Question: Can stemoxydine treat hair loss? I have thinning hair, most likely inherited from my father’s side of the family, and would like to know what is best to help make my hair thicker again.
Answer: Hi, Madeleine. Stemoxydine is a topical medication understood to shorten what has been referred to as the kenogen phase of the hair growth cycle. This describes the post-shed (telogen) and pre-regrowth (anagen) period when the follicle is left temporarily empty.
Although there have been some small-scale clinical trials into its usage for Male Pattern Baldness, there is little reliable scientific data of any significance to show whether it is a safe and effective hair loss treatment. As such, it is not something Belgravia hair loss specialists would recommend as a treatment, though there appears to be little harm in trying it as an everyday hair thickening product.
The fact that it is available as an ingredient in cosmetic hair thickening products suggests that it has been developed into a form which may have temporary benefits for making hair look thicker, but it is not a medication to treat genetic hair loss.
Furthermore, as it is not a drug, it has not been licensed by the MHRA in the UK nor approved by the FDA in the USA for the purpose of treating genetic hair loss. These are the medical regulatory authorities charged with thoroughly reviewing each medication before it is allowed to be prescribed or otherwise made available to the public.
Therefore, as it has not achieved these important authorisations for the function of treating thinning hair in men or women with genetic hairloss, it cannot be deemed a ‘hair loss treatment’. It would be interesting to see the precise trial data hair care brands promoting the use of Stemoxydine to thicken hair.
It is notable that many of these products state they are to be used for ‘denser looking hair’ – this suggests it may provide the illusion of thicker ‘looking’ hair without treating any underlying hair thinning or hair loss condition.
Interestingly, usage directions also state for some of these formulations that it should be applied to the lengths of the hair, which are dead, as well as the scalp.
The kenogen stage is longer in men and women with androgenetic alopecia (Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss). This can lead to a decreased hair density and contribute to the symptomatic thinning hair.
A clinical trial carried out in 2014 on men between 18 and 55 years with moderate Male Pattern Hair Loss, found that topical applications of the prolyl 4 hydroxylase competitive inhibitor, Stemoxydine, could shorten this period of the hair cycle. As such, researchers concluded in their findings, published in the International Journal of Trichology, that the drug “could act as a hair kenogen phase shortener, leading to an increase in visible scalp hair density.”
For now, the only clinically-proven female pattern hair loss treatment – which is also topical – is high strength minoxidil. This is a dose-dependent hairloss solution which encourages localised, accelerated hair growth.
It can be used alone either once or twice per day, as directed, and may also be paired with additional drug-free hair growth supporting products, such as the follicle-stimulating HairMax LaserBand and/or Hair Vitalics for Women food supplements. This is the category we would suggest stemoxydine products belong in as they are rather an adjunct to proven medication, not an alternative.
If you feel unsure which is the best way to treat hair loss, having a consultation with a dedicated hair loss specialist who can provide you with a professional diagnosis and personalised treatment recommendations is often a wise first step.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.