There are numerous products on the market intended for hair loss treatment. Many of them have completely different key ingredients. This makes it difficult to choose the right products. We very often received questions from our customers asking our thoughts on Stemoxydine and Aminexil. Here we are going to briefly examine these two ingredients in comparison with the gold standard Minoxidil.
The structures of these three chemicals are shown in the main image of this blog (see above). As shown, Aminexil has similar structure of minoxidil, with the piperidinyl group missing. Stemoxydine has a completely different structure from minoxidil. Stemoxydine's IUPAC name is Diethyl pyridine-2,4-dicarboxylate ( see its molecular modeling image blow).
Minoxidil: Minoxidil has been proven to regrow hair on the top of the head. It is one of the only two FDA approved ingredients (the other being finasteride) and most widely used ingredient in hair regrowth products as of today. It was first used as an oral drug to lower blood pressure. It was soon found to stimulate hair growth. Rigorous clinical studies have confirmed this “side effect” and its FDA approvals for hair re-growth as topical solutions was granted in 1980s. Clinical studies have shown that higher minoxidil concentration is more effective than lower minoxidil concentration in stimulating hair regrowth. If you are interested in knowing more about minoxidil, you can read our blog: Minoxidil Frequently Asked Questions and Professional Review.
Stemoxydine is a patented chemical by L'Oreal for hair regrowth. L'Oreal claims that the liquid solution containing stemoxydine, when applied to the roots, can promote the hair regrowth. The study was conducted in a double blind vs placebo study consisting of 101 men between 18 and 55 years old. During the study, subjects applied stemoxydine 5% solution (aka, stemoxydine 5) once a day (6ml).
How does stemoxydine work?
L’Oreal’ believes that the key to healthy hair growth lies in maintaining hypoxia environment ( oxygen deficiency) for the CD34+ stem cells. These stem cells near the skin’s surface are responsible for creating new hair. In people with hair loss, the oxygen levels in the CD34+ layer are elevated causing the follicles to work less efficiently and eventually stop producing hair. L'Oreal claims that Stemoxydine help create the hypoxia environment and awaken dormant stem cells and produces increase numbers of follicles and also increased density.
It appears from the early and limited in vivo studies that a small amount of hair regrowth did occur. However, larger scale clinical testing would be needed to determine a more accurate assessment of the product’s success rate.
Does stemoxydine really work?
L'Oreal used to have hair growth product based on Aminexil. Now Aminexil is all replaced by stemoxydine in all of L'Oreal products. Does it mean Stemoxydine works better than Aminexil? We do not know. Sometimes a company makes a change not because the new product is better than the old one. Instead, it might be because the new chemical gives them the exclusive ownership of a formulation so nobody else can copy it, or it might be due to regulation related reasons. The bottom line is that this is a relatively new product, so only time will tell if the product really works.
Another point I would like to point out is even if Stemoxydine works as what L'Oreal claims, it does nothing to address the detrimental effect of DHT (dihydrotestoserone) in the blood stream. Research shows that DHT causes hair follicles to miniatuirize and trigger hair loss. Lowering DHT level is the main approach in popular hair loss products such as Lipogaine for Men and Maxogen-S.
Stemoxydine Results From Real Users
Other than L'Oreal reported clinical study that showed an increase of 4% in hair density on the patients treated with stemoxydine for 3 months, there aren't many stemoxydine users who have shown their before and after pictures.
Products with stemoxydine:
b. L'Oreal professional serioxyl dense hair treatment
c. Vichy Dercos Neogenic Hair Loss Treatment (Vichy is a brand of L'Oreal)
d, Redken Cerafill Retaliate Stemoxydine Treatment (Redken is owned by L'Oreal as well).
Stemoxydine side effects
We have a separate blog on stemoxydine side effects. Read the blog "Stemoxydine side effects".
Aminexil is another patented chemical molecule developed by L’Oreal. It was used prior to Stemoxydine but recently got ditched by L'Oreal. L'Oreal claimed that Aminexil help prevent perifollicular fibrosis (scarring of the hair follicles) and therefore help treatment for hair loss. Aminexil had been marketed by L"Oreal for more than 15 years. Yet not so many people have heard about it. You know what it means.
Aminexil is said to work in a similar way to the proven hair loss treatment minoxidil. However, aminexil is often mixed with minoxidil. There are very few products containing Aminexil without minoxidil.
We do not believe either Stemoxyldine or Aminexil comes close to the effectiveness of minoxidil in stimulating hair regrowth. Aminexil is dead now. Even the creator of this compound has dropped it, so should you. If it works, it most likely due to the presence of minoxidil in the same product. If you are allergic to minoxidil itself, you can give Stemoxydine a try. Please be advised that majority of people who are allergic to minoxidil products are actually allergic to the solvent Propylene glycol not minoxidil itself. Thus it is worth considering propylene glycol free minoxidil products to avoid allergic reaction from regular minoxidil products or topical spironolactone that is free of minoxidil.
You may also consider minoxidil product with low propylene glycol concentration such as Lipogaine for men too.
minoxidil products review
Lipogaine side effects