Monistat-7 is known to be an effective and low-risk antifungal medication that you can get over the counter.

While you may have come to rely on Monistat (otherwise known as miconazole) for treating yeast infections, it’s been getting a lot of attention lately for an entirely different off-label use: growing hair.

Applying Monistat to your scalp is probably not something you imagined would work to make your hair grow faster. But some claim that Monistat is the most effective topical treatment for hair growth they have ever used.

So is there any reason to believe that Monistat can work to regrow hair? Read on to learn more about what the research says and how to use it.

Monistat-7 contains an active ingredient called miconazole nitrate. This antifungal medication may be effective at promoting scalp health.

There are currently no studies that confirm (or deny) that Monistat itself can be used as a topical treatment to promote hair growth. But some research suggests that similar medications may help with hair growth.

What the research says

A 2014 study on male Wistar rats found that ketoconazole, a drug in the same family, was found to effectively promote hair growth.

However, that study didn’t use the same ingredients as Monistat has in it. And that same study suggested that minoxidil (Rogaine) was more effective at hair regrowth.

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews published a 2015 analysis of studies that researched the use of topical antifungal medication to treat the scalp condition seborrheic dermatitis (SD).

After analyzing 51 studies, the review concluded that ketoconazole and another similar ingredient, ciclopirox, is more effective than a placebo for the treatment of SD.

The study also noted that these ingredients have fewer side effects than steroid treatments. But researchers didn’t find conclusive evidence that similar antifungal medications would have the same result.

A healthy scalp may encourage hair growth

If you accept that antifungal medication can impact scalp health, the idea of using Monistat for hair growth starts makes sense.

A healthy scalp is firmly linked to the strength, health, and longevity of hair follicles. Increased circulation and higher cell turnover can encourage a healthy scalp and may be helped by applying antifungal creams.

If there’s any fungi living on your scalp slowing down hair growth, Monistat will get rid of it.

Some hair types may be more responsive

Some also claim that Monistat works better for certain hair types than others. People who claim that this treatment works for them tend to be women who have natural or curly hair.

But all evidence about using Monistat to treat hair loss is anecdotal. Take this information with a grain of salt as you consider using the treatment yourself.

Monistat is considered safe for topical application to treat yeast infections. Since it’s approved for use on some of the most sensitive skin on your body, the risk of severe side effects on your scalp are probably minimal.

Notice that the key word is “probably.”

There haven’t been studies to investigate what the side effects of putting Monistat on your scalp might be. Typical side effects of using Monistat for yeast infections can include:

If your hair loss is unrelated to scalp health, there’s a chance that applying Monistat to your scalp could clog pores, dry out your scalp, and harm hair follicles. This can actually contribute to hair loss instead of preventing it.

Do a patch test first

Try treating a small section of your scalp with Monistat first before you do a whole-head application. This can help test the waters and see if side effects occur.

If you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts on your scalp, definitely do a patch test first.

If you’re going to try Monistat to regrow hair, there are two options to do it.

Monistat diluted in water

  1. Dilute Monistat in water using a 1:1 ratio.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Before bedtime, use a spray bottle to coat your scalp in the mixture.
  4. Sleep with a shower cap over your scalp.
  5. Rinse well in the morning.

Monistat applied directly

  1. Apply Monistat straight from the tube to your scalp, using latex gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Use Monistat as you would a hair mask, applying to your scalp and rinsing after 15 minutes.
  3. Don’t apply undiluted Monistat to your hair overnight.
  4. Make sure to get it out of your hair completely before styling.

If you’re not sure that applying Monistat to your hair is the home remedy for you, there are plenty of other (science-backed) ways to promote hair growth and improve scalp health at home. Here are a few suggestions:

Some hair loss as you age is part of the aging process. But there are times when hair loss can be an indicator of an underlying health condition.

Home remedies to treat normal hair loss are one thing. But you should never ignore significant hair loss that happens during a short period of time.

Speak to a medical professional about your hair loss if:

  • your hair is regularly coming out in clumps
  • you’re losing your hair in patches
  • your hair loss seems to have greatly accelerated recently for a reason you can’t understand

Using Monistat 7 or a similar antifungal treatment probably won’t harm your hair.

But don’t expect it to be a miracle treatment, either. There’s very little current research to support the off-label use of topical antifungals in this way.