A novel nutraceutical effectively and safely improves hair growth and reduces shedding for perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal women, according to a new study.
The safety and efficacy of the nutraceutical supplement, Nutrafol Women’s Balance Capsules (Nutraceutical Wellness Inc), was analyzed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and found to be effective, according to results published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.1
Nutrafol is a proprietary supplement containing bio-optimized phytoactive extracts, as well as vitamins, minerals, and a variety of botanicals. Specifically for Women’s Balance, the supplement has three additional ingredients from the original formula: maca, astaxanthin, and extra saw palmetto. It also includes hydrolyzed marine collagen and organic kelp.2
Glynis Ablon, MD, FAAD, associate professor of clinical dermatology at the University of California at Los Angeles and director of the Ablon Skin Institute and Research Center, and Sophia Kogan, MD, cofounder and chief medical advisor of Nutraceutical Wellness Inc, conducted the research.
Seventy women aged 40 to 65 with self-perceived hair thinning were put randomly into an active treatment group (n = 40) and a placebo group (n = 30).
Prior to administering Nutrafol Women’s Balance Capsules or placebo, the study subjects had a baseline clinic visit that included a physical exam and scalp assessment. They were interviewed about lifestyle habits such as diet, exercise, stress, alcohol use, and smoking.1
Study investigators examined along the frontalis bone, where the frontal and lateral hairlines come together. This location was recorded for future assessments. A square centimeter was marked for monitoring. They used macrophotography to take phototrichograms of the target area to count terminal, vellus, and total hairs.1
Participants in the active group took Nutrafol Women’s Balance Capsules, while the placebo group was given an inert material that looked similar to the supplement taken by the active group. All subjects took 4 capsules with or immediately after a meal around the same time of day. Subjects then completed 90- and a 180-day follow-up visits.
Hair shedding was measured by subjects washing their hair in a cheesecloth covered sink. Fallen hairs were then counted and recorded. Investigators also took 2-dimensional global photographs to help grade hair growth and quality. A blinded investigator scored global hair growth and global hair quality on a 7-point scale (–3 to 3) at 90- and 180-day visits.1
Study investigators reported a statistically significant increase in the number of terminal and vellus hairs from the phototrichogram analysis and noted the active supplement group had a progressive and significant increase in terminal and total hair counts on both 90- and 180-day visits, as well as a significant increase in vellus hair counts.
The active group saw a 32.41% decrease in hair shedding by day 180. In addition, the investigators reported that the supplement was well tolerated.
In an interview Aesthetic Authority®, Ablon says the most important takeaway of the interim study for providers is that it is the first study showing these effective results.
She says providers should educate their patients about diet and nutrition to help them understand how and why Nutrafol Women’s Balance Capsules work.
“They are a natural extension of diet and nutrition,” she says. “They have been rigorously tested, standardized, and rated for efficacy.”
She also says that while the 6-month published study had interim results, the follow-up 12-month study data is in process to be published.3 Results of that follow up study, Ablon says, continues to support that Nutrafol Women’s Balance Capsules reduce shedding and promote hair growth for perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal women.