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Old 02-07-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
lucrio
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Default Saw Palmetto Shed, good news or not?

So, after having frequented this website during my first attempt to combat hair loss with finasteride, I am back with more questions. The finasteride unfortunately did not work out for me after six months as I was an unlucky one to experience side effects and I made the unhappy but necessary decision to quit. After a month of not taking fin I still wanted to fight hair loss so I decided to begin taking saw palmetto.
I am completely aware of its unproven and debated nature but I figured why not, I am not doing anything else proactive, I might as well give it a try. Now to my question. I have been taking saw palmetto for a little over a week now and my hair has begun to shed recently. I am wondering if this shedding could mean that maybe saw palmetto actually does work to help slow hair loss and the shedding is part of the typical regrowth cycle (I also began shedding about a week into finasteride, which i ultimately made progress with). Or, is saw palmetto entirely different and may just cause hormone changes which only result in sheds with no growth.

Sorry for the long spiel but I figured i would give some background. Any advice or opinions on if I should continue saw palmetto would be appreciated.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:07 AM   #2
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I too might have the increased shedding. My daily dosage is 510mg of beta sitosterol and 300mg of saw palmetto plus other stuff. I don't worry about the side effects, not gonna happen ! Unlike finasteride both saw & beta are natural compounds and studies have reported no serious side effects.

I also use MSM 10% topical, twice per day and its actually then that I notice the shedding. Contributing factors are also that this MSM balm is more thick and my current hair is a bit longer..

The current shedding doesn't worry me too much. I'm roughly in my first month and I have noticed some new tiny hairs where I don't ever remember seeing them. They're tiny, weak and lacking colour.. but hopefuly in the months to come - they'll become stronger, get proper colour and if more of them appear - its gonna be a small miracle for me.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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I had a similar shedding with other medications. I had also read that the shedding is because of the hair follicle being forced into the regrowth cycle (resting phase), so that it can grow back thicker.

If I stop using the medication, will I lose the hair that shed? Are those hairs permanently gone? or will they grow back to what it was like before I started using the medication.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sathya928 View Post
If I stop using the medication, will I lose the hair that shed? Are those hairs permanently gone? or will they grow back to what it was like before I started using the medication.
No one can answer that question. It depends on how week those hair follicles were. Only time will tell.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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StressedToTheBald,

Do you know why side effects occur with finasteride, but not saw palmetto, if they do the same thing? i.e. block DHT?
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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StressedToTheBald,

Do you know why side effects occur with finasteride, but not saw palmetto, if they do the same thing? i.e. block DHT?
I can't believe ANYONE takes StressedToBald seriously.....

Saw Palmetto, Beta Sitosterol and all that other natural crap LOWER YOUR DHT LEVELS. FACT.
If your body can't tolerate lower DHT levels, then YOU WILL GET SIDE EFFECTS. FACT.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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I'm not taking anyone seriously. I'm asking the question because I don't understand why saw palmetto would not induce side effects in people who've already suffered side effects with finasteride.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:22 AM   #8
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I'm asking the question because I don't understand why saw palmetto would not induce side effects in people who've already suffered side effects with finasteride.
Neither do I. It makes perfect sense that IF natural DHT blockers actually could do anything to slow down, stop or reverse hereditary hair loss, they would have the same side effect profile as Finasteride.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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StressedToTheBald,

Do you know why side effects occur with finasteride, but not saw palmetto, if they do the same thing? i.e. block DHT?
Its an excellent question chrisis. Finally some inspiring discussion that makes sense. It is known and reported by several studies that saw palmetto is safe and that significant & permanent side effects which occur with finasteride do not happen with saw palmetto. Neither of them actually blocks DHT directly - they impact enzyme thats responsible for making DHT... but their mechanisms of action and impact on this enzyme are completely different and so are the side effects. Here is a very interesting quote I've digged out which might help You understand:

"Finasteride, sold only by prescription, blocks the action of 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that changes testosterone, the dominant male hormone, to dihydrotestosterone, also called DHT. Saw palmetto appears to decrease 5-alpha-reductase and may also have other hormonal effects, according to MayoClinic.com. Saw palmetto also has inhibitory effects on male hormone receptors."

Pay attention to exact words used.. one blocks, other decreases. I believe mechanisms of action of these two are completely different and so is the impact. One seems to be able to kill the 5-alpha reductase and therefore DHT, the other seems to decrease 5-alpha reductase and inhibit DHT receptors in the hairs - essentially DHT production is significantly reduced and because receptors are also inhibited - DHT becomes a key for which the locks have been disabled. Dr. Irwig says that the danger of propecia is in the fact that it shuts down 5-alpha reductase in the brain - and even when You stop with propecia treatment - side effects don't necessarily dissapear - thats why some people end up permanently impotent.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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Thanks STTB. It appears very complex. The only way to know for sure I guess, would be for me to try.

I'm tempted to give finasteride one more go at a lower dose, but I want my libido to return first.

If I have no luck, I'll try saw palmetto.

By the way, I asked my Dad about the zinc dose he uses. I wrote it down but it's not on me, so I'll write again later. I assume it wasn't a big dose because he just bought it from a high street store.
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