Acupuncture and Herbs For Hair Loss (Alopecia)

January 2002

Hair loss is a condition that can start from a very young age, in one's 20's or even earlier. Male-pattern hair loss is extremely common. It can lead to partial or complete baldness. Female-pattern hair loss is ordinarily confined to thinning of the hair in the front and crown regions. Some causes of hair loss can be stress, thinking too much or family heredity. Feelings of anxiety and self-consciousness may be present.

Using acupuncture and herbs is a safe and effective way to help hair growth. I have had some success with hair loss cases in my clinic. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.C.M.), the differentiation mainly falls into two types: deficiency (blood and kidney) or damp heat stagnation. I combine acupuncture with herbs (both oral and external) and it works well for most clients.

The main acupuncture points are G5, 7,20, Du16, 19, Yi Ming, and St8. The treatment is given once a week or more often. Also at home everyday the client can use a seven star needle and tap the bald patch or scalp where the hair is thinning.

Many herbs can nourish the hair and help hair growth such as: He Shou Wu, Nu Zhen Zi, Han Lian Cao, Shuan Ye, Dang Gui, Shu Di Huang, etc... Herbal tea is made from the herbs and taken orally. I also make herbal tincture for topical application, especially for use with the seven star needle. The above treatment promotes scalp blood circulation. It not only helps hair growth but may also prevent graying of hair. New hair growth can be seen after two to three months of treatment.

Let me share a case study with you. C.C., male, 33 His initial visit was 10-24-96. He has had a hair loss problem for about 20 years. He had partial hair loss when he was a teenager. He had been taking steroid hormones both orally and topically. The condition was worsening during the past couple of years. His symptoms included partial hair loss and thinning of hair. For six months one bald patch, about egg size, was located on the right side of his temple. He was often nervous and suffered from headaches. His tongue was bigger than normal, slightly red in color with a white coat. His pulses were thin and weak. The differentiation was damp-heat stagnation and blood kidney deficiency. I made him herbal tea as a daily supplement, gave an herbal tincture for topical use and performed acupuncture. The office visit was scheduled for once a week. I first observed new hair growth in the bald patch at his 8th visit. The bald patch was getting smaller daily. Three months later the patch was completely filled with new hair. The new hair has remained well and is healthy. During the last five years he has been on a maintenance program and he is satisfied with the result.