Does minoxidil help the temples?
Minoxidil is a topical medication that is FDA approved for treating androgenetic hair loss (male balding) in men. The initial studies that lead to its approval were performed in men with hair loss in the crown (top of the scalp) and this lead to labeling on packaging indicating that it helped the crown. The early studies were not conducted on the front of the scalp and temples and so manufacturers were therefore not permitted to label the product as helping the frontal scalp and temples.
Minoxidil can help temples and frontal hairline
Minoxidil can most certainly help the frontal hairline and temples - especially in younger men and especially in the earliest stages of balding. It may not restore it to the 'original' density. But it certainly can help a proportion of males. Two studies in the past played a key role to nicely demonstrate that minoxidil helps the frontal hairline.
STUDY 1: Hillman and colleagues
IN 2015, Hillman K et al published a study that evaluated the efficacy of twice daily 5% minoxidil foam in the temples of male patients with genetic hair loss. The study was a 24 week study and compared outcomes to placebo treatment and to the vertex region. Study results indicated that hair counts and hair caliber increased significantly compared to baseline in both the temples and vertex scalp. Furthermore, patients actually using 5% minoxidil foam rated a significant improvement in scalp coverage for both the front and top areas.
STUDY 2 - Mirmirani and colleagues
In 2014, Mirmirani et al conducted a double-blinded, placebo controlled study of minoxidil topical foam 5% (MTF) vs placebo in 16 men ages 18-49 years with androgenetic hair loss. Study participants applied treatment (active drug or placebo) to the scalp twice daily for eight weeks. Again, similar to the previous study, results showed that minoxidil improved frontal and vertex scalp hair growth of AGA patients.
There is no doubt now that minoxidil can help some men with hair loss in the frontal scalp and temples. It does not help everyone, and doesn't bring the hair back to the original density - but it certainly can help.
Hillman K et al. A Single-Centre, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial to Investigate the Efficacy and Safety of Minoxidil Topical Foam in Frontotemporal and Vertex Androgenetic Alopecia in Men. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2015;28:236-244.
Mirmirani et al. Similar Response Patterns to 5%Topical Minoxidil Foam in Frontal and Vertex Scalp of Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Microarray Analysis. Br J Dermatol. 2014 Sep 10.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887