Botox For Hair and Hair Botox Differences Explained

Woman after botox hair treatment

Botox, the commercial preparation of OnabotulinumtoxinA (botulinum toxin type A), is a neurotoxin that prevents the release of neurotransmitters in muscles. This results in paralysis of any muscles that are injected with the neurotoxin. Muscle inactivation persists until new muscle fibers grow and connect to new synaptic junctions in the nerves of the muscle. This can take a couple of months. Coincidentally, this is also about how long Botox for hair lasts before a return visit to the salon is needed. However, the term “Botox for hair” is misleading, as it is not actually Botox. Botox is not commonly used for the hair.


What does Botox for hair do?

“Botox for hair” does not mean applying a neurotoxin to the hair. Even if Botox were applied to the hair, the hair does not have any muscles to paralyze. Applying actual Botox to the hair would be an expensive waste. When products advertise themselves as “Botox for hair,” what they are saying is that they improve the hair’s overall appearance, similar to how Botox restores the skin’s youthful look. Botox for hair makes hair appear smoother and healthier, just like the neurotoxin does to wrinkled skin. However, this “Band-Aid solution” does not use an actual Band-Aid, Botox for hair contains no actual Botox.


How does Botox for hair work?

Botox for hair is a topical preparation meant to “fill the hair, make it smooth, and reduce frizz.” It fills in individual fibers of hair to increase the fullness and smoothness of the hair. These preparations use either collagen or keratin to attach to damaged hair, repairing it to its natural fullness.

Collagen is a protein found in bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. Collagen is what provides skin its strength. However, collagen declines with age and with exposure to UV light and smoking.

Keratin is a fibrous protein found in hair, feathers, hooves, claws, and horns. It is also found in the top layer of skin, which is called the epidermis. Keratin does not dissolve in water, yet it is about 16% water itself. Keratin helps to protect the skin.

Collagen and keratin are both touted for their ability to restore the hair’s natural luster. In addition, they are both groups of amino acids. The amino acids in keratin are arranged in sheets held together by hydrogen bonds, while the amino acids in collagen are arranged in a triple-helix structure. This “bundle of sticks” arrangement makes it harder to break than if it were a single stick. When it comes to hair treatment, however, the differences between collagen and keratin are negligible. They both do the same job and produce similar results. Keratin, though, needs to use formaldehyde to lock hair strands into a straight position. This is what makes the hair look smooth.


What should I expect from a Botox for hair treatment?

With so many competing advertisements out there, it can be difficult to know which product to choose. There are statements that lead people to believe certain things, that are used to persuade and dissuade, and that are meant to make something look better by making something else look worse. However, in the one-upmanship of product advertising––which is especially cut-throat and strategic in the beauty business––there will always be considerable overlap between what products say they do and what they actually do.

Companies use different combinations of ingredients, such as vitamins, essential oils, and collagen, to approach the problem of damaged hair. And still others go the keratin/formaldehyde route. Again, the difference between these products and ingredients is negligible—they all produce similar results.

Some products use biformyl as a formaldehyde substitute. These products claim that using biformyl instead of formaldehyde helps to prevent cancer. However, as was mentioned above, the risk of getting cancer from the formaldehyde used in hair treatments is negligible, if it is even a risk at all. Furthermore, these products fail to mention that biformyl exposure comes with its own problems, such as irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.

Some naturalists tout the use of biotin, iron, silica, and zinc to improve the hair’s appearance, but these treatments have not been proven to be effective. In addition, hormones (especially estrogen) can affect the hair. That being said, although the Botox for hair product is not genuine Botox, some studies show that Botox may help regrow hair.


Does anyone use Botox for thinning hair?

The use of Botox for thinning hair is an off-label use. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is unsafe to use in this sense, but that it has not been widely studies. Researchers have found that some patients experience hair growth when being treated with Botox for migraines. As well, many doctors have found their patients do respond in a positive way when being treated for it. Due to this, you may hear varying results from different practitioners about it’s effectiveness.


How much does Botox for hair cost?

A similarity between real Botox for wrinkled skin and metaphoric Botox for damaged, frizzled hair is the cost. The difference here is real Botox done in a medical professional’s office, and the other is done in a salon. Botox for hair is just another advertising buzzword. Be sure to consider the facts carefully before shelling out for these expensive hair treatments. As well, if you are considering using Botox as a solution for hair loss, be sure to seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Botox is widely used for several medical conditions, including several off-label uses.

Find out more about botulinum toxin and other cosmetic injectables by viewing our product selection.


Note on articles: These articles are not endorsed by DoctorMedica nor reviewed for medical accuracy. Similarly, views and opinions expressed are those of the author only. Articles are meant for informational purposes only. Ask your doctor for professional medical advice.


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