Now we Really Must Save the Bees

It seems like almost every month, new articles come out that promote yet another natural remedy to treat hair loss. Most of the time, there is limited to no reliable scientific evidence or reputable study backing the benefits of the said remedy on hair growth. Consequently, I rarely try to cover such developments on this blog. However, every now and again, a natural remedy with some scientific validity does pop up and this week is one of those rare instances.

Scientists (led by Dr. Ken Kobayashi) in Japan have found that using a product made by bees called propolis on mice whose hair had been shaved or waxed resulted in faster hair regrowth in comparison to regrowth in shaved or waxed mice on whom no such product was applied.  Upon initially reading this summary, I was not that impressed, since all that propolis seems to do is increase the pace of growth of already existing hair.  And to rub it in, the results have only been shown on mice as seems to be the curse of almost all hair loss research ever conducted.

Joking aside, as I read more about this study, I changed my mind regarding its lack of any significant importance. Apparently, propolis contains anti-inflammatory compounds.  In fact the study authors seem to suggest that all hair loss has an inflammatory component to it.  Perhaps this bodes well for all the recent excitement about new miracle alopecia areata treatment related anti-inflammatory drugs potentially also working in treating regular androgenic alopecia? We can definitely hope.

Last and perhaps of most importance, the scientists also noticed that after the topical application of propolis on the mice “the number of special cells involved in the process of growing hair increased.” Propolis seems to stimulate hair growth by inducing hair keratinocyte proliferation. This is quite extraordinary, and further supports the intelligence of many of our ancestors who used propolis for quite a few medical applications.  It seems like propolis can be purchased at most health food stores and pharmacies. Moreover, Several hair products with bee propolis in them have good reviews on Amazon, including Iden Bee Propolis Treatment and Iden Bee Nourished Shampoo & Conditioner Duo Pack.

12 thoughts on “Now we Really Must Save the Bees”

  1. Interesting news. Now who will fund a proper double blind study?
    Question: why do you say you won’t be taking it any time soon?

  2. Hi Adi,

    I am getting decent results from low-frequency use of Minoxidil and Finasteride, and do not feel like adding anything more to my regimen unless the benefits (on human hair) are significant. Maybe I will change my mind if others on forums try this product and see some obvious new hair growth or if the Japanese team tests propolis successfully on humans.

  3. This *is* interesting. 5% Rogaine was nothing short of a disaster for me… I didn’t realize it at the time, but the way it inflamed my scalp (SERIOUS itching which had never existed before, red splotchy patches and gray/dark spots) was probably a huge factor in the fact that I shed for 8 months, lost half my hair, and it never recovered. For a while I figured it was just me losing my hair, but now that I think on it, it took only 2 weeks for my hair to go from completely full-head with some minor thinning in the front that I only noticed by feel and couldn’t tell by sight, to wow my hairline is totally broken up. It began to recede and never recovered.

    I was on Fin + 1% niz for 7 months with no results and have switched to dut for the last month, with no slowing in my thinning and recession. Pretty sure I’m just screwed. But I guess it couldn’t hurt to try this on my temples whch are now nearly bare.

  4. Hello , I know that this comment has nothing to do with the original topic of the post . But you have seen the last show the the bald truth ? – Propecia : one small step for man , one giant step for ” sufferers ” is incredible , really sad . I ‘ll never recorded in that forum (the bald truth ), is a real shame that there is any kind of treatment and no cure aids MPB . It’s all very strange. Follica should have something already …

  5. si todos hablan de 5 o 10 años pero calculo que en 2016 con los resultados de replicel y tal vez histogen ya tendremos un panorama de si la tecnica sirve o no.
    Segun david hall es un tema de dosis y de frecuencia de las inyecciones. Si logran que cada aplicacion genere cabello , en teoria se lograria cubrir todo el cuero cabelludo. En caso de que estas tecnicas fracasen, queda esperar por TSUJI LABS que sería la cura definitiva.- En 2012 dijeron que en 3 a 5 años empezaban las pruebas en humanos y ya estamos en 2015 asi que hay que esperar novedades.

  6. fase 2 de replicel dicen que estaran en 2016 los resultados. Shiseido empieza a la par creo la misma fase. Esto si empiezan el 1er cuatrimestre de 2015 como dicen. Creo que inyectan y luego de 3 meses repiten la inyeccion para ver si incrementa el porcentaje de crecimiento. Si es positivo calculo que en fase 3 seguiran aumentando las inyecciones y dosis hasta lograr el maximo porcentaje. Si se queda en 10% como en la fase 1, calculo que no habrá fase 3 porque habran fallado. Esperemos que no 😉

    1. Pero shiseido va a evitar fase 3. Ellos tienen otras leyes. Así que se supone que si la fase 2 llega a buen puerto ya lanzarían un producto. No es así?

  7. asi es. Con las leyes japonesas creo que se acelera todo y si funciona saldría antes en japon. Eso dicen los de Replicel en Facebook. Si funciona, calculo que para 2017 lo podrían comercializar.

  8. Hi there great site! Out of curiosity when you say you are seeing results with low frequency minoxidil and finasteride, what is your actual usage for both products and how frequently do you use them. I have started to use monoxidil 5 once a day to reduce dryness

  9. Hi Alexia, thanks!

    I tend to use Rogaine foam once every two days these days, but for a long time in the past, I tried to use it once every day. Ideally, they recommend that you should use it twice per day.

    I take a 1/4 tab of 5mg Proscar (so 1.25 mg Finasteride) every second day. i.e., 0.625 mg Finasteride average daily dose, although you can’t really say that for sure due to the way half life works and due to the fact that my pills are rarely cut precisely into 1/4 tabs.

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