Azelaic Acid for Hair Loss: A Safe and Effective Remedy

Our Rating: 7.8/10

Safety Azelaic acid is an FDA approved organic compound used for treating acne and other skin diseases. So, there are no severe side effects. Check Amazon Price
Results Although there is no definite research or study that defines a direct link between azelaic acid and male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia, a few controlled studies have established a strong indirect link between them.
Time to see Results It works slowly. Could take up to 6 months to see some results.
Amazon Rating 3.9
Amazon Reviews 80

 

Azelaic acid is an FDA approved organic compound used for treating acne, rosacea, and other forms of skin inflammation. Over-the-counter azelaic acid products can help treat minor blackheads, refine the pores, even out the skin tone, and improve the skin complexion. It is a popular ingredient of many anti-aging and skin brightening products. Being anti-inflammatory and antibacterial in nature, azelaic acid is also used in various hair care products such as shampoos, hair lotions, gels, etc. to help treat dandruff and prevent hair fall. Some recent studies have concluded that azelaic acid hair loss products are helpful for treating male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. Although azelaic acid hair loss products are not FDA-approved treatment for baldness, lots of users have found them to be extremely useful, especially when it is mixed with zinc sulfate and vitamin B6. In this blog, we will brief you more about this organic compound and how you can use it for re-growing hair.

What is Azelaic acid?

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in barley, wheat, rye, and in some animal products. Although acidic, it is very mild in nature, even weaker than vinegar and, therefore, it is safe for use. In plants, it stimulates the production of pathogen-fighting component, salicylic acid, and helps prevent infection. In human being it plays the same role, i.e. fighting infection. It is antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory in nature. According to FDA, when used topically, azelaic acid can reduce skin damage and treat mild to moderate skin inflammation such as acne and rosacea. It is sold under various names such as Azlex, Finacea, and Finacea plus.

Are Azelaic acid hair loss products effective?

Yes, they are. Although there is no definite research or study that defines a direct link between azelaic acid and male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia, a few controlled studies have established a strong indirect link between them. A research documented in the British Journal of Dermatology states that azelaic acid can inhibit the production of 5-alpha reductase, an organic compound which is responsible for conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the leading cause of hair loss in male pattern baldness. (1) When applied topically, azelaic acid will reduce the quantity of DHT in the bloodstream, thereby preventing/minimizing hair fall. The study concluded that a combination of azelaic acid, vitamin B6, and zinc can inhibit the production of 5-alpha reductase by 90%! (2) This study was conducted in vitro, i.e. it was not conducted on any living organism, which is why it is not enough. More extensive trials are required to reach a definitive conclusion. However, hair care products manufacturers have already started using it in shampoos, lotions, gel, etc. and the users have found it to be quite useful for controlling hair fall.

How do Azelaic acid hair loss products work?

Male pattern baldness is very often caused by fungal infection and the first line of treatment includes killing the parasites that are interfering with the growth and development of hair follicles. As mentioned above, azelaic acid is antibacterial and antifungal in nature, which means, when applied directly on the scalp, it will fight off the fungal infection and reverse hair fall.

The American Academy of Dermatology states that inflammation in hair follicles is another major reason behind male pattern baldness. (3) Since azelaic acid is anti-inflammatory in nature, when applied on the scalp, it will target the source of inflammation and soothe the scalp.

As mentioned above, azelaic acid is very effective for reducing the production of 5-alpha reductase, a compound that stimulates the metabolism of testosterone, thereby increasing the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the bloodstream. DHT hormone plays an important role in the development of sexual characteristics in men, which includes the development of chest, chin, and back hair. This hormone, however, is also responsible for male pattern baldness, which is why dermatologists specifically prescribe medicines that inhibit the production of 5 alpha reductase to the patients suffering from baldness. Since azelaic acid is also one such organic compounds that help reduce the production of 5 alpha reductase, it is highly recommended for treating androgenic alopecia.

How to use azelaic acid DHT inhibitor products?

Although azelaic acid hair loss results are very promising, we strongly recommend that you should try to include it in your normal hair care routine rather than substituting it as a treatment for hair loss. There are hundreds of scalp creams, conditioners, shampoos, and hair gels that contain azelaic acid as one of their main ingredients. Many of them would also contain minoxidil, vitamin B6, or zinc. You can use any of them, provided it is FDA approved and has received good ratings and testimonials. One such azelaic acid dht inhibitor product that you can try is NutraViv Hair Growth Serum. It is available on Amazon. It contains azelaic acid, Japanese green tea extract, aloe extract, grapefruit seed extract, and many other ingredients that are proven for treating excessive hair fall.

Side effects of azelaic acid hair loss products

Since azelaic acid is an organic compound, it is considered to be safe for all hair types. No users have ever mentioned about any severe complications that may have faced. However, being acidic in nature, it may not be suitable for people with sensitive skin or eczema. Even though the acidic content is very low, it may cause mild irritation. Further, azelaic acid hair loss products must not be applied on scalp which is affected by sunburn, windburn, excessive dryness, or a wound.

Azelaic acid hair loss products generally do not cause any side effects. However, if you experience a severe burning, stinging, itching, tingling, or warm sensation, rinse your hair thoroughly and consult your physician. Also, do not use this product if it causes dryness, peeling, or any other form of irritation, or if it changes the color of your scalp or skin.

A lot of people these days are swearing by azelaic acid’s effectiveness for treating baldness. However, as mentioned above, more research is required to prove its effectiveness clinically. So, instead of relying on it completely, you must consult your dermatologist to find out how you can use it along with other hair regrowth products, supplements, and medicines.

References and Citations

  1. Newman T. DHT (dihydrotestosterone): What is DHT’s role in baldness? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/68082.php. Published July 28, 2017.
  2. Mowszowicz I. Inhibition of 5α‐reductase activity in human skin by zinc and azelaic acid. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1988.tb03474.x. Published July 29, 2006.
  3. Hair loss. Employment and benefits | American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-and-scalp-problems/hair-loss#causes.
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Academic Association of Medicine is the go to resource for all health related issues. We are an independent body that seeks to offer general information on various health topics and unbiased reviews on health products.

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