How do I find more information on the Scottish aromatherapy study that uses essential oils to treat alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata causes partial or complete hair loss in round patches. The disease often begins in childhood and may worsen with age. Sometimes the hair grows back without treatment. The hair follicles become small and inactive, but they don’t die, so recovery is always a possibility.
Alopecia areata is harmless, but the effects of hair loss and balding can be emotionally devastating. We don’t know the cause and don’t have a cure, but there are treatments. They tend to be more effective with people whose hair loss occurs on less than half of their scalp.
I located the abstract (summary) of this research paper using by searching online. The full text was published in the November 1998 Issue of Archives of Dermatology and may be available at a medical school library.
In this study, a combination of various herbal essential oils was rubbed into the scalp of alopecia areata patients. Researchers found the herbal mixture was much more effective than the comparison placebo and somewhat more effective than certain conventional medical treatments.
This was a small study and didn’t provide proof positive that these oils work. Still, the mixture used is believed safe, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to try it. But be sure to check with your dermatologist first.