Dr. Kari Williams, Natural Hair Expert and Trichologist answers the question: Does Monistat (Vaginal Yeast Infection Cream) grow hair: Fact or Fiction
The blogosphere explodes when there’s news of a possible solution to hair loss. There are 21 million women suffering from hair loss in the United States, so hair growth recommendations that delivers results are in high demand. But using a vaginal yeast infection cream? Many people are skeptical and believe this is crazy, but there is an existing possibility that it works. Let’s briefly explore the facts.
Does It Work?
The active ingredient in Monistat or other vaginal yeast infection creams is miconazole nitrate. This antifungal agent has a similar chemical structure to another antifungal agent, ketoconazole.
Ketoconazole has also been shown to block dihydrotestosterone, the hormone responsible for female- and male-patterned hair loss also known as androgenetic alopecia. Several studies have evaluated it as an “anti-androgen” that combats the miniaturization and eventual disappearance of hair follicles due to hormonal changes making it an effective treatment for hair loss and hair regrowth for those effect by androgenetic alopecia. But it has not be tested nor is it recommended for this reason.
Another possibility is the antifungal properties are treating a fungal infection of scalp that has decreased or inhibited the scalps ability to produce healthy hair. This is another condition that should be diagnosed by a professional.
Is It Safe?
Although it seems possible miconazole nitrate can treat a very specific type of hair loss, this leads us to another question. Is it safe? It has not been clinically tested. But the reported side effects for the traditional use of miconazole cream are rashes, itching, irritation, burning sensation, and headaches. For “off-label,” or hair use, some have shared the same discomforted with the addition of ears ringing, dizziness, ‘crawling’ or ‘moving’ sensation where applied on the scalp, extreme tender or itchy scalp and severe migraines. (If these are the short-term side effects, its probably not worth risking other more long-term not yet reported side effects.)
I tease women all the time about thinking they know more than the chemist. Especially when they ignore the instructions on the label, in hopes of reaping more benefits from the product.
Additionally, we have the tendency to self-diagnose and this leads us to invest in products and treatments that may not work for our specific situation.
My Professional Advice
Don’t risk the possible side effects of the ‘off-label usage’. Again, it is NOT a clinically proven or tested therapy. It is possible to damage your scalp and its hair follicles which can result in permeant hair loss.
Check with a doctor first and make sure you get a diagnosis for your hair loss so that you can get proper recommendations that will yield the best results.
For more info read 5 Things You Should Do If You Notice A Bald Spot