A Cure for Hair Loss from Honey Bees?

Bee Propolis

There is no shortage of natural hair loss remedy claims on the internet. These “remedies” are typically snake oil with no scientific evidence backing them. In this case, some reputable scientists have found that a substance honeybees naturally produce called propolis led to hair regrowth.

Let’s not get our hopes up that this is the cure we have been waiting for. For now, this has only been tested on mice, but it is hopefully a major step in the right direction.

What is Propolis?

Propolis is essentially a caulk or sealant that honeybees use to fill holes in their hive. It also helps protect the hive from disease, intruders, temperature changes and other potential threats. The substance comes from plant sources that can vary greatly based on the geography and makeup of the bees. 

The substance works as a barrier and has compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. It is also proven to effectively fight fungal and bacterial infections. Because of these properties, propolis has been applied to tumors, warts and other mouth lesions for thousands of years. Now some people are applying propolis treatment to their scalp.

The Propolis Study

Propolis Hair Regrowth

Dr. Ken Kobayashi and several of his colleagues in Japan shaved hair off of the back of mice. One group received propolis on their back. The other group did not. The hair grew back faster in the mice that received the application. He found that the cells key to growing hair back increased in number after propolis was applied to their back. The key is a process called hair keratinocyte proliferation (pictured above).

There is certainly a lot more to see here before this can be definitively seen as a cure to hair loss. There are propolis treatment options out there with no observed side effects, but their effectiveness has not yet been proven.

Stay tuned for more! Hopefully we will have some more information soon.

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