Natural remedy discovered for unwanted hair growth

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics Testosterone Hirsutism

Turkish scientists have established a natural means to combat
unwanted hair growth in women – a move that could prove innovative
in the growing depilatory market.

Recent data published in Phytotherapy Research states women who drink spearmint tea twice a day for five days can reduce levels of male sex hormones (androgens) found in the body that can cause unwanted hair growth. Normally found on the face, body or breasts, excess hair growth (hirsutism) is more commonly combated with prescription drugs such as oral contraception or cosmetic products, with the new discovery being amongst the first natural remedies to treat the problem. With the natural and organics cosmetics industry reaching unprecedented heights recently, these findings could prove significant for manufacturers keen to capitalize on the growing need for treatments for such hair growth worries amongst the female consumer that are perceived to be healthier and more environmentally friendly in nature. Market research company Organic Monitor estimates that the European market for natural and organic products is currently growing at 20 per cent a year, and set to surpass a value of €1bn. The depilatory market is a large growth driver for many cosmetics companies, with New Jersey-based CCA industries, a marketer of niche beauty and health products, last year stating that its Hair Off depilatory kits generated the majority of the its sales for that year. Researchers discovered the anti hair growth properties of spearmint tea from recent findings in Israel that showed it significantly reduce male libido, possibly reducing androgen hormone levels. Volunteers with hirsutism who also had polycystic ovaries, thought to be a trigger for the problem, took part in research tests and were given a cup of boiling water with one heaped teaspoon of dried leaves for five days during the follicular stage of their menstrual cycle. The results showed an increase of female hormones, and a significant decrease in free testosterone in the blood. However, scientists warned that the changes would not be considerable and patients would more than likely require additional treatment. Likewise, Israeli biotech company IBR has recently launched a narcissus bulb extract, IBR Domain, that is also said to halt the process of unwanted hair growth by naturally inducing the hair into the catagen stage of the hair cycle – the period where the old hair ceases to grow and gets ready to shed while a new hair is formed. Indeed, even deodorant manufacturers are honing in on the trend, with recent growth in the personal care market being driven by notable additions in deodorants with manufacturers promoting skin care and hair retardant benefits of their deodorants ranges.

Related topics Formulation & Science Skin Care

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