Chilli and Capsicin against Hair Loss
The use of chilli pepper and the capsicin contained in it against hair loss is a practice that has its roots already in the distant past.
In fact, an ancient strategy still in vogue to combat hair loss consists precisely in the application of rubefacant substances on the scalp; these substances - among which capsaicin extracted from chili peppers stands out - are able to induce a local vasodilation in the site of application, evidenced by the slight burning sensation and by the redness of the affected area and which can help to counteract, or at least slow down, hair loss.
Mechanism of action
As mentioned, the use of chili pepper against hair loss is carried out for the vasodilating properties of which the capsicin (or capsaicin, if you prefer) contained in it is endowed.
The increased blood flow resulting from vasodilation, in fact, would bring with it nutrients and oxygen available to the hair follicles, which would thus have available all the substances necessary for their metabolic activity. The local blood flow is also stimulated by regular massage of the scalp, a practice generally recommended to combat hair loss.
However, the hypothesis that baldness may have an ischemic origin is currently considered poorly reliable, or at least of marginal importance. Together with oxygen and nutrients, the increased blood flow to the scalp, guaranteed by the local application of shampoos and lotions based on capsicin and similar substances, also brings with it greater quantities of testosterone, which is transformed within the hair bulbs. by 5-alpha-reductase enzymes to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This derivative of testosterone is still considered the real responsible for the majority of cases of hair loss, both in men and women. Just to underline this hormonal origin of the problem, but also a certain predisposition due to the sensitivity of the hair bulbs to the action. of androgens, we speak of androgenetic alopecia.
Despite the observations made so far about the actual cause of hair loss, capsicin and rubefacient substances in general (including nicotinic acid esters, phenol, resorcinol, rosemary essential oil) continue to be widely used ingredients. inside shampoos and anti-hair loss lotions.
Their application, in fact, together with the scalp massage, can - by elasticizing the galea capitis and stimulating the blood flow - prove to be a useful aid in delaying hair loss thanks to the improved trophism of the bulbs.
The presence of chili pepper extracts in a shampoo or lotion therefore makes sense within a broader formula, in which there are also plant extracts rich in vitamins (with biotin and pantothenic acid in the foreground), amino acids (mainly sulphites). ), trace elements and antioxidants, together with substances able to counteract the local production of DHT, such as azelaic acid, Serenoa Repens (Saw palmetto), Pygeum africanum (African pigeo) e Urtica dioica (nettle, roots).
In support of the use of capsicin and rubefacient substances in general, we recall how the anti-hair loss efficacy of minoxidil (together with finasteride, one of the two medicines approved by the FDA against hair loss), applied topically, could be linked precisely to its vasodilating activity, once exploited in medicine in the treatment of arterial hypertension.
Do It Yourself Remedies
As always happens in the field of hair care, also in this case, there is certainly no shortage of natural remedies to combat hair loss. Among these, we find several that involve the use of hot pepper.
There are many do-it-yourself "recipes" for the preparation of homemade lotions suitable for combating hair loss. Here are some of them.
Chilli and olive oil lotion
This recipe involves the preparation of an anti-hair loss lotion with 500 ml of olive oil, inside which 25 grams of dried chilli must be added. This mixture must then be stored in a dark glass container and left to macerate for at least 10 days.
After this time, the lotion can be used in the quantity of one or two tablespoons to be distributed on the scalp by performing a massage. At the end of this procedure, the hair should be washed with a normal shampoo.
Alcoholic pepper lotion
The alcoholic chilli lotion against hair loss is prepared by letting three whole chilies macerate in 250 ml of alcohol at 95 degrees (like the one used in the production of liqueurs). Again, the peppers must macerate away from light for a period of 10 days. After this time, the chillies are eliminated and the lotion thus obtained can be applied by rubbing the scalp once a day.
After handling the aforementioned lotions, it is of fundamental importance to wash your hands carefully and not to touch the eyes, mucous membranes or other areas of the body, as it can also cause very serious irritation.
In any case, in general, it is always good to avoid resorting to the use of do-it-yourself remedies and home recipes, since - however common the ingredients used are - it is not possible in any way to know the actual concentration of active substances. (in this case, of capsaicin) present in these domestic preparations. This concentration, in fact, could be too low, resulting therefore ineffective, as well as it could be excessive, leading to irritation and various side effects.
For the aforementioned reasons, in case of baldness and in case you want to resort to the use of chilli pepper and capsicin against hair loss, it is always good to contact professional doctors in the sector who will be able to identify the problem and prescribe the therapies - pharmacological and non-pharmacological - that are best suited to each individual case.