Piroctone Olamine
A New Player In The Hair Loss Game

     A shampoo product largely available outside of the United States that has been shown to be more effective than Nizoral (ketoconazole) in combating thinning hair is piroctone olamine (octopirox). Similar to the mentioned it is an OTC anti-fungicidal remedy for dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis. As data presented itself this ingredient begin to show it was quite capable of reducing hair loss and stimulating new hair growth. Scientists in Japan from the Lion Corporation believe this ingredient achieves its results by halting the oxidation of sebum within the hair follicle. Normally this substance like any type of oil has a necessary viscosity for coating the hair shaft and rendering a slippage factor. This is necessary to prevent brittleness and allow for combing of the hair. In theory if sebum hardens it prevents the outgrowth of hair and quite possibly does damage to the follicle.

     Comparative studies in Belgium were conducted to determine the effectiveness of ketoconazole, piroctone olamine, and zinc pyrithione in baldness prevention and creating new hair growth. The tests involved measuring the reduction in hair shedding, whether the numbers of terminal hairs in the anagen phase of hair growth were increasing, and if hair thickness was rising. Piroctone olamine when compared excelled at adding to the hair’s overall thickness and at escalating the number of terminal hairs in the anagen phase. Both of those events normally decrease in the presence of androgenetic alopecia. With regard to halting hair loss there was only a negligible difference between Nizoral and piroctone olamine with both showing the ability to significantly slow hair shedding. Overall zinc pyrithione was the least effective but on the other hand not ineffective. In other studies piroctone olamine did seem to exhibit a synergistic effect when combined with other hair growth solutions such as minoxidil or Propecia. Plus this was not confined to those two products.

     As to how this ingredient creates hair growth it probably relates to more than a few things. Even though neither dandruff nor seborrhea is specifically linked to hair loss reducing the accompanying inflammation and decreases in sebum production do seem to reduce hair loss in general. Plus these two conditions are also present with androgenetic alopecia whether you may be encountering these scalp conditions or not. Then again these particular anti-fungal agents may have the ability to reawaken reproduction  within the follicle.

     The sad thing about this for people in the United States is even though this is a definite and affordable method to ward off male pattern baldness and female hair loss piroctone olamine has never been approved by the FDA. This is indeed a disservice because among all dandruff treatments it appears to be the least toxic and almost completely devoid of side effects. It is presumed because of the market dominance of shampoos such as Head and Shoulders (zinc pyrithione) and Selsun Blue (selenium sulfide) in the United States this will remain the same. In other parts of the world and especially in Mexico you can purchase the product from Folicure a well-known manufacturer of hair loss solutions. In Latin America it is known as “Folicure Para Caspa”. Plus again it is wise to remember the medicine is in the shampoo so you can leave it on the scalp for extended periods of fifteen minutes to an hour before rinsing to receive the full benefit. In the United States Folicure’s dandruff shampoo is formulated with zinc pyrithione. Both shampoos do add more fullness to the scalp.

     One important thing to remember with any of these dandruff ingredients is many formulations contain strong cleansers to loosen and remove the flakes, scales, and other debris associated with these conditions . In other words it is not uncommon to see an increase in hair fallout with initial usage that can sometimes last as long as 6-8 weeks. This is not anything to be alarmed about because it is just hair that already was going to fall out because the growth period had ended. In fact there is evidence that this acceleration in the accretion rates is good for the follicle because it pushes it into the renewal process that much more quickly.

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