted to strengthen the hair follicles. A stronger follicle can only mean good news for the hair strands which rely on the scalp’s health. So, saw palmetto can be great news for thinning and weak hair too – not just for those experiencing pure loss (alopecia).

Related Read

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Where Can I Find Saw Palmetto?

You can find saw palmetto in Cel’s Microstem Shampoo and Conditioner which both work to prevent hair loss, promote new hair growth, and strengthen existing hair. It’s also located in Cel’s Hair Thickening Mask which is a nourishing hair mask for thin hair. It works to provide hydration to both scalp and hair strands and provides much needed support for thinning locks. It includes other active hair-fuelling ingredients such as biotin too!

Saw palmetto is also available in supplement forms such as tablets, powder capsules, liquid extracts and as whole dried berries.

Are There Saw Palmetto Side Effects?

Saw palmetto is generally considered a safe, natural product but very rare side effects have been reported. Those include head aches and stomach aches.

Saw palmetto may also thin the blood. Therefore if you take blood thinning medication, you should always talk through supplemental choices with your doctor before trying them out. If you’re on the medication Finasteride, you should not be taking saw palmetto supplements. 

Saw palmetto is not currently recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and it’s recommended that you don’t combine using oral contraception with saw palmetto supplements either. This is because of the way saw palmetto interacts with your body’s hormones – it could reduce the contraceptive’s effectiveness.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, you should always consult with a doctor first before trying new methods of helping hair growth. This is so you can be sure there are no underlying issues like hormonal imbalances or health problems of which hair thinning and loss are a symptom of.

Always let your physician know when you’re taking supplements so they can advise you, and keep it on your record.

Related Reads

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Alopecia Areata – The Best Products To Use And When




Research Gate

National Library of Medicine USA



Sarah Milton

A passionate content writer, with a specific interest in the science behind hair care. Having created content for several years, I’ve grown my knowledge exponentially in the science behind hair growth, quality and texture, and what ingredients our tresses need to thrive. When not in the office, I’m walking my dog along the beach or invested in a brilliant television drama.


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