YouTube testimonials touting Monistat as a head hair growth promoter have attracted the attention of local news, HuffPost, and MadamNoire. Could the results being seen by some Monistat-for-mane devotees be real? Yes – if a fungal infection is limiting their locks.
Monistat’s anti-fungal activity is due to miconazole nitrate (hereafter ‘miconazole’). This chemical inhibits the ability of many pathogenic fungi to make ergosterol – a chemical needed for sturdy, well functioning cell membranes. No ergosterol means weak, leaky membranes and the breakdown (lysis) of the target fungi. Candida albicans, the fungus causing vulvovaginal candidiasis (“yeast infections”), is no match for miconazole. Neither are the related fungi that cause ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot. Miconazole has also been used to treat fungi that can wreak havoc on the scalp, such as Pityrosporum ovale (also known as Malassezia furfur) and Trichosporon beigelii.
Like Candida albicans, Pityrosporum ovale is a part of our human flora that when over-produced can lead to… shall we say… problems. In the case of Pityrosporum ovale, dermatitis, folliculitis, and dandruff. Less likely to be found in our normal flora is Trichosporon beigelii, which is common in soil. Trichosporon beigelii is behind ‘white piedra, which presents as “…irregular, soft, white or light brown nodules, 1.0-1.5 mm in length, firmly adhering to the hairs.”
Such fungal take-overs of the scalp may cause hair loss and just plain ol’ general scalp ill health, which could possibly limit hair growth. Treating a scalp over-run by fungus with miconazole via Monistat could return the scalp to good health. Which may return one’s noggin to normal hair production if a fungal infection was to blame to sluggish hair growth.
‘May’, ‘could’, ‘possibly’, ‘if’…
The use of Monistat heralded in those YouTube testimonials is off-label and likely without the input of a doctor. If your scalp seems under attack, it’s best to consult your general practitioner and/or dermatologist. Before you have fun with Monistat, make you’ve actually got a fungus problem! Those scalp whoas may have absolutely nothing to do with a fungal infection. Perhaps your hair just simply isn’t growing as fast as you’d like? Monistat isn’t going to do much for you. What if you do have fungal infection of the scalp? Your doctor may recommend a different anti-fungal product proven to work better than Monistat’s miconazole for your particular infection.