|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication:||2022|
|Authors:||N. A. Enechukwu, Ogunbiyi A. O.|
|Keywords:||alternative medicine, hair disorders|
Hair and scalp disorders are common among individuals of African descent and constitute a significant proportion of dermatological conditions in them. Recently, there has been an increasing demand for natural products globally, especially for hair grooming and treatment of hair disorders. These naturally occurring products are accessible and affordable, perceived to be less toxic and contribute to wellness in an individual. Reports of possible complications from commercial hair products have also led to an increase in the demand for natural products in Nigeria. Indigenous therapies for hair and scalp disorders in Nigeria include physical modalities, natural products and chemicals. These therapies include the use of herbs, bark of trees, fruits, and oils which can be administered orally, topically or deposited intralesionally either through incisions, scarification marks, or demabrasion. There are currently very few studies supporting their efficacy and safety, hence, the rationale for their use is mostly anecdotal and their mode of administration unregulated. Some of the topical products in use are clearly harmful such as engine oil and kerosene used for the treatment of folliculitis keloidalis nuchae and head lice, respectively, and should be discouraged as they are caustic, inflammable and systemic absorption could occur leading to complications. Randomized controlled trials are needed to verify the claims from use of these natural products and determine the appropriate dosage for use. This review discusses the various medicinal plants, chemical agents and physical modalities used for different hair and scalp disorders in Nigeria.