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Hair Pills
Many men and women experience hair loss. Musely

For more than 80 million men and women in the United States alone, the experience of hair loss has become an unavoidable truth. While not everyone chooses to seek treatment for their thinning hair, people who do have likely experienced a grueling process of trial and error. Finding an effective hair loss treatment can be frustrating and extremely disheartening. Oftentimes, people will try countless over-the-counter treatments and gimmicky supplements before seeking professional treatment from a dermatologist. And then, on top of the pricey dermatologist visit, patients can end up shelling out thousands of dollars for expensive laser treatments, microneedling, or PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy, all with little-to-no results.

Unfortunately, with every failed attempt, the clock doesn't stop ticking. As we age, it's common to start noticing more and more hair in the drain and your hair may appear to be getting thinner. In fact, research shows that more than 80% of men and 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss in their lifetime, with nearly half of women and more than half of men being affected before the age of 50.

Despite the astounding amount of men and women who are suffering from hair loss, there is unfortunately still no absolute cure for hair loss. However, Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Brandon Kirsch stated, "There are certain ingredients that have proven to be effective hair loss treatments for certain types of hair thinning." Below, we will explore each of these research-backed ingredients, which hair loss conditions are treatable, and better yet, how one teledermatology company has created the first-ever dual-action hair loss pill for less than one dollar per day.

Hair Loss: Explained

In order to compare and contrast certain hair loss treatments, you must first understand how and why hair loss happens. To summarize, the hair growth cycle consists of 3 major stages, with each individual follicle going through its own cycle. Here's a breakdown of those three phases:

  • Anagen (Growth): Hair follicles are actively pushing out hairs that will continue to grow until they reach the end of their lifespan.
  • Catagen (Transition): The follicle begins to shrink and the individual hair receives fewer nutrients and blood flow from the underlying blood vessel.
  • Telogen (Rest): The follicle will release the hair and new hair begins to grow in its place. Unfortunately, though, new hair growth doesn't always happen!

In the United States, around 50 million men and 30 million women experience age-related male or female-pattern hair loss, which is directly related to the hair growth cycle itself! As we age, the anagen phase becomes shorter, while the telogen phase becomes longer, meaning that fewer hairs are growing — and less often. Additionally, the hair follicles themselves also become smaller with every growth cycle, limiting blood flow and producing thinner hairs over time.

Another prevalent hair loss condition is telogen effluvium, a scalp disorder characterized by the excessive shedding of hair, often triggered by a significant life event. Disruption to the hair growth cycle can cause more hairs to enter the telogen phase at once, resulting in sudden hair loss. This specific condition occurs regularly postpartum, but can also be triggered by weight loss, menopause, changes in birth control methods, illness, stressful events, and even COVID-19. Research shows that telogen effluvium is associated with COVID-19 infection, with many patients experiencing noticeable hair shedding two to three months after having a fever or illness.

While there are many different types of hair loss, there are some that are more treatable than others. Dr. Brandon Kirsch explained, "Hair loss can be categorized most broadly as either nonscarring or scarring. Nonscarring hair loss is most often treatable, whereas scarring hair loss cannot be treated, as the hair follicle has been destroyed by the scarring process." Fortunately, both telogen effluvium and pattern hair loss (otherwise known as androgenetic alopecia) are considered nonscarring hair loss conditions and are therefore more receptive to treatment.

So, how do you find hair loss treatments that actually work for treating nonscarring hair loss? Now that we understand the growth cycle, we can see how critical it is that the resting phase does not become longer than the growth phase. Some hair loss ingredients have been scientifically proven to speed up the growth phase of hair, and others have been proven to speed up the resting phase of hair. However, these powerful ingredients had never been combined into one single pill, until The Hair Pill from Musely.

Available in three powerful formulas: Sprout, Bloom, and Growth, The Hair Pill is specially formulated with dual action ingredients for hair loss offense and defense that simultaneously prevent hair loss and promote hair growth. Musely Medical Director, Dr. Brandon Kirsch, shared, "The combination of two synergistic prescription-strength ingredients in a single hair pill, along with curated vitamin and mineral supplements, is something that has never been done before." Keep reading to learn more about the powerful offense and defense ingredients included in The Hair Pill that dermatologists recommend as the most effective hair loss treatment on the market.

Hair Loss Offense: Minoxidil

No hair loss treatment is complete without a powerful offense to drive hair regrowth. Many dermatologists agree the answer is minoxidil! You may have heard the buzz about this old-school blood pressure medication that has been used off-label in treating something unexpected - hair loss! While minoxidil was originally developed in the 1970s as a medication to treat high blood pressure, recent research has revealed that low doses of the same medication can successfully promote hair regrowth in both men and women. The best part? The medication is available for a fraction of the price of alternative hair loss treatments.

This news may seem too good to be true for the many people who have been unable to find a treatment that works. We've connected with Musely's Board-Certified dermatologists to find out if this "magic" ingredient is worth the hype. Spoiler alert - it is, especially when paired with a hair loss-preventing ingredient to act as the "defense"!

You may be wondering how this more than 50-year–old ingredient has flown under the radar for so many decades and has now seemingly re-emerged overnight. The story begins in 1979 when oral minoxidil was originally approved for use in treating hypertension. However, in the 1980s, Colorado dermatologist Guinter Kahn, MD found that it had a rather curious side effect: hypertrichosis or excessive hair growth in unwanted places. Because high doses of the medication are required to treat high blood pressure, patients were alarmed to find hair growing all over the body, as well as changes in color, texture, and thickness of the hair. Observing this phenomenon, Kahn began experimenting with the topical use of minoxidil so that patients could apply it regionally and control where hair growth appeared. In 1988, minoxidil was officially approved as a topical hair loss treatment by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was introduced to the general public in the form of a now well-known hair loss treatment, Rogaine.

So how does minoxidil act as the "offense" for hair loss? Board-Certified dermatologist, Dr. Brandon Kirsch explained, "Minoxidil is a vasodilator, meaning it opens blood vessels to increase blood flow and promote oxygen and nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. The ingredient is believed to increase the proportion of hair follicles in the growth phase, as well as increase follicle weight and density." In short, by increasing blood flow and nutrient delivery, minoxidil is able to shorten the telogen (resting) phase of the hair and cause the hair to enter the anagen (growing) phase more quickly.

No hair loss treatment is complete without a powerful offense to drive hair regrowth. Musely

While topical use of minoxidil has long been touted as the best treatment for hair loss in men and women, dermatologists and patients agree that it may not be the most convenient to use. Although topical minoxidil is highly accessible and available for purchase over-the-counter, it comes only in the form of foam, liquid or gel solutions that must be applied to the scalp daily. For some patients, the daily upkeep of applying the treatment can become tiresome, causing lower rates of compliance and therefore lower rates of success. To avoid this, doctors did experiment with oral minoxidil for hair loss, but found that the 10 to 40 mg doses used for treating hypertension were far too high for general use, and instead continued to recommend the topical alternative.

However, in 2015, an Australian dermatologist named Rodney Sinclair began studying oral minoxidil for hair loss in doses as low as 0.625 and 1.25 mg, and the results showed promise! His patients saw less shedding, more regrowth, and fewer side effects than found with higher doses of the drug. This discovery prompted more research and widespread acceptance of oral minoxidil as a hair loss treatment among doctors and patients alike.

The rise of interest in oral minoxidil for hair loss is exemplified by the growing number of new scholarly studies published throughout the past few years. In 2019, there were just two new studies published, but in 2020 that number jumped to 17 followed by 20 more in 2021, according to a PubMed search. So far this year, more than 40 scholarly articles on oral minoxidil for hair loss have been published, proving that the decades-old ingredient is growing in popularity - and fast! Interestingly, some would argue that widespread awareness of this off-label hair loss treatment skyrocketed after The New York Times published a viral article in August of this year, resulting in a surge of online searches for "oral minoxidil". The article rounded up commentary from renowned dermatologists who unanimously agree that off-label use of oral minoxidil should be taken seriously as an emerging hair loss treatment.

Before and After
Before and After results Musely

Some of you may be wondering...does "off-label" mean the drug is dangerous? In most cases, the answer is "no". When a medication that has already been deemed safe for use is prescribed for something other than its intended purpose, it is referred to as being used "off-label". Since oral minoxidil was originally developed to treat hypertension and later observed to promote hair growth, doctors began prescribing it to their patients "off-label". This means that prescribers can take advantage of the positive, proven side effects of the drug without going through the expensive and tedious process of FDA approval.

Although oral minoxidil isn't yet FDA-approved to treat alopecia (the medical term for hair loss), the amount of evidence and anecdotal success has encouraged many dermatologists to experiment with low doses of the medication between .25 mg and .5 mg per day. Not only is the oral alternative more convenient than Rogaine and other topical minoxidil formulas, the medication has also been shown to promote even greater results. In fact, the International Journal of Dermatology published a study that revealed that between 61% and 100% of patients with female pattern hair loss (otherwise known as androgenic alopecia) saw significant improvement in hair regrowth when taking a low dose of oral minoxidil. Although, the report also acknowledges that some elements of the oral pill's success may be attributed to greater patient compliance. Since the oral method is less messy and avoids the irritating side effects of topical formulas, patients may be more likely to continue use and consequently improve efficacy.

However, unfortunately, oral minoxidil should not be considered a one-and-done medication for treating alopecia. In other words, no sports team is successful without a strong offense and defense! Dr. Brandon Kirsch explains, "Medical research strongly suggests that patients should combine the use of different therapies for optimal clinical outcomes since there is no cure for hair loss." Luckily, combination treatments exist, such as The Hair Pill from Musely, and hair regrowth can still be achieved with just one daily pill. Keep reading to learn more!

Bald Spots
Not all hair loss products should be treated equally. Musely

Hair Loss Defense: Dutasteride and Spironolactone

When it comes to slowing down the rate of shedding and speeding up the regrowth process, not all hair loss products should be treated equally. It's important to know that certain ingredients are scientifically proven to be more effective at treating hair loss, and are only accessible with a prescription from a licensed provider. In addition to low-dose oral minoxidil, hair regrowth has also been observed in the use of two other prescription oral medications - dutasteride and spironolactone. Let's take a closer look at how these two ingredients act as the "defense" by fighting hair loss and promoting hair growth.

  • Dutasteride acts as hair loss "defense" by preventing the production of the 5-alpha reductase and blocking the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone to reduce hair loss. Dutasteride is proven to work more effectively than another regularly prescribed ingredient for hair loss, finasteride. It's important to note that dutasteride is most often used for the treatment of post-menopausal hair loss in women and cannot be used in females of childbearing age unless they are using strict birth control measures.
  • Spironolactone also defends your scalp from hair loss by slowing down the production of testosterone. Reduced production of these hormones can prevent the progression of hair loss caused by nonscarring hair loss such as androgenic alopecia or telogen effluvium. According to the International Journal of Dermatology, the combination of spironolactone and minoxidil for hair loss has been studied and proven successful and safe for the treatment of female pattern hair loss. Due to broader antiandrogen effects, spironolactone is used as a hair loss treatment only in pre-menopausal women and should be avoided in women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing.
  • Minoxidil, as we know, acts as a hair regrowth "offense" by vasodilating the blood vessels and improving nutrient and oxygen delivery to the hair follicles. Minoxidil is safe for use by pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women, as well as men, depending on each patients' unique medical history.

Combining Treatments For Best Results

While each of these three powerhouse ingredients has been scientifically proven to fight hair loss and promote hair regrowth, the combination of multiple proven ingredients was never offered in one single pill until recently. In October of 2022, the first-ever dual-action oral hair loss medication was launched, breaking the mold for hair loss treatments for good. The Hair Pill from Musely combines the most efficacious hair loss ingredients in one oral medication, creating a treatment that is exponentially more effective than one standalone ingredient. The Hair Pill is available in three unique hair growth-promoting formulas specially curated by Board-Certified Dermatologists and made easily accessible with an online prescription.

Musely Hair Pill
The Hair Pill from Musely combines the most efficacious hair loss ingredients in one oral medication. Musely

Musely Medical Director, Dr. Brandon Kirsch shared, "The Hair Pill is a thoughtfully engineered, next-level hair restoration therapy." In addition to combining minoxidil with either dutasteride or spironolactone, all formulas of The Hair Pill also include the following hair growth-boosting supplements:

  • Biotin stimulates keratin production and can increase the rate of follicle growth.
  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that promotes collagen production.
  • Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties that help stimulate new follicle growth.
  • Zinc helps regulate hair loss-causing hormones such as testosterone.
  • Folic Acid helps the body create new cells and keep the ones you have healthy.

The Hair Pill is prescribed to both male and female patients by a doctor who assesses each patient's medical history to select the best formula for their specific needs. Musely Medical Director and Board-Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Ravi Ubriani shared, "I'm very excited that patients will now have access to the most effective hair regrowth treatments in a simple combination pill. These are unique formulations that combine beneficial medications along with supplements to give the best treatment possible."

In addition to The Hair Pill, Musely also offers The Hair Solution, a topical hair treatment to treat male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss, and telogen effluvium. Both the oral and topical treatments effectively prevent hair loss and encourage hair regrowth in men, pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women. Dr. Brandon Kirsch shared, "The Hair Solution is an innovative all-in-one arrangement of favored prescription therapies, each working by a different mechanism of action to stimulate and support hair growth." While the use of both The Hair Pill and The Hair Solution together is not required, Musely's dermatologists agree that for some patients, the most proactive treatment plans involve stacking treatment types for faster results.

Musely Online
Personalized hair loss treatment plans are available on Musely

Get Personalized Hair Loss Medications Online

Personalized hair loss treatment plans are available on, which offers an ordering experience that is stress-free from start to finish. The best part? There is no need to visit an in-person dermatologist or even a standard telehealth appointment. Instead, complete a quick 3-minute questionnaire online, upload three photos of your condition, and your personal dermatologist will write your prescription within 24 hours. Rather than wait in line at the pharmacy, your freshly compounded medication will be delivered straight to your door within days.

We connected with Musely CEO, Jack Jia, on the launch of The Hair Pill and what it means to the fast-growing teledermatology company. Jia shared, "As disruptors in the skincare industry, our goal is to create access to exponentially more efficacious skin and hair care treatments at a fraction of the cost." And he's not wrong! While alternative hair loss therapies and in-person dermatology visits can quickly cost you thousands, The Hair Pill is available for just $0.93 per day. In addition to hair loss treatments, Musely also offers prescription medications for hyperpigmentation and dark spots, as well as rosacea and anti-aging.

Regardless of your preferred treatment method, dermatologists agree - the sooner treatment begins, the better the outcome. Prevent and treat age-related hair loss, hormonal hair loss, male or female pattern hair loss, and telogen effluvium with effective medications from Musely. Still skeptical? Take a look at what Musely's patients are saying about their results.