How to Use Black Currant Oil for Hair Loss and Better Health
Black currant oil is an unusually powerful nutritional oil with many health benefits.
Ahead is how the gamma linoleic acid and other nutrition in black currant seed oil may help treat and prevent thinning hair, the best dosage for hair loss and other potential benefits of black currant oil.
Hormones, Hair Loss and Fatty Acids
Androgenic alopecia is a form of hair loss that can affect both men and women. In men the condition is also known as male pattern baldness and leads to a receding hairline, loss of hair on the crown and eventual baldness.
For women, androgenic alopecia is characterized by thinning hair over the entire scalp, with usually the worst hair loss in the crown region.
There are many factors that can contribute to losing your hair, but a deficiency in certain important fatty acids is a common one. Here’s where taking high quality black currant oil capsules like this ones I take can help.
The seeds of black currants are extremely rich in 3 valuable fatty acids for healthier hair and better health in general. Black currant seed oil like this contains high levels of gamma linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid and stearidonic acid. Let’s have a quick look at each of them.
Gamma Linoleic Acid
Black currant oil is one of the richest known sources of gamma linoleic acid, also called GLA, with up to 20% content. This fatty acid has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is often recommended for health conditions resulting from inflammation like arthritis.
In terms of hair loss, the GLA in black currant seed oil can inhibit the change from testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by way of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. Excessive dihydrotestosterone in your body can attack hair follicle and by blocking DHT production, black currant oil may help prevent further hair loss due to androgenic alopecia in both men and women.
Pumpkin seeds are another natural and powerful DHT blocker, well worth adding to the diet of anyone concerned about their hair. There’s much more on how to use raw pumpkin seeds for hair loss and prostate problems here.
Alpha Linolenic Acid
The anti-inflammatory effects of black currant seed oil are also greatly enhanced by its high alpha linolenic acid (ALA) content, usually between 12% and 15%.
ALA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid, yet dietary intake of omega-3s has diminished greatly in recent decades with our increased intake of processed foods, virtually devoid of this vital nutrient.
Omega-3 fatty acids like the alpha linolenic acid in black currant oil are a precursor to anti-inflammatory series 3 prostaglandins. They specifically counteract inflammatory series 2 prostaglandins formed from processed omega 6 fats, like those found in processed vegetable oils and margarine.
This is particularly important for people with thinning hair as prostaglandin D2 (a series 2 prostaglandins) has recently been identified as a likely contributing factor in accelerated hair loss.
Getting good levels of omega-3 fats into your diet, and importantly lowering your intake of omega-6 fats from processed vegetable oils, should help get the balance right between pro-and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
There are many more health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for your skin, hair and general health and well-being in the articles on flaxseed oil on Superfood Profiles, the richest natural source of ALA. Taking a high quality fish oil for its concentrated EPA and DHA omega-3 is also highly recommended for preventing hair loss.
A lesser-known omega-3 fatty acid, stearidonic acid is also involved in mediating your body’s anti-inflammatory responses. While we can make stearidonic acid inside our bodies (and indeed gamma linoleic acid) with the delta-6-desaturase enzyme, levels of this enzyme are generally greatly reduced as we age and with modern unhealthy diets.
This makes supplementing with a high source of GLA, ALA and stearidonic acid like black currant oil a smart choice, especially if your body is showing signs of deficiency in these fatty acids, like thinning hair and poor skin tone.
Black Currant Seed Oil Dosage
The most common recommended dosage for taking black currant oil is two 500 mg capsules twice a day, once with breakfast and once with dinner. However, many report even better and faster results with three capsules equaling 1500 milligrams in total per day, ideally one with every main meal.
Like all nutritional treatments for hair growth, it can take a while to see full results simply because hair itself takes so long to grow. Generally, taking a high GLA black currant oil like this one would help reduce further hair loss quickly if fatty acid deficiencies were contributing to the problem. Even so, it’s likely to be at least a month, more often two or three months before results can be seen clearly.
An improvement in your skin’s appearance is more likely to be noticeable first, particularly if you are deficient in gamma linoleic acid or omega-3 fats. This is due to how quickly skin cells regenerate compared to hair follicles.
Other Health Benefits of Black Currant Oil
The high levels of beneficial fatty acids in black currant seed oil like GLA, ALA and stearidonic acid can have many other benefits for your health. Here’s 3 of the best.
Your skin is also highly sensitive to a deficiency in important fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Taking black currant oil is often reported to help with inflammatory skin diseases like acne, eczema and even psoriasis.
Additionally, gamma linoleic acid is involved in melanin production and may help normalize pigmentation problems like age spots and uneven skin coloration.
Your brain is highly reliant on omega-3 fats and increasing your intake has been shown to have a beneficial effect on a variety of different brain related conditions. These can be as wide-ranging as mood and stress reduction, treating learning disorders in children, reducing migraines, lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and improving the quality of your sleep.
A good fish oil, like this orange flavored one from Norway that I take, is an even better source of omega-3 fatty acids, but black currant seed oil is still a high source.
As already detailed above, ALA, GLA and stearidonic acid can contribute to reducing excessive inflammation response in your body due to a high intake of unnatural omega-6 fats found in many processed foods.
The effects of lowering inflammation within your body can be quite profound as most diseases that we think of as completely unrelated, whether arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, skin complaints or thinning hair are all essentially diseases of inflammation.
Unhealthy diets and lifestyles are behind excessive inflammation and no one supplement can prevent all of these problems. But black currant seed oil is rich in the right kind of fatty acids to help swing the balance back a bit further in the right direction.
If you’d like to try black currant oil for hair loss and thinning hair or some of the other health benefits discussed here, this is the best version I’ve found and use myself. It’s produced without the solvent hexane and uses the much superior cold pressing method.
Not many people have heard of black currant seed oil before so please share this information with your friends. You might also like to try this smoothie recipe for hair growth that combines many different superfoods for hair, including black currant oil, into a delicious drink.
Correcting simple nutritional deficiencies can often result in significant improvements. Not just in your appearance with better hair and skin, but also in relation to many other different health conditions.
Photo 1: Karen Jackson
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