While you may have come to rely on Monistat (otherwise known as miconazole) for treating yeast infections, itâ€™s been getting a lot of attention lately for an entirely different off-label use: growing hair.
Applying Monistat to your scalp is probably not something you imagined would work to make your hair grow faster. But some claim that Monistat is the most effective topical treatment for hair growth they have ever used.
So is there any reason to believe that Monistat can work to regrow hair? Read on to learn more about what the research says and how to use it.
Does Monistat help hair grow?
Monistat-7 contains an active ingredient called miconazole nitrate. This antifungal medication may be effective at promoting scalp health.
There are currently no studies that confirm (or deny) that Monistat itself can be used as a topical treatment to promote hair growth. But some research suggests that similar medications may help with hair growth.
What the research says
A 2014 study on male Wistar rats found that ketoconazole, a drug in the same family, was found to effectively promote hair growth.
However, that study didnâ€™t use the same ingredients as Monistat has in it. And that same study suggested that minoxidil (Rogaine) was more effective at hair regrowth.
After analyzing 51 studies, the review concluded that ketoconazole and another similar ingredient, ciclopirox, is more effective than a placebo for the treatment of SD.
The study also noted that these ingredients have fewer side effects than steroid treatments. But researchers didnâ€™t find conclusive evidence that similar antifungal medications would have the same result.
A healthy scalp may encourage hair growth
If you accept that antifungal medication can impact scalp health, the idea of using Monistat for hair growth starts makes sense.
A healthy scalp is firmly linked to the strength, health, and longevity of hair follicles. Increased circulation and higher cell turnover can encourage a healthy scalp and may be helped by applying antifungal creams.
If thereâ€™s any fungi living on your scalp slowing down hair growth, Monistat will get rid of it.
Some hair types may be more responsive
Some also claim that Monistat works better for certain hair types than others. People who claim that this treatment works for them tend to be women who have natural or curly hair.
But all evidence about using Monistat to treat hair loss is anecdotal. Take this information with a grain of salt as you consider using the treatment yourself.
Is Monistat safe to use for hair growth?
Monistat is considered safe for topical application to treat yeast infections. Since itâ€™s approved for use on some of the most sensitive skin on your body, the risk of severe side effects on your scalp are probably minimal.
Notice that the key word is â€œprobably.â€
There havenâ€™t been studies to investigate what the side effects of putting Monistat on your scalp might be. Typical side effects of using Monistat for yeast infections can include:
If your hair loss is unrelated to scalp health, thereâ€™s a chance that applying Monistat to your scalp could clog pores, dry out your scalp, and harm hair follicles. This can actually contribute to hair loss instead of preventing it.
Do a patch test first
Try treating a small section of your scalp with Monistat first before you do a whole-head application. This can help test the waters and see if side effects occur.
If you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts on your scalp, definitely do a patch test first.
How do I use Monistat on my scalp and hair?
If youâ€™re going to try Monistat to regrow hair, there are two options to do it.
Other ways to increase hair growth
If youâ€™re not sure that applying Monistat to your hair is the home remedy for you, there are plenty of other (science-backed) ways to promote hair growth and improve scalp health at home. Here are a few suggestions:
- scalp massage
- peppermint essential oil
- onion juice
- minoxidil or finasteride topicals
- laser treatment
When to seek help?
Some hair loss as you age is part of the aging process. But there are times when hair loss can be an indicator of an underlying health condition.
Home remedies to treat normal hair loss are one thing. But you should never ignore significant hair loss that happens during a short period of time.
Speak to a medical professional about your hair loss if:
- your hair is regularly coming out in clumps
- youâ€™re losing your hair in patches
- your hair loss seems to have greatly accelerated recently for a reason you canâ€™t understand
Using Monistat 7 or a similar antifungal treatment probably wonâ€™t harm your hair.
But donâ€™t expect it to be a miracle treatment, either. Thereâ€™s very little current research to support the off-label use of topical antifungals in this way.
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