Natural products for male androgenetic alopecia

Dermatol Ther. 2022 Apr;35(4):e15323. doi: 10.1111/dth.15323. Epub 2022 Jan 27.


Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is the most common cause of hair loss in men, often requiring medical attention. The US FDA approved topical minoxidil and oral finasteride to treat AGA. Topical minoxidil requires a long-term application to observe improvement; oral finasteride may cause undesirable side effects. Therefore, natural products may be an alternative when patients are skeptical about these two conventional treatments. Physicians may also suggest natural products in conjunction with topical minoxidil or oral finasteride to enhance clinical outcomes. This article reviews the prospect of natural products in treating male AGA. A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, and EMBASE (Ovid) on July 19, 2021. In addition, the bibliographies of selected articles were hand-searched to identify relevant studies. After deduplication and screening, 11 clinical studies meet the criteria for detailed review. The selected clinical studies suggest that saw palmetto, caffeine, melatonin, marine extracts, rosemary oil, procyanidin, pumpkin seed oil, and cannabidiol oil might be considered in male AGA treatment.

Keywords: AGA; caffeine; melatonin; natural products; saw palmetto.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / chemically induced
  • Alopecia / diagnosis
  • Alopecia / drug therapy
  • Biological Products* / adverse effects
  • Finasteride / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minoxidil
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biological Products
  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil