Could taking aspirin regularly be affecting your hair loss treatment?

A small study has recently revealed that taking low doses of aspirin daily could reduce the effectiveness of hair loss treatment. The results were published within the Dermatologic Therapy Medical Journal and it’s the first study of its kind to look at the direct link between aspirin and topical hair loss treatments.

Here, we’ll look at the results of the study, along with previous studies which have shown similar results.

What the hair loss treatment study found

The recent study was conducted by a team of researchers from numerous countries including Australia, the United States, Italy, Croatia, India and Iran. It’s the first study of its kind to link low doses of aspirin with a reduction in the effectiveness of hair loss treatments. It focused on topical hair loss treatments such as Minoxidil in a two-week study involving 24 participants.

After two weeks of using both Minoxidil treatment for hair loss and low dose aspirin, the participants’ follicular sulfotransferase enzymatic activity was measured. It was initially thought that approximately half of the participants would respond to the Minoxidil treatment. However, after taking low doses of aspirin for two weeks, the percentage of patients responding to Minoxidil dropped to 27%.

Following on from previous studies

Although this was the first study to specifically measure how aspirin impacts topical hair loss treatments, previous studies had already identified a link between the two. A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia, discovered that aspirin could suppress the enzymes that Minoxidil aims to stimulate. This basically reduced the effectiveness of the drug.

So, the most recent study followed on from the previous research conducted to establish a direct link between aspirin and topical hair loss treatments.

How does aspirin interact with Minoxidil?

When Minoxidil is applied to the scalp, the sulfotransferase enzymes found within the hair follicles, convert the drug into minoxidil sulfate, its active form. The activity of sulfotransferase within the hair’s follicles ultimately predicts how well the hair will respond to Minoxidil treatment for hair loss.

Sulfotransferase activity within the liver is known to be restricted by salicylic acid. So, the fact that low dose over-the-counter aspirin is a derivative of salicylic acid, shows how it can impact the effectiveness of products such as Minoxidil.

More research required

Although the recent study does reveal low dose aspirin taken on a daily basis does reduce the effectiveness of some hair loss treatments, more research is required to establish a true picture of the problem. This was a very small-scale study and it only ran for a short period of time. So, a longer-term, larger study should be carried out to develop a much clearer picture of how aspirin interacts with Minoxidil.

However, what the results do show is that medical professionals should be mindful of how aspirin could negatively impact the results of topical hair loss treatments. Where a patient’s Minoxidil treatment isn’t working as well as expected, it could be down to a daily intake of low dose aspirin medication. Therefore, prior to prescribing Minoxidil, it would be useful for medical professionals to assess whether the patient is currently taking daily aspirin medication.