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For ages and in all cultures the hair was symbolic of strength and power, of masculinity or femininity.
Today, they reveal our personality and reflect the image of oneself or that which one wishes to project.
A fully fledged tool of seduction, we invest in numerous hair care products, which unfortunately are not always effective as they do not work in depth.
Because our hair, consisting of a bulb and a hair shaft, grow and are nourished through their root1. Indeed, cells multiply at the root thanks to oxygen and the nutrients that are transported through blood capillaries. Then they are gradually pushed outward while loading themselves with keratin – a protein-rich sulfur amino acids (methionine and cystine) – to form the hair shaft. The analysis of one of our hair reveals our overall health state as they capture everything that we ingest (food, medicines, drugs, pollution, etc.).
In summary, the growth and vitality of hair depend on nutrients and hormones in the blood and reaching the root: the only effective way to improve their health or the “heal” them is, therefore, to feed them from the inside.
We recognize three main hair-loss reasons:
– A hormonal imbalance: androgenetic alopecia.
Androgenetic alopecia is a very common condition that affects about 50% of men. Contrary to popular belief, it also affects about 15% of women aged 40 years and 75% of women over 65 years.
The cause of this abnormal hair loss is known: it is linked to the hyperactivity of the enzyme 5 alpha reductase which is involved in the transformation of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone DHT.
Thus, too high a rate of 5 alpha reductase will have the effect of modifying the length of hair cycles (anagen phase = phase of growth, and growth phase shortened), first causing a thinning of the hair, and then their gradual or total loss over large areas of the scalp.
– The Oxidation: diffuse alopecia
It mainly affects women and is characterized by a thin and sparse hair over the entire scalp.
It is most often due to damage caused by free radicals, themselves caused by external factors such as pollution, stress, quality of life, etc. Free radicals support tissue inflammation, promote the ageing of hair follicle cells (root) and the shortening of hair life cycle
– Microcirculation problems: Loss due to deficiency
It is scientifically established that blood-borne nutrients deficiency, can cause abnormal hair loss, called loss due to deficiency. These hair are anaemic and the duration of the pilaris cycles is shortened.
So how to effectively act on the various factors responsible for hair loss?
Plants have natural properties that can support hair growth and stimulate regrowth. The new concept of phytovitality is an effective natural way to optimize the benefits of these plants in synergy with one another.
1 – Florida palm and nettle – two plants to act on hormone factors to slow hair loss
For ages, Florida Palm or Saw Palmetto was used by the Indians of Florida for its multiple medicinal properties.
The Florida Palm is generally recommended for women to treat problems related to the Menstruation and hormone imbalance, and for men to fight problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. In short, it is effective against certain hormonal disorders.
Research has shown that it is a very effective inhibitor of the activity of 5-alpha-réductase (2), which as we have seen, leads to hair thinning, then to progressive and total hair loss on large areas (forehead and top) of the skull for men, and a more generalized progressive thinning in women.
Clinical studies on bald men have shown that consuming Florida palm tree extract reduces scalp DHT levels and foster hair growth (3,4), without causing side effects (unlike to drug treatments such as Finasteride, having the same function).
This action is reinforced by an association with nettle.
Nettle was well known to the Greeks and Romans who used it to treat coughs, tuberculosis, arthritis and to stimulate hair growth.
Today, the benefits of nettle are increasingly recognized by the medical community, especially in Europe. In 1995, a study (without placebo) conducted among 2,080 subjects treated with a mixture of extracts of Nettle Root and Saw Palmetto gave conclusive results on benign prostatic hyperplasia, thus on the activity of 5-alpha- réductase (5). The results of two double-blind 24-week studies, as well as those of a monitoring without placebo for 48 weeks (6), have confirmed the efficacy of the combination of these two plants. In addition, during two trials lasting one year, this same product has been recognized as effective as the conventional drugs, finasteride, and tamsulosin.
Nettle associated with saw palmetto is thus effective to fight the hormonal factors in hair loss.
2 – Blueberry for microcirculation and to stimulate growth by reducing oxidation
Blueberry, rich in vitamin C, also provides iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. It has a record amount of flavonoids with thinning, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. Besides other phenolic components, the fruits contain a high concentration of anthocyanins, whose anti-oxidative effect far exceeds that of vitamins C and E.
Phenolic compounds in blueberries help to reduce oxidation of blood lipids, the effects of oxidative stress and inflammation of the vascular system (7). A controlled double-blind study against placebo, involving 60 patients with chronic venous insufficiency, showed significant improvement in symptoms after 30 days of treatment with a Blueberry extract (8).
Blueberry strengthens capillaries by protecting them against oxidation and improves the contractile functions of vessels thereby improving the supply of nutrients to the hair bulb (root).
Blueberry, fighting against microcirculation problems, stimulates the vitality of the hair bulb, promotes regrowth and hair growth. Associated with other plants, it also helps to fight against the harmful effect of free radicals.
3- Watercress & marigold to fight free radicals, enhance hair quality and vitality naturally
Watercress is one of the fresh vegetable richest in vitamin C, provitamin A and vitamin B9 or folic acid. Well endowed with minerals and trace elements (potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc), it also contains antioxidants, especially carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin) and flavonoïdes (9). These help protect our hair from harmful waste produced by the body and various pollutants. The antioxidants in watercress protect from tissues inflammation and thus prevent the aging of hair follicle cells and the shortening of the piliari cycle (10).
Moreover, like all cruciferous,cresson is rich in sulfur substances and contains more than any other vegetable of that family. These sulfur compounds are essential for the formation of the keratin structure of the hair protein consisting of a large number of sulfur-containing amino acids. The sulfur substances of Cresson are essential to a good resistance of the hair fiber.
Marigolds (also called Tagete) are a type of herbaceous plants, the best known are the guinea eyelets. This plant is antioxidant, scar healing, anthelmintic and acts on the immune system. Marigolds are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin (coloring agent), which are natural antioxidants from the carotenoid family. They particularly impact vision, skin and hair since they contribute in part to reduce the negative effects of ultraviolet. These antioxidant substances therefore act specifically on the hair subjected to a strong oxidative stress, since they are directly exposed to air and radiation.
Skin aggressions caused by UV, are said to speed hair whitening and dryness. A team of researchers from the New York University School of Medicine has indeed demonstrated that after a skin UV aggression, melanocytes of the hair bulb disappear (moving to areas of damaged skin), accelerating the discoloration and hair damage (11).
Watercress and Tagetes thus help fight against oxidative stress suffered by our hair and stimulate the creation of keratin.
4- Why synergy of plants is important?
Each of the plants described above has active ingredients with specific properties. If these properties seem similar, the important message to remember here is that only a complex of all these actives provides a triple effect action on the beauty of our hair.
But beware: consuming plant extracts complexes can be potentially dangerous and, due to the wide differences in the composition of natural products available on the market, it is capital to ensure the origin, the dosage, and the concentration of the active ingredients of these products.
On the other hand, if one can find many complexes containing dry titrated extracts from one some of the plants that we have just mentioned, very few are designed to provide a synergistic action of the ingredient to achieve maximum efficiency with a synergistic action. Indeed, the synergy of the active ingredients is an additional information that is given to the body, defining when and where the active ingredients have to take action, and this without interacting with one another.
We have found Activa Well being Hair to be an effective product as it combines the following:
– It consists of a designed mixture of dry extracts of Saw Palmetto, Nettle, Blueberry, Watercress and Marigold that combines three specific actions:
– It slows hair loss by acting on ALL the factors responsible (hormones, oxidation and microcirculation)
– It stimulates the formation of keratin
– It promotes hair growth and regrowth
– It enhances hair quality and vitality
– No uncomfortable effects
– It is made of 100% natural active ingredients with a “smart” formulation for a synergistic and efficient action of the components
– It is completely bioavailable
– Biocompatible, it respects the body and acts in depth on our vitality
– Result of recent galenic innovations, it is in the form of microgranules with controlled release to ensure a gradual release of the active ingredients.
We’ve also selected a range of supplements:
- Made of 100% natural active ingredients
- Completely bioavailable and biocompatible
- In “Controlled release” microgranules form to ensure prolonged effectiveness and targeted action in the body
Image Credit: Shutterstock
 Anderson ML1. A! preliminary investigation of the enzymatic inhibition of 5alpha-reduction and growth of prostatic carcinoma cell line LNCap-FGC by natural astaxanthin and Saw Palmetto lipid extract in vitro. J Herb Pharmacother. 2005;5(1):17-26
 Un Rossi , Mari E , Scarno M , V Garelli , Maxia C , E Scali , A Iorio , Carlesimo M. Comparative effectiveness of finasteride vs Serenoa repens in male androgenetic alopecia: a two-year study. Int J Pharmacol Immunopathol 2012 Oct-Déc; 25 (4): 1167-1173.
 Prager N1, Bickett K, French N, Marcovici G. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of botanically derived inhibitors of 5-alpha-reductase in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Apr;8(2):143-52.
 Schneider HJ, Honold E, Masuhr T. Treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Results of a treatment study with the phytogenic combination of Sabal extract WS 1473 and Urtica extract WS 1031 in urologic specialty practices. Fortschr Med 1995 Jan 30;113(3):37-40.
 Metzker H, Kieser M, Hölscher U. Wirksamkeit eines Sabal-Urtica-kombinationspraparates bei der behandlung der benignen prostatahyperplasie (BPH). Urologe 1996;36(4):292-300. Étude mentionnée et résumée dans : Natural Standard (Ed). Herbs & Supplements – Saw palmetto, Nature Medicine Quality Standard. www.naturalstandard.com.Sokeland J, Albrecht J. Combination of Sabal and Urtica extract vs. finasteride in benign prostatic hyperplasia (Aiken stages I to II). Comparison of therapeutic effectiveness in a one year double-blind study. Urologe A. 1997 Jul;36(4):327-33. German.
 Kay CD, Holub BJ. The effect of wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) consumption on postprandial serum antioxidant status in human subjects.Br J Nutr 2002 Oct;88(4):389-98.
 Gatta L., « Experimental single-blind study: 60 pts with venous insufficiency received bilberry extract equivalent to 173 mg anthocyanins daily of placebo for 30 days », Fitoterapia, 1988, 115:109-116.
 USDA. USDA database for the flavonoid content of selected foods. 2003.
 Willcox JK, Ash SL, Catignani GL. Antioxidants and prevention of chronic disease. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2004;44(4):275-95.
 Sumayah Jamal1 and Robert J. Schneider2. UV-induction of keratinocyte endothelin-1 downregulates E-cadherin in melanocytes and melanoma cells. J Clin Invest. 2002 Aug 15; 110(4): 443–452.