Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Alopecia: A Comprehensive Review

Skin Appendage Disord. 2019 Feb;5(2):72-89. doi: 10.1159/000492035. Epub 2018 Aug 21.


The treatment of alopecia is limited by a lack of therapies that induce and sustain disease remission. Given the negative psychosocial impact of hair loss, patients that do not see significant hair restoration with conventional therapies often turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Although there are a variety of CAM treatment options on the market for alopecia, only a few are backed by multiple randomized controlled trials. Further, these modalities are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and there is a lack of standardization of bioactive in gredients in over-the-counter vitamins, herbs, and supplements. In this article, we provide a comprehensive review of the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of CAM, including natural products and mind and body practices, in the treatment of hair loss. Overall, there is a need for additional studies investigating CAM for alopecia with more robust clinical design and standardized, quantitative outcomes.

Keywords: Alopecia; Complementary and alternative medicine; Efficacy.

Publication types

  • Review