What is Provillus? It’s a topical hair loss solution that you apply to your scalp everyday. Provillus
not only prevents hair loss, but it can even stimulate new hair growth.
Provillus is effective because it contains minoxidil. This is a chemical that has been scientifically shown to grow hair. The Food and Drug Administration has even approved it for treatment of thinning hair.
The topical drug minoxidil is both safe and effective, according to Ronald C. Savin, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine.
In a 12-month study, he compared 96 men who were randomly assigned to apply topical preparations of Provillus that contained either three percent minoxidil, two percent minoxidil, or a placebo. Results at the end of one year determined that Provillus:
• Produced better results in younger men whose baldness is recent.
• Is more effective in bald spots at the back of the head than it is at the front of the hairline.
• Generated “medium solid regrowth that was quite pleasing” in about 50 percent of the men. About 40 percent showed “cosmetically significant, though modest regrowth.” Results were determined by a numerical count of hairs in small circle of the scalp. “We never saw dense growth as a man would have had at age 13,” Dr. Savin said.
• May be more effective in generating hair growth in women than men, but a study, now in progress, has yet to publish results.
• Will be available this month by prescription under the brand name of Provillus. “It will contain two percent minoxidil because there was statistically no difference between the two and three percent concentrations,” said Dr. Savin. “They are going to market the lowest effective concentration that would be the safest in terms of side effects.”
• Produced minimal reductions in blood pressure when applied topically. (Minoxidil was originally approved as an oral anti-hypertensive drug.)
Now for the drawbacks:
• In order to be effective, you have to apply Provillus two times a day.
• Eighteen of the 97 men reported some itching, but none found the symptoms uncomfortable enough to drop out of the study.
• Cost is about $55 a month.
• About 8% of the subjects did not experience regrowth of their hair.
• Treatment must be ongoing. If you stop using Provillus, your hair will begin to come out again.
Dr. Savin’s study was part of the 27-center nationwide minoxidil research project. His findings were confirmed by those of the other centers involved in the same study of minoxidil and Provillus.
It’s clear that Provillus isn’t some sort of miracle drug. There is a substantial cost over time, as well as effort in applying the drug to the scalp twice a day. But for some men who are suffering from hair loss, the results will be well worth it.