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In the search for effective solutions to combat hair loss, we often find ourselves exploring a wide range of options. One such option gaining attention is astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant derived from micro-algae. At Sire, we stay on top of trending hair loss solutions. In this article, we aim to provide comprehensive insights about astaxanthin, backed by science and research.

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Understanding Astaxanthin

What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment with red colouring properties. It is produced naturally in micro-algae in response to environmental stress e.g. lack of nutrients or excessive sunshine. Animals who feed on the algae, such as salmon and crustaceans like crab and lobster, reflect the red-orange astaxanthin pigmentation. 

Current Uses 

Synthetic astaxanthin finds its predominant use today as an additive in animal feed to enhance colouration. This is notably seen in farm-raised salmon and chicken egg yolks. The US FDA has granted approval for the drug as a food colouring agent, specifically for use in animal and fish foods. 

For human application, it primarily serves as a dietary supplement. Its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have sparked interest across various fields, spanning from cancer research to skin health. Ongoing preliminary research continues to explore the therapeutic uses of astaxanthin in humans

Mechanism of Action

You may have heard of lutein and beta-carotene. Like astaxanthin, they belong to the group of carotenoid compounds. However, astaxanthin stands out due to its unique molecular structure. This endows it with distinct chemical properties that elevate its antioxidant efficacy above other carotenoid compounds. 

Astaxanthin boasts a remarkable antioxidant capacity, surpassing vitamin E by 100-500 times. As an antioxidant, astaxanthin actively neutralises free radicals, thereby reducing oxidative stress. Persistent oxidative stress is known to increase the risk of adverse health outcomes, including cancers, diabetes, heart and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Scientific Evidence: Astaxanthin and Hair Health
scientific evidence of astaxanthin influence on hair loss

To discern the efficacy of astaxanthin in combating hair loss, we turn to scientific studies. While research is ongoing, preliminary findings suggest promising outcomes. However, current studies into its benefits and hair loss are limited to animal models. 

Unveiling the Root Cause of Male Pattern Hair Loss

The key player in the onset and development of male pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, is the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT induces a shorter-than-normal growth phase in hair follicles, resulting in hair shafts that are abnormally short and thin. These follicles are said to be “miniaturised”.

Since 1997, finasteride remains the only oral medication approved by the FDA for male pattern hair loss. Finasteride works by preventing the activity of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. This prevents the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Administered at a daily dose of 1 mg, oral finasteride reduces DHT levels by more than 60%. Oral finasteride remains the only proven effective solution to slow down hair thinning and, in some cases, promote regrowth in androgenetic alopecia.

Read how this daily habit is solving hair loss for men in Singapore.

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We always recommend speaking to a doctor before starting any treatment. 

Astaxanthin’s Potential Impact on Male Pattern Hair Loss

The link between astaxanthin and hair loss traces back to a 2005 study in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy. This study revealed that astaxanthin inhibited the activity of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme by 98% in mouse cell models. In theory, suppressing the activity of 5-alpha reductase enzymes can lead to a reduction in DHT levels. This can possibly translate into positive hair outcomes. 

However, the current research landscape has yet to establish a definitive link between astaxanthin and hair loss in animal cell models. A comprehensive research process is still required to translate findings from animal models into conclusive results for human applications. 

Exploring Astaxanthin and Female Pattern Hair Loss

In female pattern hair loss, it is believed that DHT plays a contributory role. However, the causes of female pattern hair loss are not as well defined. Effective treatment options are limited, with topical minoxidil as the only FDA-approved medication for female pattern hair loss. Topical minoxidil works by widening blood vessels, increasing blood flow to hair follicles, stimulating hair growth. 

A study published in the Journal of Dermatology revealed that astaxanthin supplementation led to improvements in hair thickness and density. However, the study had two notable limitations. 

Firstly, it was a small study involving only 30 perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women with female pattern hair loss. Secondly, the supplement used in the study did not solely consist of astaxanthin. It included an extract blend featuring saw palmetto, maca, curcumin, tocotrienols, ashwagandha and astaxanthin. Attributing the positive outcomes solely to astaxanthin in this study proves challenging due to the presence of other components in this supplement.

Doctors’ Perspectives on Astaxanthin

Doctor's take on astaxanthin in Singapore

Hair loss can result from a variety of factors, both intrinsic and extrinsic. While genetic predispositions and hormonal imbalances are recognised as primary contributors to androgenetic alopecia, lifestyle and environmental factors also impact hair health.

Chronic stress, poor nutrition, smoking and exposure to environmental pollutants are linked to hair loss. These factors often induce oxidative stress. Astaxanthin, being a powerful antioxidant, actively neutralises free radicals, thereby reducing oxidative stress. By reducing oxidative stress, astaxanthin may indirectly influence hair and skin health, addressing one of the underlying factors in hair loss.

Dr Bosty Chan, our founder, emphasises that while astaxanthin displays potential, it should not be viewed as a standalone solution for hair loss. Astaxanthin is still in the process of establishing itself as an effective solution for hair loss. Our doctors at Sire and Dame highlight the importance of a holistic approach to hair loss. This includes maintaining a well-balanced diet, proper hair care and using evidence-based treatments.

Read our ultimate guide to hair loss treatment options in Singapore.

Get Doctor’s advice on hair loss here.

Incorporating Astaxanthin into Your Routine

Incorporating-Astaxanthin-into-Your-Routine

Astaxanthin’s powerful antioxidant properties make it a valuable addition to various aspects of health including skin health, eye health, heart health and brain health. For those considering the inclusion of astaxanthin in their hair care regimen, here are some key considerations.

Dosing

Consider integrating natural astaxanthin into your diet for those looking to include it in their hair care routine. Wild salmon, shrimp and krill oil serve as rich, natural sources of this antioxidant. Alternatively, for a targeted and consistent intake, dietary food supplements are available. This may provide a convenient option for individuals with specific health goals. 

Research on astaxanthin supplementation for hair loss still remains in its preliminary stages. There is currently no established effective dosing for hair loss. However, we do know that a daily intake of 8 mg of astaxanthin is deemed safe for adults, according to the European Food Safety Authority

Safety First

While astaxanthin is generally considered safe when taken in appropriate doses, prioritising safety is crucial. Consultation with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement is always advised, especially for individuals with a pre-existing health condition or those taking medications. 

Like the US FDA, the HSA does not monitor the manufacture or sale of food supplements or herbs in Singapore. It is the responsibility of manufactures and sellers to ensure that claims made by hair loss supplements are not misleading. 

At Sire and Dame, we advocate for purchasing supplements from reputable sources such as pharmacies or established retail stores. When purchasing online, opt for websites with an established retail presence in Singapore. Learn about being a savvy consumer when purchasing health supplements here

Conclusion

In the realm of hair loss treatment, exploring innovative solutions is important. Astaxanthin, with its powerful antioxidant properties and preliminary positive findings, adds a new dimension to hair loss research. However, it is crucial to approach it as part of a holistic strategy, considering expert opinions and individual health factors. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is Astaxanthin Supplement Safe for Everyone?

While astaxanthin is generally considered safe for most people, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your routine. Individuals with allergies, specific health conditions, or those taking medications should seek personalised advice to ensure there are no potential interactions or adverse effects. 

Q: Other than Astaxanthin, Are There Other Natural Solutions for Hair Loss in Singapore?

Maintaining a healthy hair, skin and scalp environment is essential for hair regrowth. Natural hair regrowth strategies include ensuring a well-balanced diet, gentle hair care practices and the use of organic hair care products. At Sire, we navigate your hair loss journey with you. Read about organic hair regrowth solutions here

Q: Can I Take Astaxanthin Supplement with Finasteride?

There is currently limited research supporting the use of astaxanthin supplementation in hair loss. Based on expert opinions, it is safe to take astaxanthin supplementation together with finasteride at the recommended dosages. It is best to consult a doctor before starting any supplement for your hair loss.

Q: Should Pregnant Women Use Astaxanthin Supplement for Hair Loss?

Pregnant women should exercise caution with any supplement, including astaxanthin. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before introducing it during pregnancy. The safety of astaxanthin for pregnant women is not extensively studied, so personalised advice ensures the well-being of both the mother and the baby. 

Q: How does Astaxanthin Differ from Biotin Supplement for Hair Loss?

Astaxanthin and biotin differ in their mechanism of action. Biotin supplement plays a key role in the production of keratin, the protein that forms the structure of hair strands. Current medical guidelines do not recommend the use of biotin supplements for hair loss conditions like androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern hair loss) and telogen effluvium. 

Research on astaxanthin supplementation in hair loss is still in its preliminary stages. It is believed that astaxanthin’s powerful antioxidant properties contribute to overall hair and skin health. The choice between the two depends on individual needs and preferences. Consulting with a healthcare provider can help determine the most suitable option based on specific hair loss concerns.

A tablet a day keeps the baldness at bay.

Consistent daily usage is key to help you slow down your hair loss.

Months 1-2

You may not be able to see any visible changes within the first 1-2 months of usage. Some people may shed more fine hairs than usual. This is completely temporary and normal.

Months 3-6

Your hair loss may have slowed or stopped. Take a photo every month to track your progress. Stay the course!

Months 7 and beyond

Hair loss might have considerably slowed down or stopped. Some people might even see signs of regrowth. Don’t stop now, keep going!

We were meant to be bold, not bald

With Sire, you can say goodbye to expensive consultation fees, and ridiculous mark-ups on medications. Style shouldn’t cost more than your daily cup of coffee.

 

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hair loss doctor singapore

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