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Piroctone Olamine

Rob (PHH)

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Piroctone olamine is an antifungal compound often used in anti-dandruff shampoos. It is thought that alongside its antifungal properties, piroctone olamine also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit hair growth.

Key insights:

  • The in vitro evidence suggests that piroctone olamine has antibacterial properties that may benefit hair health.
  • The in vivo (in mice) evidence suggests that piroctone olamine is an effective anti-fungal treatment, which may be beneficial for those experiencing hair loss due to fungal infections.
  • The clinical evidence suggests that piroctone olamine alone can significantly increase hair number when used once daily for 8 weeks compared to a placebo formulation, as well as decrease levels of oxidative stress in the scalp and improve scalp condition. However, as this study was short-term, it is not possible to know if these effects would last over long-term usage. A further study compared 1% piroctone olamine, to 1% ketoconazole and 1% zinc pyrithione shampoos (used 2-3 times a week for 6 months). Whilst none of the treatments changed hair density, the percentage of anagen hairs was increased by 7.8% for piroctone olamine, which was higher than both the ketoconazole (5.4%) and zinc (2.2%) shampoos. Piroctone olamine also performed as well as the ketoconazole treatment at increasing hair shaft thickness and decreasing sebum. 
  • You may want to try piroctone olamine if you have hair loss due to poor scalp health such as seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff.
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