The British tabloids are forever looking for a new way to mock Prince Harry. The latest ribbing comes from the Daily Mail about the rumors that he’s taking a fancy omega-3 supplement — derived from caviar — to prevent him from balding like his brother, Prince William, and his father, Prince Charles.
This may or may not be true, but the headline is certainly bound to have others searching the vitamin aisles for their own hair-loss cure. The question is — does it work?
The jury is still out on this one. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to help prevent heart disease and relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but the scientific evidence doesn’t yet back up the rest of the laundry list of conditions — from depression to diabetes — some claim it cures.
A 2015 study showed that women with thinning hair who took fish oil, blackcurrant seed oil, vitamin E, vitamin C, and lycopene supplements had thicker hair and less hair loss after six months, so that’s a start.
Do such benefits come only to people who take expensive supplements like the Tom Oliver capsules (£39.99, or around $51, for 60 doses) the prince supposedly takes? Possibly. There is some evidence to suggest that not all fish oils are made the same. As with many other unregulated supplements, some provide less of the key ingredients (DHA and EPA) than the labels claim, particularly if they’ve been exposed to oxidants, which degrade those acids and reduce their efficacy. You could hope that by paying more money for a celebrity-endorsed pill, you’re increasing your chances that it’s better stuff, but there are still no guarantees.
Prince Harry, if you’re reading this, there are a few other natural products that might help even more than caviar (just be sure to check with your doctor before taking any new supplement):
Saw palmetto extract: This ingredient (scientific name: Serenoa repens) prevents the body from turning testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that causes male pattern baldness, according to clinical trials.
Iron supplements: Iron deficiency causes some forms of hair loss in men and women, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The important caveat here is that this only works if you are deficient; otherwise there are dangerous side effects to taking too much iron.
Scalp massage: If Meghan Markle likes to put her hand through Harry’s red tresses, she might be able to save them. A 2016 study in Japan found that four minutes of a standardized massage with a special device every day for 24 weeks (OK, that’s a lot) actually changed the expression of the subjects’ genes and increased hair thickness.
Onion juice: One scientific study showed that topical application of onion juice helped induce hair regrowth in a particular type of patchy alopecia. This is where you might question whether you’d rather just go bald.
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Gray Hair Linked to an Increased Risk of Heart Disease in Men
- Prince Harry’s Striking Blue Eyes Sparkle on the Cover of ‘Town & Country’ Mag
- Woman Posts Photo of Herself Without a Wig, Reveals Real Reason She Lost Her Hair