For many years we have gotten almost universally positive feedback on the effects of topical Emu Oil as a treatment for hair loss. Among the positive reports there were several seemingly remarkable accounts of the apparently dramatic effects of those who combined Emu Oil with Rogaine.
Rogaine (Minoxidil) is an antihypertensive peripheral vasodilator. It was approved by the FDA as a hair growth treatment in 1988. It slows hair loss and promotes hair regrowth in some people. It is available as a generic medication and over the counter for the treatment of androgenic alopecia. Approximately 40% report hair regrowth after 3-6 months. Minoxidil must be used indefinitely for continued support of existing hair follicles and the maintenance of any experienced hair regrowth. If one stops using minoxidil after a sustained period, there is a large shedding phase, medically termed “telegen effluvium” that results in significant hair loss. It is this reason, along with its limited efficacy, that we don’t generally recommend its usage. We do recommend however, that those who have been using Minoxidil for a significant amount of time not discontinue for the aforementioned reason. The mechanism of action of Minoxidil on hair is to stimulate potassium ion channel activity. Fortunately this can be readily accomplished via a specific internal supplement combination that has documented hair growth effects, along with a multiplicity of other cognitive and anti-aging benefits.
The following study gives credence to prior accounts of the pronounced regrowth effects of the Rogaine/Emu Oil combination. In addition to the study abstract we have included relevant excerpts from the full text. The formulation used in the study was a foam emulsion of Rogaine and Emu Oil. The hair regrowth reports that were reported to us were a simple combination of Rogaine applied first, followed by Emu Oil to enhance penetration. What is unclear is if the reported enhanced hair growth effects were simply a function of Emu Oil by itself, minus the minoxidil.
Res Pharm Sci. 2014 Mar-Apr;9(2):123-33.
Preparation and evaluation of minoxidil foamable emu oil emulsion.
Shatalebi MA, Rafiei Y
The aim of this work was to develop and evaluate a minoxidil foamable emu oil emulsion with the purpose of improving minoxidil permeation into the skin, increasing hair growth, reducing skin irritation, and increasing consumer compliance. Minoxidil was dissolved in a solvent system comprising ethanol: glycerin: lactic acid: water (10:20:5:65). The foamable emulsion was prepared by mixing the oil phase with minoxidil solution using different amount of various emulsifiers. Seventeen formulations were prepared and the most stable foamable emulsion was selected and evaluated for various pharmaceutical parameters such as homogeneity, pH, stability to centrifugal stress, freeze-thaw and foamability. The adopted formulation showed good pharmaceutical characteristics. In vitro release rate of the formulations were evaluated using Franz diffusion cell using phosphate buffer pH 7.4 and ethanol as the receiver medium at sink condition. The release rate of formulations was found to obey Higuchi kinetic model. Experimental animal study was performed to evaluate hair growth potential of the formulation. Different cyclic phases of hair follicles, like anagen, and telogen phases, were determined at one month period. Histological study after treatment with adopted formulation exhibited greater number of hair follicles in anagenic phase (96%) which were higher as compared to marketed 5% minoxidil solution (Pakdaru 70%) and the control group (42%). From animal study it was concluded that the selected formulation exhibited a significant potency in promoting hair growth in comparison with marketed 5% minoxidil solution, Rogaine.
Here are some excerpts of interest from the full text:
“In addition to emu oil’s amazing ability to penetrate the skin, it has shown significant effect on stimulating hair growth by supplying fatty acids that are needed for hair follicle cell division. Furthermore, it naturally contains a high level of linolenic acid which can inhibit 5-alfa-reductase enzyme.”
“Terminal hairs are gradually replaced by progressively finer and less pigmented miniaturized hairs. Eventually, the follicle does not grow a new hair, however, the follicles remain alive suggesting that the growth of new hairs is highly likely.”
“Minoxidil solution in the market contains propylene glycol and ethanol at high percentage as the main components. Most of the adverse reactions including itching, contact dermatitis and dryness are attributed to these ingredients.”
“Further, minoxidil has poor skin penetration ability which limits its usefulness as a potent treatment for hair loss.”
“Emu oil is the fastest and most penetrating oil into human skin because of its similarity to the human sebum, which makes it an excellent dermal carrier for getting into the scalp, enhancing the potency of topical medications.”
“The results showed that the effect of foamable emu oil emulsion on hair growth began at the day 10 after the treatment as compared with the control (p<0.05), but marketed 5% minoxidil solution showed its effect at 20th day after application, which could be due to emu oil’s penetration enhancing effect which increases the follicular penetration of minoxidil, and its effect on hair growth which may cause synergic effect. A clinical study by Holick on the hair growth activity of emu oil revealed that there was a 20% increase in DNA synthesis, stimulated hair and skin re-growth and also hair follicles were more robust.”
Conclusion: “Minoxidil formulated in emu oil significantly improved hair growth, as compared to Extra Strength 5% minoxidil solution.”
Low temperature processed Emu Oil is a both an effective and highly cost effective intervention for hair loss. It can be used as a singular treatment or in combination with a more comprehensive regime.
In addition to stimulating hair growth, Emu Oil also has an anti-aging effect on human skin on a par with stronger concentrations of Retin- A. Its ability to stimulate collagen production keeps skin firm, which in the absence of intervention, becomes slack over time-even in those who judiciously protect against UV exposure.
It is important to note that when combining any topical treatment, including Rogaine, with Emu Oil, you apply the topical first, followed 5 or more minutes later with Emu Oil to optimize its penetration effects.
Low temperature processed Emu Oil from free range roaming Emus, imported from Australia, is now available in economical and long lasting 8 oz and 16 oz quantities.