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Tretinoin in Hair Loss Formulas: FAQs, Benefits, and What To Expect

Learn why you might see tretinoin in hair loss formulas including benefits, what to expect, and where to find it.

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At this point, most people are familiar with retinoids like Tretinoin for use on the skin as a way to help stave off acne, smooth fine lines, and promote collagen production. But, are you aware of the potential benefits of including Tretinoin in hair loss formulations?

While the use of Tretinoin as an addition to hair loss formulations is relatively new, there are signs pointing to it having the ability to help bolster your results.

Below, we will cover the basics of Tretinoin in hair loss formulas including why it is sometimes included, what you might expect from using Tretinoin on your scalp, how to approach any redness and irritation you are experiencing, what people might benefit from using Tretinoin formulations, who should not use Tretinoin, and how to obtain these Tretinoin hair loss formulas if you are interested in trying them out.

Why is Tretinoin used in some hair loss formulas?

Using Tretinoin topically on the scalp as part of a hair loss treatment may help stimulate regrowth in some users. Most studies show that when paired with other hair loss active ingredients like Minoxidil, that Tretinoin may help deliver better results than using just Minoxidil alone. 

Other trials demonstrate that you can get the same results pairing Minoxidil with Tretinoin and using it once a day for androgenetic alopecia as you would get from using Minoxidil twice a day. This is a great benefit, since many people may not want to have to apply their hair loss treatment twice daily in order to get the maximum effects.

The full mechanism behind exactly how Tretinoin may help with hair loss treatment, especially when paired with actives like Minoxidil is not fully understood. However, some studies have shown that topical Tretinoin helps to upregulate sulfotransferase enzymes in the scalp. These enzymes are required to transform the Minoxidil into its active form, Minoxidil Sulfate. This may explain why some people get better results from using both active ingredients together, or why they previous did not respond to Minoxidil, but do respond when it is mixed with Tretinoin.

What should I expect from using a hair loss formula with Tretinoin?

If you are using a topical hair loss medication with Tretinoin in it, there are a few things you should expect right off of the bat.

Mainly, since Tretinoin will help increase the cell turnover of the skins cells, some people notice redness, flaking, itching, dryness, and general irritation for the first few weeks of treatment. Usually, your skin acclimates to these effects and they may lessen or go away. However, if it is extreme or very bothersome, talk to your doctor to see if the strength of the Tretinoin can be reduced or just remove it altogether.

Additionally, you may be more prone to sunburn while you are using Tretinoin. This will occur mainly on and just around the area where you apply it. To help avoid sunburn during treatment, apply sunscreen to the surrounding skin or even on exposed part of your scalp.

Is it normal to experience redness and irritation from Tretinoin?

It is common to experience some redness or irritation when you first start on a Tretinoin-containing product. It is not always necessary to immediately stop the product because of this, since it is a known effect of the medication working and turning over skin cells more rapidly.

This irritation may go away with use, or become more tolerable.

If the irritation is severe, let your doctor know and they may be able to guide you through whether you need to power through, stop the product, or reduce your Tretinoin strength.

You may be able to use soothing moisturizers to help you through the Tretinoin adjustment process.

Who might benefit from including Tretinoin in their hair loss treatment plan?

Choosing a hair loss treatment that includes Tretinoin may be a good option for people who have already tried to use Minoxidil alone, but did not get a good response. It is possible that they may have lower levels of sulfotransferase enzymes, and Tretinoin may help to boost these to deliver a better outcome from Minoxidil use.

Opting for a multiple active-ingredient formula may also be a good option for people who do not want to waste time trying out one active ingredient at a time for months, and would rather have a potentially stronger formula immediately. Formulas with Tretinoin, Minoxidil, and a DHT-blocker like Finasteride are available from Strut Health through a quick telemedicine consult.

A Tretinoin and Minoxidil formula may also be a good option for people who do not want to have to deal with a twice-daily application of Minoxidil, but would still like to achieve the best possible Minoxidil results.

Who should not use Tretinoin products?

Tretinoin and retinoid ingredients should be avoided in people who have had a bad reaction to retinoids in the past, extremely sensitive skin, or those that are allergic to similar medications.

Also, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant in the near future should avoid the use of Tretinoin due to the risk of harm to the developing child.

Where can I find hair loss formulas with Tretinoin?

Tretinoin is a prescription-only medication that is currently only available manufactured in cream or gel forms that are meant to be applied to the face.

These formulations work great for applying to the skin on the face, but would likely not work great applied to the scalp with a lot of hair getting in the way. Also, tretinoin for hair loss seems to really perform best when combined with other hair loss agents like Minoxidl and DHT-blockers like Finasteride.

For this reason, we advise that you find a doctor familiar with these formulations and a compounding pharmacy that can build a Tretinoin formula for you that is meant to be applied to the scalp.

At Strut, we can pair you with U.S. doctors and compounding pharmacies familiar with these Tretinoin hair loss compounds, all with just a 15-minute questionnaire-based online visit.

Strut Health hair loss medications online with or without Tretinoin

Here at Strut, we stay on top of the latest offerings in the world of hair loss, whether that means the tried and true FDA-approved treatments, or the buzzworthy off-label formulations on the rise.

For this reason, we offer the option of including Tretinoin into your topical hair loss formulations along with Minoxidil and usually a DHT-blocker like Finasteride or Dutasteride. Since our prescription hair loss medications are compounded and made up specifically for each patient, we can customize ingredients and strengths to suit your hair loss goals and personal preferences.

If you are ready to give a hair loss treatment a try (with or without Tretinoin), simply select the base product you are interested in, and complete a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation in under 15 minutes.

Our U.S. doctors will review your information and put together a treatment plan for you, if appropriate. Then, your prescription will be put made at a U.S. compounding pharmacy and shipped to your front door with our fast and free shipping.

Any questions or adjustments needed after you start your treatment? No problem -- our staff and doctors are available for free and unlimited follow-ups to help guide you through.

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