hair loss

Scalptastic Hair Boost

As it’s hair expo weekend I thought that we would take a look at this cute little product that landed on our desk this week.

Hair Boost is a leave on scalp treatment that helps to manage the condition of your hair through improved scalp health.  As I have only had it for a few days I can’t yet vouch for that claim personally but what I can do is walk through the herbal extracts that are inside the bottle to see if the claims stack up on paper:

Hawthorn – Traditionally hawthorn was used to treat heart conditions as apparently it can slow down the heart beat which reduces blood pressure. How that would help the hair grow I don’t know but I guess that a)  we all ‘heart’ our hair and b) it would slow down our palputations should we find ourselves stuck in the middle of a bad hair day!   Anyway, a closer look at its chemistry shows that Hawthorn is rich in proantocyanidin biovlavnoids which we will talk about at the end. So THAT’S why……

Capsicum – Wowsers, this can be hot stuff giving your scalp a little tingle as it boosts circulation!  Capsicum (or Chilli) is great for dilating the blood vessels and getting the temperature rising. In this formulation it would probably be the Capsicum that boosts the products efficacy (along with the carrier which we will mention at the end).

Saw Palmetto –  This extract has been used in traditional American Indian medicine as a hair conditioning and treatment oil. Apparently it helps to revive the hair follicles which sounds like fun!

Green Tea – This extract has been linked to being able to treat hair loss which is a big call put down to the […]

Highly Irritant Chemical Shrinks Skin Cancers?

Would you believe it, an ingredient so irritating and so synthetic that no skin care company worth their salt would touch it with an all-natural barge pole has been saving our skin! It’s called Diphencyprone, is usually used in the treatment of hard-to-budge warts but has recently been outed as a skin-cancer chewer-upper.  Melanoma be gone, tell me more…..

The guys at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney have been studying the effects of this chemical on skin tumours over the last few years (see patent from 2007) but now feel ready to take things one step further with the help of a little publicity from Nine MSN, well OK, the Dermatology conference! 

Apparently the cream works because it is so irritating.  The allergen stimulates an immune response which results in a rash as well as an attack on skin tumor cells. The attack  weakens the tumor cells and eventually the tumors shrink!   While initial research is looking good this is still an experimental treatment for this deadly skin condition – the first line of defence is to cut the tumors out, ouch. So there you have it!  An itchy solution to a serious problem.

It just goes to show that highly irritant, synthetic chemicals may well have their moment under the sun. Maybe we shouldn’t be so ready to judge….


In case you are interested this chemical is also used in the treatment of Alopecia Areata (thought to be an autoimmune disease), in treating various skin diseases and for vitiligo.   Pretty powerful stuff!