I am taking saw palmetto to slow my hair loss, but it seems to not stop the hairs from falling, rather when they do fall, they have a bulb on the end with the saw palmetto, but without, they are bulbless. Does this mean I should increase my saw palmetto intake?
Saw palmetto is not proven to work for treating male pattern baldness, so increasing saw palmetto will likely have no effect. Traditionally, food supplement companies jumped on the bandwagon to promote saw palmetto for hair loss, as they made a connection that the herb helps with prostate issues. In fact, there is no clear evidence that even that is true. Now for years people have been taking saw palmetto for prostate problems, but no study I’ve seen has been able to prove that it really works, even though it has been embedded in our popular culture to be true. Somewhere along the road someone made the connection that since finasteride and saw palmetto are for prostate problems, saw palmetto may also work for hair. This is not true!
To put it into perspective, finasteride 5mg pills (marketed as a brand name Proscar) is a drug that helps with prostate conditions. A side effect of finasteride 5mg (Proscar) was that it grew hair on balding men who were taking the medication for their prostate conditions. The drug company saw the marketing potential for such side effect (of growing hair on balding men) and marketed finasteride 1mg (as Propecia) for genetic male pattern baldness. Propecia and Proscar are the same medication in different doses. You don’t need the higher (5mg) dose to grow hair. As such, some patients take Proscar and break up the pill in 1/4 pieces (ideally it would be 1/5, but that is difficult) to take for hair loss. If your hair is important to you, consider the use of Propecia rather than saw palmetto.