Monistat & Miconazole Nitrate For Hair Growth
Over the years I've been constantly asked about the underground long hair world belief that Monistat cream, used internally by women for vaginal infections, can grow hair when applied to the scalp. This product is also known as monistat/miconazole nitrate.
There is no scientific proof or recent published evidence that using this treatment method will actually work.
Miconazole Nitrate (MN) pronounced as (mye-KON-a-zole) is the key ingredient in any topical formulations generally available for treating other kinds of suspected external yeast overgrowth problems such as jock itch, ringworm and athlete's foot/itch also known as tinea pedis.
Some of these creams have been tested as other optional hair growth creams.
The most common brand names for MN include Lotrimin AF, Micatin and Monistat Derm. Generic brands are also available with different names. When in doubt talk with your pharma expert. Medical doctors may also prescribe Clotimazole (1% or more) Econzaolve, Ketoconazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream for related yeast problems and/or chronic psoriasis of the scalp.
If you wish to pursue an off-brand name of Monistat, Monistat Derm or a NM formulation look for miconazex vaginal cream (available at some WalMart, Dollar General or Family Dollar stores). The off-brand may not work as well as the hard core Monistat but it is much less expensive as well.
Some hair growers have also experimented with Neosporin AF since it also has miconazole nitrate. It is important to purchase the Neosporin AF or some other anti-fungal cream that specifies miconzaole nitrate as a key ingredient.
The idea behind this treatment is that the anti-fungal works on the scalp to increase hair growth by killing fungus living on the scalp and potentially slowing hair growth or blocking the follicles.
Nizoral which is a common anti-yeast medication contains ketoconazole which is similar to miconazole but not exactly the same.
2% Versus 4% Formulations
The amount of miconazole nitrate contained in Monistat versus other anti-itch products may vary from 2-4% in content. Some people believe the 4% rocks because it appears to work faster.
However, it also tends to have the highest risk of side effects.
Personal Testing Of Monistat For Hair Growth
Have I personally tried it? Yes. I always try just about everything related to hair (products, techniques, underground long hair tips).
Did it work for me? Honestly, I didn't see any major difference. In all fairness, I do so many things to keep my hair long and healthy that it's possible if tried alone the Monistat would've made a difference.
I do need to point out that I do not even use Monistat for its intended purpose - yeast infections. Nope, over the past 25+ years, I have found much more natural treatment methods that have fewer potential side effects. I also avoid using anything with miconazole nitrate because it tends to aggravate my chronic yeast.
Did I use the Monistat cream religiously? Yes, for 30 days. Was that a fair test run? Maybe not, but I experienced side effects that concerned me to the point that I was unwilling to continue the test.
Monistat Used To Be A Prescription Drug
Keep in mind that Monistat used to be a prescription drug available only from physicians. Therefore, when anything I use or take has a direct connection to prescription drugs I am extremely cautious about using it.
Is it safe? Some people say that it is because it's used to treat internal vaginal infections. I don't know that I agree with that thinking, but then that's just my own opinion based on previous experiences with the product when used as an internal yeast treatment cream. I always found that it burned when I used it which was somewhat concerning since it was supposed to be soothing and have anti-itch properties.
I can certainly understand the premise behind the use of Monistat cream for hair growth and if you look at it from a yeast viewpoint, it makes sense that it would work when applied to the scalp.
Do I Recommend Monistat For Hair Growth?
Do I recommend it? No. I think there are so many other ways to test the yeast/hair loss/hair growth connections. I would personally be more inclined in the future to use an organic yeast relief composition (suppository) on my scalp than the hardcore Monistat.
Of course this is all based on my own opinion and experiences. I also have a very long history dealing with yeast related physical issues starting in my early teens when a dermatologist overdosed me with antibiotics and extending until approximately one years when I became violently ill as a result of tooth surgery and the medically prescribed antibiotics I was required to take.
My Own Personal Yeast Journey
On a daily basis, for the past 25+ years, once a naturopath diagnosed me with chronic systemic candida I have been following the basic yeast blocking and controlling steps:
1. Taking Probiotics in the morning and evening2. Supplementing daily with various yeast herbal compositions including Candida Cleanse and Yeast Defense
3. Following a yeast aware food plan.4. Avoiding antibiotics or antibiotic laced foods which may trigger a yeast overgrowth in my body.
What Happened When I Tested Monistat On My Scalp?
I tried the Monistat cream (purchased directly from a CVS drugstore) straight - applied directly to my dampened scalp with my fingertips. I also tried it mixed with organic jojoba oil which is known to be a growth hair oil.
Note: Some Monistat treatment users have mixed opinions on whether you should apply the formula straight or mixed with oils such as jojoba or Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Ultimately it's your choice depending on what your hair responds best to.
Since I didn't really want to apply the Monistat in the morning before I left the house for work, I would apply it at night when I came home, braid my hair and then sleep with the Monistat in.
After I used the Monistat cream for the very first evening I noticed a tingling in my scalp. Honestly, it made me a little nervous. Was I having an allergic reaction? Possibly. Was it kicking up my chronic yeast? Definitely a possibility.
Other Anti-Fungal Yeast Hair Scalp Treatment Options
Some fans of the anti-fungal scalp treatments will combine their Monistat, Neosporin, or other miconazole nitrate creams or gels with cayenne pepper, which is a known hair root stimulator.
The best cayenne pepper has at least .1% of Capsaicin which can be found in Capzasin HP at some WalMart locations. You can also use cayenne pepper from a health food store that has the required amount of Capsaicin.
Others will mix with cortisone creams, estrogen creams or other suspected hair growth aids.
Depending on what you purchase the formulation may contain either 2% miconazole nitrate or 4% which Monistat usually contains.
What Happened In My 30 Day Trial?
Although some testers apply their cream 2x a day or more, I limited myself to 1x a day at night. I continued to take my regular HairTopia and other vitamins. I also continued to take my Probiotics in the AM and PM along with Candida Cleanse, Yeast Defense and my other candida supplements.
My hair did not seem to grow any faster than it normally does without the Monistat cream. I also noticed consistent itching along my scalp and a slight sensation of burning (I did not use the pepper combo).
I also experienced low grade headaches that I had not previously experienced. I think this method of scalp treatment could definitely be a problem for anyone with a history of migraine, sinus or chronic headaches. I also noticed a slight redness along my scalp, an on again/off again tenderness, and a ringing in my ears right after I applied the mixture.
I am assuming that the ringing in my ears was because the cream was impacting my sinus cavity in some manner.
My conclusion? My scalp is already as yeast free as it can be due to my extended use of daily anti-yeast internal supplementation.
Does this treatment really work? I think it works for some and not for others. I never discourage anyone from trying any new hair growth treatments but I do caution that you need to do your own careful research before undertaking this type of treatment.
Yes, I did experience side effects with the Monistat. There were other trials I could have done including the following:
1. Using miconazole nitrate in as concentrated form as possible. Monistat has other ingredients as do some of the other name brand anti-itch creams.2. Using the products less often (1x every other day or even 1x a week).
3. Using 2% of the miconazole instead of the 4%4. Spending more time massaging the MN
Possible Side Effects
Long time users of the miconazole nitrate scalp treatments have reported that when they stop using the treatment they will often experience increased shedding due to stopping the treatments.
Other side effects include scalp burning, tingling, overall hair dryness and increase of headaches which can range from mild to intense. There could be many reasons for these types of side effects which I will explore in a future column.
The ingredients in Monistat and other related miconazole nitrate formulations it that miconazole nitrates are designed to cause instant increased blood flow to the areas by opening up the blood vessels so more blood can flow to the area.
The good news? The increased blood flow will help with increased hair growth. Many believe that this treatment method is similar to how Rogaine works.
The bad news? It can cause intense headaches and may or may not be safe for people taking other heart medications. A form of nitrates is prescribed for people with a history of heart problems such as angina and congestive heart failure. Some users complain that their entire scalp feels like it is moving after they apply the MN, especially the 4% composition.
As I said earlier, with every experimental treatment there are benefits and also potential risks. Proceed only after you feel comfortable with all the possible side effects.
Final Warning Note
Please note that in no way is this Blog a recommendation for trying this treatment. If you decide to pursue this on your own be sure to first consult with your physician or if you are pregnant, nursing, have a history or chronic sinus problems, migraine headaches or chronic yeast overgrowth.
If you've tried this method of hair growth I would love to hear your feedback.
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