Saw Palmetto For Women’s Hair Loss – Nothing Is Without Risk

by Y on August 20, 2021

Saw Palmetto is an herb that is often put into many hair loss products that claim to be able offer the reduction of shedding or even the regrowth of hair.  It is one of the first things I found in 1999 when I began losing my hair.  I had a vitamin book, turned to the index, searched for hair loss, and saw Saw Palmetto listed as something that can help hair loss. I consulted with no one, and went to the vitamin shop to buy that and a whole bunch of other stuff that didn’t work.. Stinging nettle, horsetail etc. You know the drill if you’ve been down that path.

Watch on YouTube

It’s been around forever. You don’t need a special hair loss product to try this, it’s sold in every vitamin shop around under a zillion different brands as a dietary supplement. 

It is usually the ingredient of a hair loss product that is sold as a “DHT Blocker.”  

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is thought to be the cause of genetic hair loss.   5-alpha reductase is the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. Finasteride (Propecia), The FDA approved hair loss treatment for men, is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor.  Inhibit the 5AR and it’s possible to lower DHT levels and thereby possibly see improvement with genetic hair loss (either with slowing the progression, regrowth or both).  I should note to my knowledge, this really was mainly studied in men. Finasteride is often usually ONLY prescribed to men, as it is contraindicated for some women for various reasons and pregnant women should never even handle the tablets. 

Finasteride is also prescribed to women with androgenetic alopecia who are not planning on getting pregnant AT ALL while on this medication.  I was prescribed this and took it at the age of 22.  It didn’t work for me. 

That was a tangent, but it is related because Saw Palmetto is thought to be to be a “natural DHT blocker” and it’s working along the same lines as finasteride ( Propecia) in that regard, and people often take things without knowing everything about what they are taking and the possible risks associated with them. 

What I want to be known, however, is that nothing is without risk. Simply because it’s an herb or plant, doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry with it the possibility of causing yourself potential harm, beyond hair loss.  You should always consult your doctor when taking any herb to ensure it’s not contraindicated to anything you are currently taking or your health in general. 

As it pertains to hair loss, it is also something that could potentially cause a shed, as anything that carries the possibility of being able to remotely slow or regrow hair – also carries with it the risk of causing a shed. 

That is a universal truth when it comes to hair loss treatments. Any hair loss treatment.  I don’t share that to discourage anyone from trying things, however I think it’s really important to make informed decisions. 

So in case you didn’t know, I wanted you to know a little more about this popular herb that is very often put into a variety of hair loss products sold on the market today. 

There is no cure for androgenetic alopecia, only treatments and only TWO are FDA approved.

Stay informed. Do your research. 

Share your thoughts and comments below.

Sending Much Love To All!

Follow me on Instagram: @whlpnetwork

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel August 22, 2021 at 1:52 pm

What are the 2 FDA approved treatments for androgenic alopecia?


Y August 24, 2021 at 11:17 am

Minoxidil and Finasteride.

Minoxidil (Most commonly known to people as Rogaine, however there are many different companies selling minoxidil)
Minoxidil was first introduced as an oral medication for the treatment of severe and recalcitrant hypertension in the 1970s. Coincidentally, physicians observed hair regrowth and generalized hypertrichosis in balding patients. Topical minoxidil has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of AGA.

Finasteride (Propecia)
Finasteride is an FDA-approved pharmacologic agent for treating benign prostate hyperplasia and androgenic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) in men. In 1998, it received approval to treat male pattern hair loss at a dose of 1 mg.


Veronica December 18, 2021 at 4:40 pm

I tried Saw Palmetto (450mg) supplementation and found that unfortunately it made my heart race and my neck (around my thyroid glands) broke out in red rashes.

Would it have helped with my hair loss? I have no idea, but I just couldn’t stay on it with the heart palpitations. Sometimes it’s frustrating to see people on Youtube who have incredible success with things like Saw Palmetto. At this point I’ve accepted nothing will most likely work for me, it’ll just be a slow regression until a hair piece is needed.

Oh well – the real key is focusing on everything but my hair! Much love, V


L. Greene April 5, 2023 at 7:54 am

Some women experience hair loss as a result of telogen effluvium (loss in the telogen phase of hair growth) due to a shock, an illness, stress or many other reasons. The hair very often grows back on its own. I suspect that women who have “great results” with products like Saw Palmetto or other so-called “natural” remedies often have telogen effluvium, which is self-limiting and usually the hair grows back on its own. Until there are randomized, clinical trials on these products using a large enough sample group (not 32 people, which I saw recently for the new product, Revela, there’s no way to know if they are truly effective. And as was previously very wisely said, every product has risks, including allergic reactions, so do be careful. Wishing you all the best from a fellow woman with hair loss, L.


L January 20, 2022 at 5:30 pm

Thank you for these articles; finding this page is giving me hope and comradory!

Wanted to add that I’ve found improvement in hair growth using horsetail tinctures, but it may be important to note that in my experiences not herbal horsetail pills but horsetail extract in liquid form. I’ve been trying a tea as well, I do think these are the best methods for better absorption in the body, as opposed to the digestive route of pill form. I acquired the tincture from an herbalist (the horsetail was foraged, so this was a more “fresh” product). Unfortunately it’s hard to know the source of these herbs when we’re taking pills.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: