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  • by Nicola Boulton August 10, 2022 5 min read


    Alopecia is usually a misunderstood condition that can have a devastating effect on the mental health and confidence of the person affected. There is no treatment, but depending on the type of Alopecia, different treatment options can help. The clinical trials are limited and far between, and also, what works for one person may fail to work for the other.

    According to Katikaneni et al. (2013), one natural treatment that is creating a buzz in treating hair loss is CBD oil. Hair salons and spas are now providing CBD oil hair and scalp treatment. You can search the CBD oil-based products that are calming, stimulate hair growth and reverse baldness. To evaluate the effectiveness of CBD oil, you first need to know the type of Alopecia you are dealing with and the cause.


    What is Alopecia?

    Alopecia refers to hair loss anywhere on the scalp, body, or face. Below are some of the most common types of Alopecia.

    Alopecia Areata

    It is an autoimmune condition that causes the loss of patches of hair when the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles mistakenly. Approximately one in every fifty people will experience this at some point. The follicles retain the ability to regrow, and half of the sufferers with the condition may recover fully within a year. But they can experience more episodes in their lifetime. Alopecia totalis is more severe but very rare. It can develop very slowly from Alopecia or come on suddenly and result in total scalp hair loss on the body and the head.

    Androgenic Alopecia

    Androgenic Alopecia is commonly known as the male pattern baldness. It affects fifty percent of the men at the age of fifty. It is not a male-exclusive male condition as 50 % of women at the age of 65 also experience hair loss in some individuals.

    Traction Alopecia

    The damage is due to hair pulling from hair styling, especially hair braiding and hair extension. It is temporary hair loss but depends on the intensity and duration. It can damage the hair follicles, which results in permanent hair loss.

    Telogen Effluvium

    Telogen effluvium is a sudden excessive shedding of hair. It most commonly occurs after childbirth or because of physical stressors on the body like malnourishment or psychological stressors like bereavement.

    Scarring Alopecia

    Scarring Alopecia occurs when hair follicles are replaced with scar tissues. Frontal fibrosing alopecia, folliculitis decalvans, and lichen planopilaris are types of scarring alopecia.

    Some Other Types of Alopecia

    Alopecia may result from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, where scratching can damage the hair follicles. It is a common side effect of chemotherapy. For more information on the types and causes of Alopecia and access to support resources, visit Naaf.org or Alopecia.org.

    How to Treat Alopecia

    There is no complete treatment for Alopecia, particularly the androgenic and areata versions. But several treatments can help, such as Oral and topical medications, immunotherapy, steroid injections, and topical ointment that stimulate the scalp or treat skin inflammation.

    Shreberk-Hassidim et al. (2017) from Columbia University showed some promising successful stimulation of hair follicles using JAK inhibitors to treat bone marrow disorders and rheumatoid arthritis.

    Is Topical CBD Oil the Answer?

    As more medical benefits of CBD are being discovered, it makes sense to wonder whether topical CBD oil effectively treats Alopecia. Smith & Satino (2021) confirmed the claims. There have not been the right kind of studies to demonstrate CBD oil has any efficacy against Alopecia.

    Male Pattern Baldness

    Finasteride is an oral medication that works by affecting levels of DHT, and the other one is minoxidil, a topical medication. However, it partially works by improving blood flow to the hair follicles. But CBD oil is not known to contain any of the two effects. Alagawany et al. (2019) identified that CBD oil contains many healthy minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6.

    Supplementing a few vitamins improves hair loss and uses vitamins that help, like vitamin D and iron, to those deficient. They generally need to be ingested orally and not applied topically.

    Can CBD oil be used to treat the Cause of Alopecia Areata?

    According to Booz (2011), CBD oil can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. There is good news for people with alopecia areata, as the condition results from an overactive immune system response. Many of the wellness advice online from sufferers who have seen a way to alleviate the condition mention nutritional protocols based on heavily reducing the toxic load on the body. Moving toward natural products like CBD oil for the skin and hair can prove beneficial.

    CBD oil for Treating Alopecia: Successful Stories

    The consensus shows that it affects the immune system at that level. The CBD oil needs to enter the bloodstream, which doesn't occur through the topical application. Topical application can affect the local endocannabinoid system. Japanese plastic surgeon Dr. Minaru presented findings at the cannabinoid conference in 2015 showing successful treatment of Alopecia in a patient with topical use of cannabidiol.

    There are still many promising anecdotal stories like Kristin price, who had a hair loss from Ehler Danlos Syndrome and started using CBD oil. Her hair started to grow back, and she shared the information with her friend, who also had a similar problem.

    They were both pleased by the results. They started their own company manufacturing CBD Oil Company called Hoop Beauty. Designed for teens and has partnered with Trinity University to participate in clinical trials.

    Bottom Line

    Whether CBD oil effectively treats Alopecia when used topically, currently, there is limited research to back the anecdotal claims. CBD oil's calming and anti-inflammatory benefits are increasingly well-understood and supported by research. It provides an easy way to cope with the physical effects of Alopecia and can potentially affect the underlying autoimmune and stress causes. But more research is needed to be sure.


    Alagawany, M., Elnesr, S. S., Farag, M. R., El-Hack, A., Mohamed, E., Khafaga, A. F., ... & Dhama, K. (2019). Omega-3 And Omega-6 Fatty Acids In Poultry Nutrition: Effect On Production Performance And Health. Animals, 9(8), 573.

    Booz, G. W. (2011). Cannabidiol As An Emergent Therapeutic Strategy For Lessening The Impact Of Inflammation On Oxidative Stress. Free Radical Biology And Medicine, 51(5), 1054-1061.

    Katikaneni, R., Gulati, R., Suh, D., Sakon, J., Seymour, A., Ponnapakkam, T., & Gensure, R. (2013, December). Therapy For Alopecia Areata In Mice Using Parathyroid Hormone Agonists And Antagonists, Linked To A collagen-binding Domain. In Journal Of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings (Vol. 16, No. 1, Pp. S61-S62). Elsevier.

    Shreberk-Hassidim, R., Ramot, Y., & Zlotogorski, A. (2017). Janus Kinase Inhibitors In Dermatology: A Systematic Review. Journal Of The American Academy Of Dermatology, 76(4), 745-753.

    Smith, G., & Satino, J. (2021). Hair Regrowth With Cannabidiol (CBD)-Rich Hemp Extract: A Case Series. Cannabis, 4(1), 53-59.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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