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cbd and hair loss

What happened when I tried a CBD oil hair treatment

Weeding out the roots at Hari’s salon on Fulham Road

BD oil is a hot topic in beauty at the moment, and many brands have recently added CBD-infused products to their range.

However, until now, it’s not really made its way into the world of salon treatments. Which is why when we heard Hari’s Fulham Road salon had launched London’s first ever in-salon CBD hair treatment, we couldn’t wait to give it a go.

What is CBD oil?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of 104 chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive substance found in cannabis but unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

So what’s the deal? Is it legal?

Medicinal cannabis products (the definition of which encompasses any cannabis oil containing more than 0.2 per cent THC) are currently illegal in the UK. CBD oil, however – cannabis oil containing less than 0.2 per cent THC – has been legal in the UK for some time.

Holland and Barrett were the first UK retailer to stock a CBD oil back in January of this year, and since then, several low concentration versions of cannabis oil (and products containing cannabis oil) have hit the shelves of British pharmacies.

Why *might* it help your hair?

While the medical benefits of CBD are as yet unproven, many take it orally (for pain, anxiety, depression) and topically for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

It’s rich in the fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 and also contains high doses of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and vitamin E – all of which are great for the skin (and scalp).

It’s also understood to contain good levels of linoleic and gamma linoleic acid (GLA) – essential fatty acids which promote the maintenance of normal hair growth.

Hari, Founder of Hari’s hairdressers, is convinced of its benefits for hair. “CBD increases blood circulation therefore when used in our in-salon, Hari’s CBD Life Force Hair Treatment, it promotes hair growth and healthy hair production,” he says. “In addition, the CBD Oil balances sebum production so it’s great for both oily and dry or problem scalps helping to address a variety of hair and scalp complaints.”

So what happens in the treatment at Hari’s?

Hari’s have partnered with a specialist CBD oil brand called Spirit of Hemp to create a unique treatment. Spirit of Hemp’s products are unusual in that they contain a combination of pure, raw CBD oil combined with CBDA oil, which is essentially CBD before it’s heated and treated. CBDA is a more potent compound, so the logic is that you need less of it to feel the therapeutic effects.

The initial ritual

Once shown to my seat inside the beautifully botanical Hari’s salon on Fulham Road, I was offered the usual magazines and refreshments (it was post-6pm on a Friday, so mine was a gin and tonic) before being presented with a little pipette full of CBD oil (a third of the size of those we used in science class), which I was instructed to squeeze out under my tongue and hold there for 60 seconds. Full disclosure: ingesting CBD oil tastes faintly like licking a stoner’s carpet – best washed down with a gin chaser.

As a total novice in the marijuana department, I was intrigued (read, mildly concerned) to know what the pipette’s effects might be. Would I be chuckling my way through a head massage? Falling off my salon chair? However, my therapist assured me that (thanks largely to the lack of THC in the oil) any noticeable effects, which would take 15-20 minutes, would be very gentle. “You may feel particularly relaxed and revived,” she said “equally some people feel nothing.”

The Treatment

While the gulp of CBD oil worked its magic, the therapist set about applying the topical CBD mask to my hair. The treatment contains CBD and CBDA oils blended with coconut oil, Tamanu (a Polynesian nut oil) and other essential oils designed to deeply nourish the hair from the roots to the tips. It’s meant to help sensitive scalps, cleanse pores, balance sebum production and stimulate blood flow, encouraging healthy hair growth, lustre and shine.

While one therapist spent an intensely relaxing ten minutes massaging all that oily goodness into my scalp, neck and temples, another treated me to a wonderful hand massage (there’s a choice between optional hand and foot massage at this point), again using CBD oil.

While the distinctly weedy smell of the CBD means it wouldn’t be my massage oil of choice, the excellent double massage more than made up for it.

Tea and Infusion

Once it’s all massaged in, I sat under a heater for 20 minutes to ensure the mix penetrated to maximum effect. I was presented with a freshly brewed pot of Spirit of Hemp tea to enjoy whilst it developed. The Hemp Flower tea was brimming with CBDA and Flavonoids which I was told helps to reduce inflammation and offer protection from chronic and age-related diseases.

I wasn’t sure if it was the oil, the tea or (most likely) the gin and tonic, but there could be no doubt that by then I was feeling intensely relaxed.

Finishing Life Force Blow Dry

Finally, my hair was given an all-natural rinse to clean, cleanse and strengthen strands and smooth split ends. With glossy locks blow dried to perfection, I left the salon feeling all warm and fuzzy… and ready for another gin.

Weeding out the roots at Hari's salon on Fulham Road

‘Can CBD Oil Treat Thinning Hair and Hair Loss?’

Name: Jools

Question: Can CBD oil treat hair loss? I have thinning hair and heard this is good for regrowth.

Answer: Hi, Jools. You haven’t mentioned the cause of your hair loss but, regardless, there is no clinical evidence that suggests CBD oil can treat thinning hair.

Cannabiniol oil – also known as cannabis oil and CBD oil – comes in a range of strengths and strains, depending on the type of hemp leaves it is produced from.

There are around 113 active chemicals in the cannabis sativa plant, known as cannabinoids. The two key components are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Whilst THC is the banned psychoactive known for getting people high, CBD is considered an anti-psychotic and makes up approximately 40 per cent of cannabis extracts.

Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis sativa plants, but differ in that hemp plants tend to be farmed for their non-psychoactive CBD benefits, whilst marijuana plants have often been modified to ensure high levels of THC.

Studies are still underway but CBD has already been found to be beneficial to a range of health problems including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and inflammation. Furthermore, it has a low side-effect profile, being largely well-tolerated with the main complaint in users being tiredness. In August 2016 it was reported in The Independent that the NHS is developing a CBD vape pen, known as the MediPen vaporiser, to help people deal with a range of health issues. Despite this, it is not presently MHRA licensed, nor FDA approved for the treatment of any condition.

Cannabiniol use for medical purposes is legal in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Italy and Germany, whilst in America the law varies by state to state. Though cannabis use is illegal in the UK, carrying potential penalties for possession of up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both, the use of CBD is legal.

In some cases the NHS is actually able to prescribe CBD, commonly referred to as medical marijuana, though this is generally for pain management when other options have been exhausted, and not for issues considered to be ‘cosmetic’ and where its effects are unproven, such as hairloss.

One reason CBD oil appears to have been widely touted on the internet as a potential hair loss solution, is due to its nutritional properties. It is rich in the fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 – something researchers at the University of Seville found to be present in the ‘1/4 ratio’ considered optimal for health. It is also understood to contain good levels of linoleic and gamma linoleic acid (GLA) – essential fatty acids which promote the maintenance of normal hair growth – as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, cannabiniol oil is said to be high in vitamin E.

As such, it may help to improve the condition of the hair in the same way following a balanced, healthy diet would. However, CBD oil is highly unlikely to treat a medical hair loss condition, especially if this is a genetic complaint – namely Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss, both of which cause thinning hair anywhere in the vertex area from the crown to the hairline, in those affected.

Despite it usually being taken orally, we are aware of CBD oil being used as a topical treatment for scalp conditions such as eczema and seborrhoeic dermatitis, though the evidence to support this type of therapy is currently solely anecdotal.

Discovering an effective, natural treatment or cure for hair loss would be fantastic but, to date, there are none that have been proven to work in regrowing hair or preventing baldness. There are, however, clinically-proven pharmaceutical hair loss treatments available, which – at Belgravia – are offered alongside additional supporting products and therapies tailored towards maximising hair growth and condition.

These include FDA-cleared low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices, such as the LaserBand products, and premium Hair Vitalics food supplements, in highly-targeted Men’s and Women’s formulations, comprising a range of beneficial vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts including selenium, zinc and biotin to promote normal, healthy hair growth.

The first step we would recommend you take, however, is to establish the precise reason your hair is thinning. There are a number of reasons that this can happen and a professional diagnosis is usually the best way to ensure you know exactly what is happening, why and how to address it.

The Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

CBD oil – the non-psychoactive cannabis plant derivative – is legal to use in the UK and has been touted as a natural remedy for hair loss and hair growth, but can CBD oil can treat thinning hair?