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October 7, 2011

Can Yeast Infection Creams Cure Hair Growth?



Ninon D’s delightful question
:

I’ve been reading an interesting thread on the Long Hair Care Forum. It seems that some of the women there are using a cream marketed to treat thrush on their scalps to boost hair growth. The mind somewhat boggles at how anyone stumbled upon this idea, however lots of the women are reporting increased growth from creams containing miconazole nitrate such as Monistat. I’d be curious to know what your take is on this – genuinely beneficial, benign or bonkers?


The Left Brain’s skeptical response:

You’re right Ninon, the idea that miconazole nitrate (the active ingredient in Monistat) can stimulate hair growth is all over the Long Hair Forum. They make several mentions of medical studies that says miconazole works, but I was unable to find any such studies. (If anyone from the Long Hair Forum reads this, please let me know which reports you’re referring to.)

Can anti-fungals help hair growth?


The only credible research on this topic that I could find comes from a report issued by the Department of Internal Medicine, Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland entitled “Ketoconazole Binds to the Human Androgen Receptor.” Ketoconazole, for those of you not up on your imidazole chemistry, is another antifungal which is a cousin of miconazole. The Bethesda report says that lab tests showed ketoconazole can interact with androgen receptors and therefore can inhibit testosterone levels.

What does all this mean?

Since androgen and testosterone levels are associated with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness), it’s THEORETICALLY possible that this chemical could affect hair loss. However, this test did NOT evaluate hair growth, it only showed that this drug MIGHT be involved in PART of the metabolic pathway that leads to baldness.

Furthermore, the study also says that “ the dose of ketoconazole required for 50% occupancy of the androgen receptor is not likely to be achieved in vivo…” So even if this reaction can be observed in the laboratory it doesn’t seem very realistic to expect it would work on people.

So should I put Monistat on my scalp or not?

And what about our miconazole? The researchers said “androgen binding studies performed with other imidazoles, such as clotrimazole, miconazole, and fluconozole, revealed that in this class of compounds only ketoconazole appears to interact with the androgen receptor.” So even in lab tests at high levels, miconazole DOES NOT show any effect.

The Beauty Brains bottom line-

The only report I was able to find does not support using miconazole for hair growth. Of course it’s possible that there are other studies out there showing a cause and effect. If anyone comes across them, please send them to me for review. I’ll gladly revise my position based on new data. But without some kind of study and plausible mechanism, I remain skeptical that yeast infection creams can increase hair growth.


Have any of you tried it? Any anecdotal evidence to share?

16 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

I have not tried this, however even if there was credible empirical evidence that miconazole nitrate did stimulate hair growth, I still would not use yeast infection cream on my scalp. There are plenty of other hair growth remedies that I would sooner try.

Ms. Harmony said...

I tried to use it for a month and didn't make it. The cream combined with essential oils just made my scalp dry and itchy so I discontinued use.

Tia said...

Thank you for this post! I think its sad what ppl will believe (without evidence) the things they can do for hair growth.

Sarah said...

I would need someone to break this down at a chemical level before I would even think about trying this. I can see this helping with irritation for a person with severe chemical damage, but not with hair growth...

Kiki Rocks Kinks said...

I've heard quite a few people report having severe headaches and migraines form putting this stuff in their hair. I would never, it's not made for the hair it's made to kill overactive yeast from the vagina... just knowing that alone should deter anyone from putting vagina cream in your hair that is on top of your brain. That stuff will be absorbed right into your brain and knowing the possible ill effects that could have on the brain could take years. No sir, not for me!

Anonymous said...

IT DOES WORK! its to do with the fact that the antifungal which gets rid of the naturally occuring fungus and yeast on your scalp which can slow growth down a bit. Basically it just means that you have a super clean scalp to ensure hair grows at its maximum level. Normally i get 1/2 to 3/4 per month and MN boosted that up to 1 and 1/2 inches a month because my scalp was kept clean. I used it for 3 months every other day mixed in with some tea tree and ORS fertilising serum and i didnt notice any headaches or funny side effects apart from an increase in shedding but that was because my hair was growing in faster. Its also really good if you have an oily scalp or dandruff too. In terms of chemicals i have no idea.

Carlos said...

psh. people need to stop with the "i cant believe someone would put that in their hair". Stop and realize that most people put stuff in their hair with ill ingredients that we dont even know how to pronounce oh and dont get me started on relaxers. unless someone is using "ALL" natural hand made products then i dont wanna hear it lol.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Carlos. Comments like that from people who relaxed their hair for years is a little hard to swallow. I've used it and my hair grew more than the 1/2" monthly. I did it for about 2 months. Got lazy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is correct. It works and is it any more dangerous than a relaxer?

I had a damaged hairline since 1989! I received a salon chemical treatment that resulted in hair loss and had an almost see through, (bald in a few spots) hairline and completely changed texture in some other areas. I tried the MN with castor oil last year and hair began to sprout from areas that had been bald since 1989. I then used JBCO (a natural antifungal and antibacterial) and the new hairs grew in even thicker. It DOES work. My 20 years of an embarrassing hairline changed to lusciousness in a matter of months tops any scientific study.

And in my opinion, it is no more dangerous than a relaxer. Holistic doctors recommend doing an internal yeast cleanse once per year to cleanse excess yeast, fungus and bacteria from the intestines, that grow from every day behaviors like drinking chlorinated water or eating sugar. MN on the scalp is simply an yeast, bacteria and/or fungal cleanse for the scalp.

Anonymous said...

And the spots that had a texture change, returned to their original texture. I thank God that I read about MN on the internet. I have my hair back. After 20+ years!!!

Anonymous said...

What we all need to remember is everyone's hair is different based on many variables. Someone who has a high level of yeast in their body would probably benefit from this and someone who doesn't wouldn't. I clean my body out internally so I wouldn't try this but its not as far fetched as you think. Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal that people use in their hair but I find natural products take longer to see the results and maybe the MN happens quicker.

Anonymous said...

Hair grows, People need to learn how to moisturize their hair (secret to natural hair). Stay away from all these unnecessary products that just cause more stress. Moisturize your hair and let time do it's part.

Anonymous said...

It does work I tried it and I used it every other day My hair thickened and got longer. Its sounds crazy but it really does work i mixed about a table spoon in my normal moisturizer and used it every other day. My girlfriend also used it on her daughter hair becuase someone burned her daughter edges in the back by pressing her hair. SHe used it for about 3 weeks and it grew back quickly.

Anonymous said...

I am a female with chronic candida albicans overgrowth. This has affected my mouth, nails, and internal function for several years. I've also had patchy bald spots on my head for the same amount of time. Seems to me that if yeast can cause hair loss, then an anti fungal treatment should help. I'm going to try this - its the best suggestion I've heard for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

I've been known to use the Monistat product on my scalp and have notice a difference. I used to wear my hair in braids for many years. I kept my edges braided tight which lead to them thinning and eventually, complete hair loss. Now, for the first time in more than 10 years I see hair growing on my edges that did not exist before.

Anonymous said...

Night #1 ill check in in a week

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