The patented formulation contains saw palmetto, ashwagandha and maca, known to support hormone health before, during and after menopause.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 40% of women experience hair loss by age 40, and that number continues to increase with age.
Nutrafol created Women's Balance, first launched in 2019, in response to the complex hormonal needs of women who are going through or have gone through menopause. The company said it is the only hair wellness supplement clinically formulated to address the root causes of hair thinning in perimenopausal and menopausal women.
The root of hair thinning
“Hair thinning is multifactorial, and that is no exception here. The root causes of hair thinning in perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women have to do with several factors - including hormone fluctuations, stress, the immune system and changes to metabolism and nutritional status. As women enter the menopausal transition, estrogen and progesterone rapidly decline; as does testosterone but at a much slower rate. The result is androgen dominance which can contribute to overall thinning hair, a widening part and a receding hairline,” explained Dr. Sophia Kogan, Nutrafol's co-founder and Chief Medical Advisor.
“We created our Women’s Balance formulation to address these shifts and in fact, it is the only nutraceutical on the market that is clinically formulated with ingredients that specifically target root causes of thinning hair in women going through the menopausal transition. Featuring our patented Synergen Complex Plus, the formula includes saw palmetto, which has been shown to prevent testosterone conversion to DHT, as well as maca to support hormone health and Sensoril Ashwagandha to balance stress hormones, which are needed to support the hair growth cycle.”
The study was recently presented at this year's American Society for Dermatologic Surgery annual meeting and the company said it is pending publication in a peer-reviewed industry journal.
The 6-month double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study assessed the safety and efficacy of Nutrafol's Women's Balance formulation in improving hair growth and quality in 70 perimenopausal, menopausal and post menopausal subjects with self-perceived thinning hair were enrolled in the study. Interim analysis was based on 60 subjects who completed, with 33 who received active treatment and 27 received placebo.
The study resulted in positive results for objective measures of hair growth, including terminal, vellus and total hair counts. There was a progressive increase in hair counts for
Nutrafol subjects compared to placebo at three and six months. Additionally, daily administration of Nutrafol resulted in significantly less shedding compared to placebo. This was accompanied by visible clinical improvement in hair growth and quality in the active group, which was assessed by a blinded physician investigator. The study suggests that daily intake of the supplement is safe and effective in improving hair growth and quality in women going through menopausal transition.
“The published data supports the clinical effectiveness of the Women's Balance formulation for menopausal women. This provides physicians with a solution for their patients, and gives menopausal women the opportunity to take control of their menopausal transition and beyond,” said the study’s primary investigator, Dr. Glynis Ablon, MD, FAAD and founder of the Ablon Skin Institute & Research Center, an independent clinical research site specializing in dermatology clinical trials.
Bracing for change
“As a company we recognized that this was an overlooked population and have done extensive research around women in this life stage to not only provide them with a proven and effective option in our Women’s Balance formulation, but to help start the conversation. That is why the results of this study are so significant and to our knowledge, this is the first prospective study showing clinical efficacy of a nutraceutical supplement in improving hair growth in women with thinning hair in menopausal transition and beyond,” said Kogan.
“There is unfortunately a lack of research on the physical and emotional effects that menopause has on women, and a lot of the conversation to date has been that these things are simply ‘out of our control.’ Instead of focusing on what to prepare for and trying to find resolutions for the hormonal shifts and changes in our bodies, we are told to focus on this disruptive time as something we have to brace ourselves for.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Menopause Society designated October as World Menopause Month.
Kogan added “This study is not just a breakthrough for Nutrafol, it’s a breakthrough for the entire industry. We hope it contributes to bringing more awareness to this topic and the need for research and specific solutions that address this very important population of women.”
"A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of an Oral Supplement with Standardized Botanicals to Promote Hair Growth in Women going through Menopausal Transition - Results from Six Month Interim Analyses"
Authors: et al