Retin-A Hair Loss Treatments

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Men have walked on the moon but there is still no easy way to stop or prevent hair loss. Some doctors who treat hair loss suggest applying minoxidil with Retin-A to increase the drug's potential to keep your hair where it belongs -- on your head.


Retin-A is an FDA-approved medication introduced to treat acne more than 30 years ago. Individuals using it noticed an improvement in the texture of their skin in addition to curing their acne. Retin-A cream helps remove the top layer of your skin to reveal the smoother skin below. Retin-A is used in hair loss treatment because it is believed that it increases the absorption of other medicines into your scalp. The medication is available by prescription only. Using it in hair loss applications is known as 'off label use' because it is not FDA approved for this purpose.

Retin-A and Minoxidil

Retin-A is used in conjunction with the over-the-counter, FDA-approved hair growth medication called minoxidil, brand name Rogaine. Doctors believe that the Retin-A works by irritating your skin and increasing blood flow enough to enhance the absorption of the minoxidil that you apply to your scalp. There are no scientific studies to support this use, but there are doctors specializing in hair growth therapies who believe the combination works. You will need a prescription for Retin-A if you want to try this approach.

Retin-A, Minoxidil and Laser

The FDA-approved use of the handheld HairMax Lasercomb may be enhanced by concurrent use of Retin-A. The device produces a low-level laser beam that is applied to your scalp by passing the comb through your hair. This can be done in conjunction with your minoxidil and Retin-A treatment. Because minoxidil can dry your hair and Retin-A can irritate your scalp, you will need to experiment with how frequently you use the combined medications with the Lasercomb.