An Active Ingredient in Several Topical Hair Loss Treatments
Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in whole grains that contains a mild antibiotic designed to “clean” skin. It is also said to be a potential inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase in human skin. A reduction of this enzyme may reduce the amount DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body and therefore, have a similar effect to finasteride; the active ingredient in FDA approved oral hair loss solution Propecia (finasteride). In theory, applying azelaic acid to the scalp may prevent or eliminate the binding of DHT to the hair follicle receptor, preventing hair loss and potentially stimulating hair regrowth. Azelaic acid can be found in many prescription acne medication and topical hair loss products like Xandrox and Provillus.
Combining azelaic acid with FDA approved hair regrowth solution minoxidil in a single topical product in theory, may prove to be a more powerful hair loss treatment for androgenic alopecia than minoxidil alone. This is why some conjecture that Xandrox may be a more effective treatment than Rogaine (minoxidil).
Azelaic acid has not been clinically proven effective as a standalone treatment for treating genetic female hair loss and male pattern baldness. It has also been known to irritate the scalp when applied topically. Though there is a low percentage, azelaic acid may interact with other medications. Be sure to consult your physician before using azelaic acid while on other medications.