Multiple factors contribute to hair loss, and cures are as individual as cases. Hormonal changes initiate certain types of hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Because liver function and hormones are related, according to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, some alternative hair loss therapies suggest that a liver detox may arrest hair loss and stimulate hair growth. As of 2010, scientific evidence that might bolster this association remains scarce.
One of the many vital functions of the multifaceted liver is hormone production and regulation, according to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse. The body's largest organ, the liver also oversees the processing of medications and nutrients. Liver detox programs typically involve fasting on raw fruits and veggies, juices and brown rice. A popular liver detox uses olive oil and lemon juice to cleanse the liver, according to Real Age.
Alternative medical theories point to a connection between liver detoxification and hair loss. Alternative medical websites such as DetoxLiver.net suggest that a detoxified liver cannot perform its hormonal function, and because hormones relate to hair loss, a detoxified liver results in hair loss.
Telogen effluvium, or TE, represents a type of hair loss that appears to be affected by hormones, according to the American Hair Loss Association. This condition is characterized by an uneven thinning of hair on the scalp, with more hair loss typically occurring on the top of the scalp as opposed to the back and the sides. TE does not usually trigger hair line recession, although it can in rare cases. Hormones may contribute to TE, however, many other causes can also be in play, including stress, physical trauma, poor diet and certain medications, especially antidepressants. Though the liver does filter toxins from the body, said toxins do not remain in the liver, but are excreted through the urine and feces. Thus, the idea of a toxic buildup in liver tissue that requires detoxification does not hold water. As of 2010, according to Real Age, no real support for the theory of detoxification exists.
TE hair loss is often temporary, according to the American Hair Loss Association. If the cause of TE relates to diet deficiencies or stress, then addressing these may arrest hair loss. If the cause of TE relates to a physical trauma such as surgery or a car crash, often the body does not require a liver detox to stimulate hair growth but simply a little time and patience.
Liver detox programs and plans may include supplements and herbal remedies that are considered dietary supplements by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the MayoClinic.com. As such, these supplements are not subject to the same degree of testing as prescription and over-the-counter medications. Even products labeled "natural" can cause problems if ingested in excessive amounts. Before you embark on any liver detox for hair loss speak to your doctor or health care practitioner.
- American Hair Loss Association: Types of Hair Loss
- National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse: Liver Transplantation
- Real Age Medical Encyclopedia: Detoxification
- DetoxLiver.net: Fact Sheet: Liver Detox and Hair Loss
- MayoClinic.com: Alternative Medicine: Evaluate Claims of Treatment Success