Does Melatonin Promote Hair Growth?

You’ve probably heard about people taking a melatonin supplement to help them sleep better. But did you know there’s some research that has found that it may also promote hair growth? 

Yup, it’s true. Well, sort of. (You can add that to the list of unexpected melatonin side effects.)

Melatonin actually occurs naturally in the body, but it can also be taken orally for sleep assistance. As for using it to boost hair growth? It’s usually used in topical form.

But what does science actually have to say about it? It’s a little complicated, but let’s break it down.

What is Melatonin? 

As mentioned before, melatonin is found naturally in the body. It’s a hormone that’s made in the pineal gland in your brain, and it contributes to your circadian rhythms. 

Your body’s production of melatonin increases in the evening when it gets dark to help you sleep. 

Then, in the morning, it decreases to help you get up and out of bed. Simply put, the effects of melatonin help regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycles.

Unfortunately, as you age, natural levels of melatonin begin to drop.

In recent years, taking a melatonin supplement orally has become very buzzy. They’re usually made from synthetic melatonin and are thought to help with:

  • Falling asleep more easily

  • Jet lag

  • Seasonal affective disorder

  • Migraines

  • Anxiety before surgery

  • Sleep disturbances caused by certain blood pressure medications

Melatonin also comes in a topical form — and that’s what’s used to address hair loss concerns. 

How Does Hair Loss Happen

There are several types of hair loss, but for the purpose of this article, we’re only going to explore one: androgenetic alopecia.

Androgenetic alopecia is more commonly called male pattern baldness and it affects an estimated 50 million men in the United States. It’s believed to occur because of both genetic and hormonal factors.

Your body produces a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is believed to be one of the main factors in male pattern baldness. 

If your genetics predispose you to hair loss, DHT binds to receptors in your scalp and causes your hair follicles to retract. 

Then, new hair stops growing, and that’s what results in thinning hair or baldness. 

The Connection Between Melatonin and Hair Growth

A review of research published in the International Journal of Trichology dove deep into looking at the effects of melatonin on hair growth. 

The good news: it concluded that it may work to treat androgenetic alopecia.

It looked at multiple clinical studies to draw the conclusion that topical melatonin is a viable hair growth promoter. 

In one study, researchers found that using melatonin for a study period of 30 or 90 days led to a significant reduction in the severity of androgenetic alopecia.

Interestingly, while there is research that concludes melatonin may work for androgenetic alopecia, how it works isn’t quite understood. 

Interested in trying it? 

Generally, topical melatonin used for the treatment of hair loss comes in a cream or serum-like formula and needs to be applied daily. 

It’s official. Hims is a hit.

Now after 5 months I’m able to style waves first time in 10 years!  

Bryan, 28

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After 7 months, I have experienced incredible results and my hair is back.

Tony, 32

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Cost effective and affordable. My hair keeps growing thicker, fuller, and at a fast rate.

Ryan, 29

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In just as little over two and half months, I can really see the difference in thickness and in color.

Parbhu, 28

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It has helped boost my confidence as well as give me a full head of hair to play with. I am so pleased.

Michael, 33

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I decided to jump right in and I'm so glad I did. I definitely feel ten years younger!

Jesse, 36

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4-months strong and my confidence boosted back up to 100% using Hims, future me really does thank me.

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Hims allowed me to walk down the aisle confident and looking great.

Alexander, 32

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I tried several different options before but Hims combined approach of all four methods by far created the best results.

Brian, 48

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The results speak for themselves and I recommend it to all of my friends.

Al, 54

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I notice a huge change in the overall health and fullness of my hairline.

Seth, 27

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In just as little over two and half months, I can really see the difference in thickness and in color.

Milton, 36

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Hims has been the greatest confidence boost, no more bald jokes! I look and feel so much younger.

Mike, 34

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Before/after images shared by customers who have purchased varying products, including prescription-based products. Customers were compensated for their testimonials. These customers’ results have not been independently verified. Individual results will vary.

Other Hair Growth Treatments 

If you’re dealing with male pattern baldness, there are many other treatments available to you. Before jumping straight to trying melatonin, consider some other options. 

Finasteride

This medication requires a prescription. It is commonly used to treat male pattern baldness and, unlike melatonin for hair growth, we know how it works. 

Finasteride prevents your body from converting testosterone into DHT, which is what causes you to lose hair.

Oh, and it’s been proven to be quite effective. One study found that 99.1 percent of men stopped their hair loss from worsening when they took finasteride over a 10-year period. 

But that’s not all — of those men, 91.5 percent of them even noticed regrowth.

It comes as a tablet that you take daily. Hims offers finasteride online after a consultation with a medical professional. 

Minoxidil 

Like melatonin for hair growth, minoxidil is a topical treatment. This FDA-approved medication doesn’t require a prescription, and it comes in liquid and foam formulas. 

A 2019 review of minoxidil confirmed that it works for both men and women who suffer from pattern hair loss. 

Though it’s not exactly known how minoxidil works, it’s believed to work by increasing blood flow to the scalp, thereby stimulating hair follicles to enter the anagen (or growth) phase of the hair growth cycle. 

Finasteride and Minoxidil 

Because they treat hair loss differently, many people use them together with success. 

One study found that 94.1 percent of men dealing with hair loss showed an improvement in hair growth when taking both finasteride and minoxidil. 

This is compared to 80.5 percent who saw an improvement using just finasteride and 50 percent who saw an improvement using only minoxidil.

Our Hair Power Pack contains both! 

Thickening Shampoo

Another option: shampoo specifically engineered to thicken hair and stimulate hair growth. Hims has a hair thickening shampoo made with saw palmetto as one of its active ingredients. This natural ingredient has been found to potentially reduce hair loss. 

One study compared finasteride and saw palmetto when it comes to encouraging hair regrowth. Finasteride was found to be most effective, but saw palmetto helped as well. 

Biotin

You may have seen biotin gummies on social media — they’re pretty popular with the influencer crowd. Don’t know much more about them than that? 

Biotin is a B vitamin that promotes healthy hair and growth. One study even found that taking biotin produces faster hair growth in people dealing with thinning hair, although the supplement studied also included different ingredients. 

Hims offers a Biotin gummy that also includes Vitamin D, which can contribute to hair shedding.

Lifestyle Tweaks

In addition to the above, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help with hair loss. 

For example, a healthy diet is important. Studies have shown that not getting enough iron and zinc in your diet can be bad for hair health.

Including more zinc-rich foods in your diet — like oysters, oatmeal, beef, kidney beans, etc. — may potentially help with hair loss.

Smoking is a no-no, too. Researchers have found a link between smoking and hair loss

First, it’s a pollutant that can damage your hair. Cigarettes have also been found to damage the DNA of your hair follicles.

Shop by treatment options

No matter the treatment plan, the best place to start is somewhere. Early action is the best hair loss prevention.

No-pill option

Hair Hybrids by Hims

The Combination Hair Loss Spray

From £26/month

This spray treatment combines two active ingredients used for treating hair loss and hair regrowth.

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No-pill option

Hair Hybrids by Hims

The Combination Hair Loss Serum

From £26/month

This serum treatment combines two active ingredients used for treating hair loss and hair regrowth.

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Generic Treatment

Finasteride & Minoxidil Combo Kit

From £30/month

This combo kit includes two treatments. The once-daily tablet is clinically proven to stop hair loss. The alcohol-free topical serum, applied twice daily, is used for hair regrowth.

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Generic Treatment

Finasteride

From £23/month

This once-daily tablet is clinically proven to stop hair loss.

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Hair Hybrids by Hims

Alcohol-free Minoxidil Serum

From £21/month

This alcohol-free topical serum, applied twice daily, is used for hair regrowth

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Considering Melatonin for Hair Growth

While it’s not known exactly how it works, research has found that applying melatonin topically can help men and women with hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

For individuals with hair loss — specifically androgenetic alopecia — treatment with melatonin could be an option, but more definitive studies need to be completed. 

Just keep in mind, you'll need to apply it topically rather than taking an oral supplement.

To figure out the best thing for you, talk to a healthcare provider.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.

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