There are plenty of ancient hair loss treatments around, from pigeon poop to bear grease, that has been shown to lack efficacy by modern science. But have the Chinese had the answer to alopecia all along? We look closer.

 

Hair Loss Remedies

It would seem that for as long as human beings have been writing, they have written about hair loss cures. Two and half thousand years ago, the man credited with being the father of modern medicine himself, Hippocrates, documented his own efforts to combat male pattern baldness. His potion used a concoction of horseradish, beetroot, pigeon droppings, opium, and spices. You will not be surprised to read it failed. Julius Caesar was given a recipe by Cleopatra that, had it worked, might have saved him from wearing those laurel wreaths to try and camouflage his hair loss. Unfortunately, her brew of bear grease, horse teeth and ground up mice was as useful as that famous Greeks’ pigeon poop. 

It would be easy to assume that these uninformed if well-intentioned attempts have nothing to teach us. That it is only in the last couple of decades that we have, for the first time, made advances in the battle against hair loss. But news from China suggests we may be wrong. 

When In Huangloo

Huangloo is a small thousand-year-old town in southern China. The local girls are renowned for the care they take of their hair, only cutting it once in their lifetime. Their hair represents prosperity and longevity, and to maintain it at peak condition they use a two-thousand-year-old solution employing fermented rice water. 

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology this local practice has found its way into the homes of millions. Maryam Hampton is a notable Youtuber, with 1.7 million followers, who have been using rice water for the last two years and has become just one of the passionate advocates for its efficacy. Others post stories about their experience of using rice water and achieving hair growth after years of unsuccessful treatment for alopecia. 

Maryam’s recipe, for anyone interested, requires you to wash and dry off some rice before letting it soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes to an hour before straining the water into a clean bowl. Once it has stood at room temperature for a day or two it can be put into a spray bottle and applied as necessary. It can be left on the hair overnight or washed off with regular shampoo and conditioner. Oils are an optional extra if a scent is required.

HIS Hair Clinic

Rice water has a range of potential benefits for hair and scalp. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals… some of which are beneficial. It should not be used, however, instead of a trip to visit a specialist, which may delay essential medical attention to a problem that rice water alone will not solve. 

If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts, simply complete our contact form on this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.   

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By Ian Watson

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