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How Effective Is Melatonin for Hair Loss?

Melatonin, which occurs naturally in the human body, is responsible for promoting sleep.
A man starting to lose his hair.
Research has not confirmed whether melatonin supplementation can treat hair loss.
A man with a bald spot.
Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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The effectiveness of using melatonin for hair loss is not well understood. One study has been conducted as of the time of this writing which indicated that using melatonin may reduce hair thinning, but more research is needed to determine exactly how effective this treatment may be. Doctors usually do not recommend the use of melatonin for this purpose, although it is available as a dietary supplement sold over the counter.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring substance produced by the human body. It is responsible for promoting sleep, and its production is stimulated by darkness. Most often, melatonin supplements are used to help with insomnia. There are other health conditions which may be treated with melatonin, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome. More recently research has been done on the benefits of melatonin for hair loss, but more studies need to be conducted in order to determine if it is a viable treatment option.

Although not specifically recommended, the use of melatonin for hair loss is generally not considered harmful. If there are no preexisting medical conditions, patients should speak with their doctors to determine if taking melatonin for hair loss treatment would be safe option.

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Those with certain medical conditions may not be able to take melatonin. It's also not recommended for those taking certain antidepressants and other supplements. Since potential interactions may not be fully understood, patients should always discuss their desire to use this substance with a doctor or pharmacist. It is also important that they follow all dosage instructions carefully. Consumers should not attempt to treat any medication with over the counter melatonin, or any supplements, without first speaking with a health care professional.

Because thinning of the hair may be caused by any number of conditions, use of melatonin for hair loss may not be effective at all in some instances. There are other various over the counter and prescription treatments available to treat hair loss. Patients are encouraged to speak with their doctors about potential treatment options.

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