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Botox and Hair Growth

By HERWriter
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Botox has been used for the treatment of wrinkles, excessive sweating problems and other medical applications where a muscle’s action needed to be blocked. A few years ago, it was discovered that botox seemed to help reduce migraine headaches after patients who were injected for cosmetic purposes reported a reduction in their headaches. Now, a recent study has found another use -- botox injected into the scalp may help re-grow hair.

A 2010 pilot study took place in Canada, testing 50 men with male patterned baldness or androgenic alopecia. The men were first observed for a 12-week baseline period then they were injected with 150 units of Botulinum toxin A (BTX A) followed by a second injection 24 weeks later.

According to Journal Watch Dermatology, “In the 40 patients who completed the study, mean hair counts increased 18% from baseline to 48 weeks after the initial injection, a statistically significant change. Hair loss was also significantly reduced, by a mean of 39%.”

Assessment of hair re-growth was measured in 2 cm areas of the scalp and hair loss was determined by using a lint roller to pick up hair on the patient’s pillow and from results of questionnaires.

Back in 2009, a cosmetic surgeon Dr. Ourian also observed a similar result from Botox use. He experimented using botox to relieve his mother’s migraines, a side effect from chemotherapy.

He discovered she not only had relief from her migraines but she had increased hair growth from hair follicle cells that had been damaged from the chemotherapy. He proceeded to use Botox off-label in select patients and observed that the Botox injections appeared to increase their hair growth as well.

The proposed action behind the use of Botox to increase hair growth is that Botox paralyzes the scalp muscles, allowing more blood flow and more oxygen to reach the scalp skin. Androgenic alopecia is thought to be affected by elevated levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However, the increased oxygen reduces the levels of DHT that come in contact with the hair follicles.

The researchers observed that minoxidil has a similar hair re-growth rate of 18 percent and they hypothesize that perhaps it works by the same mechanism, by increasing oxygen to the scalp skin, reducing DHT levels.

Botox can be a useful medication but there are precautions that physicians and patients need to be aware of. Dr. Ourian indicates that temporary swelling, pain, bruising, etc. may occur. The FDA has released various alerts warning of potential side effects from botox use, so strict labeling is now required.

New uses of medications have often been found by using them off-label for another purpose. This is how Botox was found to help migraines in the first place. Further research would be needed to determine if Botox has a place in the list of drugs used for hair regrowth.


Growing Hair with Botox. Journal Watch Dermatology. Retrieved 25, Nov. 2011. http://dermatology.jwatch.org/cgi/content/full/2011/1110/1?q=etoc_jwderm

Freund, Brian J. D.D.S., M.D.; Schwartz, Marvin D.D.S., M.Sc.. Treatment of Male Pattern Baldness with Botulinum Toxin: A Pilot Study. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: November 2010 - Volume 126 - Issue 5 - pp 246e-248e http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Fulltext/2010/11000/Treatment_of_M...

New Hair Loss Treatment with BOTOX. (PRWEB) February 4, 2009. Retrieved 25, Nov. 2011. http://www.prweb.com/releases/botoxhairlossprevention/baldness_propecia/...

Botox and Botox Cosmetic (Botulinum toxin Type A) and Myobloc (Botulinum toxin Type B). FDA: U.S. Food and Drug Adminstraion. Retrieved 25, Nov. 2011.

Edited by Malu Banuelos

Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

If this new study shows satisfying results after experimentation, Botox will become one the most useful and in-demand substance in the medical and cosmetic industry. The benefits of using Botox keep on increasing at a rapid pace.

October 27, 2015 - 9:41pm

This is so informative post. Thank you so much for sharing with us...

May 8, 2012 - 3:14am

I and others have been regrowing our scalp hair by removing our body and face hair from the follicles. I believe we are getting the needed nutrients to grow hair flowing to the scalp follicles instead of being wasted on unwanted hair.
I believe that it is a deficiency of 5 a-reductase that is responsible for AGA. and a poor circulation that causes the pattern in male baldness. Females do not have the severe balding at the crown and temples as males because they do not have the amount of body face hair growth. Ernie

December 5, 2011 - 5:37pm

Thanks for the extra info Rosa!

December 5, 2011 - 10:34am

That is an interesting thought. I believe scalp skin is different than skin on our faces so perhaps there is a different response there but that certainly would be worth someone investigating. 

December 5, 2011 - 9:26am

Great news! Now we can have hair spurt out all over our faces where we had botox injections!

December 5, 2011 - 9:17am
(reply to helliem)


The follicles on our scalp go through a 3 phase process to grow hair-- if the follicles on our face were the same, then we would all be walking around covered in hair. This is likely the reason why botox works differently on our scalp then it does on our faces. 

I hope this helps,


December 5, 2011 - 9:33am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.