Red Clover and Hair Growth

The benefits of red clover for alopecia and hair growth.

I read recently online that red clover can help prevent/slow down hair loss in menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Red clover is apparently a rich source of isoflavones, which are water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens, helping to prolong the anagen cycle of the hair follicle (the growing cycle). It also contains other beneficial nutrients, such as calcium, chromium, magnesium niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C.

Red clover is a perennial herb from Asia and Europe, also known as a cow clover, meadow clover, purple clover, and trefoil. It is the red and purple flowers of this plant that are dried and used to make the supplements. When you consider that red clover is used to treat skin inflammation, among other disorders*, it stands to reason that it would help with alopecia – which in the case of scarring alopecia at least, is caused by skin inflammation.

*In case you’re interested, red clover is also used to treat respiratory problems, whooping cough and premenstrual and menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, pain and breast tenderness.

Apparently, according to a source online, you can take red clover supplements, drink it as a tea or rinse your hair with it. However, I notice on the webmd website it says that there ‘isn’t enough information to rate the safety of red clover when applied to the skin’.

Here’s the list of side-effects from the webmd website

I’ve been taking red clover supplements in the form of capsules for the last couple of weeks. I’m only taking half the recommended dose, and it’s very early days, but I’ll obviously report on any benefits.

See you soon

Rachel x

Slowing the Progression of FFA

My Attempts To Slow Down Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

There’s quite a lot (I have discovered) that I can do to try and halt / slow down the progression of my frontal fibrosing alopecia.

  1. My hairdresser told me to eat more protein, such as chicken. I like chicken, so that Steak - good source of protein for frontal fibrosing alopecia managementone is easy. Someone else with the same condition has told me to eat more red meat – so for the first time the other day I cooked steak. In order to make sure I get a good quality protein every day, however, I have started taking spirulina powder in orange juice with my breakfast.
  2. The specialist who did my biopsy said to take iron. I had already researched this for myself and had been taking it for a couple of weeks prior to my appointment. Rather than take iron tablets, I have been taking wheatgrass, which is rich in iron. I add this to the spirulina in my orange juice.
  3. I have added two new drinks to my daily regime too. One is green tea, which I now drink all the time at home and is full of anti-oxidants. (At work I tend to stick to normal black tea.) The other is beetroot juice. Beetroot was mentioned by my hairdresser as being good for hair. When I looked it up online I found it contains protein, iron and nutrients such as manganese, copper, vitamin B6 and folic acid. Skin, hair and nails supplement for frontal fibrosing alopecia
  4. I am taking a supplement as recommended by the dermatologist I saw initially. It is for hair, skin and nails. Zinc is one of its active ingredients for hair. Among the other ingredients is iron, so I probably need to watch that I’m not taking too much iron. The one I use is called Perfectil, but there are supermarket own hair, skin and nails supplements too.
  5. I have a friend who is a holistic therapist. When she heard about my alopecia, she suggested a weekly Indian head massage to stimulate the hair follicles. On a Friday, she massages my head and then I massage hers. An added benefit is that the treatment is deeply relaxing.
  6. Searching about on the internet, I discovered a blend of essential oils that had been highlighted in a Scottish study to promote hair growth in 44% of the study group. The blend is as follows:

4 tsp. grapeseed oil + ½ tsp. jojoba oil
2 drops cedarwood essential oil
2 drops thyme essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops rosemary essential oil

My holistic therapist friend made up the blend of oils for me and I use them when             my hair needs washing, as the rest of the time I am using the steroid lotion I have               been given on prescription. This means that I apply the blend every two or three                 days.

  1. I have swapped to a shampoo and conditioner that don’t contain silicones, sulphates, parabens or colourants to try and minimise any further damage to my hair and scalp.Laptop
  2. I am taking more time to relax. For me this mainly means switching my laptop off earlier in the evening and going to bed on time. If I wake up in the night to have a little worry about my hair (or a million other things) and find I can’t get back to sleep, I listen to a meditation. I have a link to it on my phone so I can find it easily. The meditation I have chosen takes 20 minutes and helps to declutter your mind. It works as it calms me down and I often fall asleep listening to it.
  3. At night before I go to sleep, I hang upside down – not exactly like a bat, but with my head over the edge of the bed and my legs up the wall. The point is to get the blood to my head. I have no idea whether this is beneficial, but it feels like it might be and gives me something to do while I’m flossing my teeth!
  4. I used to enjoy swimming, but since I’d rather not get chlorine on my scalp at the moment, I have changed my exercise to walking. I do this whenever I get the chance (not that often), but some exercise is better than none to get the circulation going.

See you soon 🙂

Rachel x