Here’s the scenario: you have a major meeting at 10 a.m. Everything needs to be on point for this meeting, including your hair, which is why you get a blowout the day before. The problem? You’re addicted to hot yoga (or just really into it, we get it) and your favorite instructor is doing her thing at 8 a.m., right before your meeting. Your blowout is doomed, but how can you skip your morning yoga when it’s the only thing keeping you sane?
Hypothetically, this happens to you every day. Less hypothetically, it’s 98 degrees in the shade, and you’re drenched in sweat before you order your first iced coffee.
Could This Be The Answer?
Since last year, an extreme solution for this exercising-is-crucial-but-I-also-need-to-preserve-my-blowout problem has been gaining traction: a botox treatment—for your scalp.
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Dr. Julie Russak, MD, board certified dermatologist and Charlotte’s Book Premiere Provider, says she first started giving the treatment about a year ago when a patient came in with the precise problem described above. Since then, requests for the service have grown exponentially. “You will still sweat afterwards, but so much less. It totally saved all her blowouts,” Dr. Russak explains. “It’s great for people who work out a lot, and especially in the summer. It really makes a difference for someone who produces so much sweat that it’s affecting her life.”
The Medical Theories Behind “Blowtox”
Botox has been used for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), and is FDA-approved for this purpose, though only for the armpits. It is also FDA-approved for use on the scalp, to treat migraines.
Dr. Patricia Wexler, a board certified dermatologist practicing at Wexler Dermatology, explains: “It works exactly like injections for hyperhidrosis; botox inhibits the eccrine [sweat] glands specifically. It has few side effects if given in a safe dilution and dose. It should be discriminately placed along the hairline and frontal area where frizz is most prominent.”
Whereas 3-5 injections are used for the typical crow’s feet treatment, up to 200 injections might be used on the scalp, depending on the patient’s needs. This takes about 30 minutes, and cost estimates range from $800 to $2000 per treatment. Staying power? At the most, up to twelve months.
But Does It Actually Work?
“Some women who receive Botox to their frontalis muscle for horizontal forehead lines have reported less frizz at the hairline due to less sweating at the area where the skin meets the scalp,” says Dr. Francesca Fusco, MD, a medical and cosmetic dermatologist also practicing at Wexler Dermatology. That’s pretty specific.
Related Read: Botox For Teeth Grinding?
“I think it’s interesting, though, and indicative of the lengths and depths women will go to have great hair,” says Dr. Fusco.
Dr. Dendy Engelman, MD, one of the first New York-based dermatologists to begin administering the treatment at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, says “People love it. They definitely say they have to get fewer blowouts because their hair is no longer ruined from the sweating. It’s too soon to see if they are coming back for more, because the effects last between six and 12 months, but patients seem thrilled!”
Dr. Engelman adds, “It’s an indulgent procedure. It’s certainly a niche. I have hair that behaves. I would not do this.”
Dr. Julie Russak, MD, of Russak Dermatology Clinic
Dr. Patricia Wexler, MD, of Wexler Dermatology
Dr. Francesca Fusco, MD, of Wexler Dermatology
Dr. Dendy Engelman, MD, of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery