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SupplementsTongkat Ali

Does Tongkat Ali Cause Hair Loss? What You Need To Know

Hair loss is a common concern for many men as they get older. Some turn to supplements like tongkat ali, hoping it can help prevent thinning hair. But does tongkat ali cause hair loss, or could it promote hair growth? Here we’ll look at the evidence surrounding DHT and hair growth.

What is Tongkat Ali?

Tongkat ali is an herbal supplement made from the roots of the Eurycoma longifolia tree native to Southeast Asia. Also known as Malaysian ginseng, tongkat ali has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.

Today, it’s often taken to boost testosterone levels and improve libido and fertility in men. Some also believe it may help prevent hair loss, although limited research supports this.

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Can Tongkat Ali Promote Hair Growth?

While research is limited, there is some indication that tongkat ali may help with hair growth. The proposed mechanism is that it can raise testosterone levels, which may stimulate follicles and encourage growth.

One small study did find that taking Tongkat ali extract for 5 weeks increased testosterone in older adults compared to a placebo. Since higher testosterone is linked with more robust hair growth, this provides some evidence that Tongkat ali may have benefits.

However, more research is still needed. There have been no direct clinical trials looking specifically at tongkat ali and hair growth. Further studies are required to determine conclusively if it can actively prevent baldness or thinning hair when taken as a supplement. But the current evidence shows potential.

Does Tongkat Ali Increase Hair Loss?

There is no solid scientific evidence that Tongkat ali causes hair loss or thinning. Most studies indicate it does not have any significant impact on hair loss one way or the other.

Some speculation stems from the fact that tongkat ali may increase testosterone. While testosterone is important for hair growth, it can also be converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is linked to male pattern baldness.

However, human studies show inconsistent results on whether tongkat ali increases DHT. Some research in rats found increased DHT, while other human studies showed no change in DHT levels.

Overall, current data does not indicate that tongkat ali is likely to either substantially increase or decrease DHT enough to noticeably affect hair growth or loss patterns for most people. More studies are needed for definitive conclusions.

Other Factors That Affect Hair Loss

While supplements like tongkat ali show little evidence for preventing hair loss, other factors play a role:

  • Genetics – Male and female pattern baldness is predominantly determined by genetics. Those with a family history are most at risk.
  • Age – Hair loss progresses with age, as follicles shrink and produce thinner hairs over time.
  • Stress – High-stress levels raise cortisol, which can disrupt the hair growth cycle and cause shedding. Managing stress is important.
  • Diet – Getting sufficient protein, iron, zinc, and vitamins promotes healthy hair. Deficiencies may lead to increased hair loss.
  • Medical conditions – Thyroid disorders, anemia, and other conditions can sometimes trigger hair loss.

Is Tongkat Ali Safe for Men Dealing With Hair Loss?

In small doses of 200-400mg per day, Tongkat ali appears relatively safe for most healthy adults. Mild side effects like restlessness, increased body temperature, and quicker heart rate may occur.

There are no known interactions between Tongkat ali and common hair loss medications like minoxidil or finasteride. However, due to the lack of safety research, Tongkat ali isn’t recommended for women or children for any purpose.

As with any supplement, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before starting tongkat ali to discuss whether it’s appropriate for your health needs and hair loss goals.

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Tongkat Ali Complex by Double Wood Supplements

Double Wood adds 20 mg of Tribulus terrestris to enhance muscle strength and improve body composition, making this a great supplement for athletes.

The Bottom Line

Based on current research, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that tongkat ali causes hair loss or thinning when taken as a supplement. While it may potentially raise testosterone levels, human studies show inconsistent effects on DHT – which more directly impacts male pattern baldness. Much more research is still needed to determine if tongkat ali noticeably affects hair shedding or thinning for most people.

For men concerned about losing their hair, proven medical treatments like finasteride and minoxidil are more reliable when used under a doctor’s supervision. Lifestyle factors like stress management and diet also play an essential role in supporting hair health.

Speak to a dermatologist to develop a personalized hair loss prevention plan suited to your needs. The focus should remain on evidence-based approaches with demonstrated efficacy for stopping balding and thinning hair. Tongkat ali and other natural supplements require further study before being recommended as treatments.

About the author

Holden Desalles is a journalist in the new wellness space, covering topics such as CBD, adaptogens, and nootropics. He was formerly a staff writer at the millennial lifestyle website Thought Catalog.

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