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Exploring Melatonin as a Potential Solution for Hair Loss

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a prevalent issue affecting millions globally. This condition can lead to significant emotional and psychological distress. With numerous treatments available, both traditional and alternative, a novel approach has emerged: melatonin. This pleiotropic hormone, commonly known for regulating sleep, has shown potential benefits in promoting hair growth. Here, we explore the scientific evidence supporting melatonin as an effective treatment for hair loss.

Understanding Hair Loss

Hair loss can be attributed to various factors, including genetics, hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle choices. Androgenetic alopecia (AGA), commonly referred to as male or female pattern baldness, is the most prevalent form. Other types include alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, and traction alopecia. While traditional treatments like minoxidil and finasteride are widely used, they come with their own set of limitations and side effects. This has driven researchers to explore alternative solutions like melatonin.

Melatonin and Hair Growth: The Evidence

Recent studies have investigated the potential benefits of melatonin on hair health. A comprehensive literature review conducted in 2022 identified 11 human studies examining the relationship between melatonin and hair loss, involving 2,267 patients, including 1,140 men. The studies utilised databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane, and applied search terms like "hair," "hair loss," "alopecia," "hair growth," "effluvium," and "scalp" combined with "melatonin" .

Positive Outcomes in Androgenetic Alopecia

Eight of the reviewed studies demonstrated positive outcomes with topical melatonin use in subjects with androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Participants experienced improved scalp hair growth, increased hair density, and enhanced hair shaft thickness compared to controls. Specifically, a 0.0033% or 0.1% topical melatonin solution applied once daily for 90 to 180 days was found to be effective. Additionally, oral melatonin supplementation at a dosage of 1.5 mg taken twice daily for 180 days also yielded positive results.

Mechanism of Action

Melatonin’s role in hair growth is not entirely understood, but it is believed to involve its antioxidant properties and its ability to modulate hormone levels. Melatonin can counteract oxidative stress, which is known to damage hair follicles and impede hair growth. Additionally, melatonin might influence the levels of hormones like androgens, which play a significant role in AGA .

Clinical Implications and Future Research

The evidence supporting melatonin’s effectiveness in promoting hair growth, particularly in men with AGA, is promising. However, further studies are needed to validate these findings across larger and more diverse populations. Understanding the precise mechanisms by which melatonin influences hair growth will also be crucial in optimising its use as a treatment for hair loss.


Hair loss remains a challenging condition with significant impact on individuals' lives. While traditional treatments like minoxidil and finasteride are effective, they may not be suitable for everyone. Melatonin, with its emerging evidence, offers a promising alternative. Topical and oral melatonin treatments have shown positive results in promoting hair growth, density, and thickness, especially in individuals with androgenetic alopecia. As research progresses, melatonin could become a mainstream solution for those seeking effective hair loss treatments.


1. J Drugs Dermatol. 2023;22(3): doi:10.36849/JDD.6921.


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