Provillus Reviews. Potential Side Effects.
Is Provillus a scam?
Provillus is a two part system that includes topical minoxidil with azelaic acid and a supplement that contains mostly saw palmetto. A two month supply will cost you $89.95. That's awfully expensive. The topical formula (5% minoxidil and azelaic acid) you could easily make yourself around $9 a month. Vitamin supplements equivalent to the Provillus version can easily be found on e-bay for around $10 a month.
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Let's first start with the topical version of Provillus. As stated above the principal ingredient is 5% minoxidil. Minoxidil is a substance approved by the FDA to regrow hair. It is also known by the name "Rogaine". Rogaine is the more expensive brand name. Minoxidil is the less expensive generic name. Both are equally effective. You can purchase 5% minoxidil locally at any number of places. It can also be purchased on the net and on e-bay. My favorite place to buy it is at Walmart. A three month supply will cost you around $18. Which works out to around $6 a month. But Provillus includes a second ingredient in their topical treatment called azelaic acid. The name makes it sound dangerous but in reality it is merely a weak acid derived from plants. Azelaic acid can also be purchased in powder or flake form and simply added to a fresh bottle of minoxidil. Added at the right quantity, it is very easy to make a homemade version. 100 grams of azelaic acid will run you $34.95 (includes shipping). This is enough to make approximately 20 months of a generic equivalent to the Provillus topical.
To order azelaic acid flakes click here.I have no financial association with this supplier. You want to measure out 5mls of the azelaic acid flakes, dump them into your bottle of minoxidil (that you purchased on your own), shake it up and then wait 24 hours for the flakes to fully dissolve in the solution. That's it. Done deal. You now have a generic equivalent to the Provillus topical formula. You then apply it to all areas of your scalp you wish to treat twice per day. Using approximately 1 ml with each application. The eyedropper you receive with your bottle of minoxidil is calibrated to measure this.
There are a number of theories as to why combination of azelaic acid and minoxidil works better than simply using minoxidil alone. I won't go into all these theories. But many people do swear it definitely works better than just using the standard minox. It is not a new idea to combine the two into one formula. A well known physician regarding the treatment of Hair Loss (Dr Lee), has been selling the same solution for many years. His prices are just as ridiculous as Provillus.
I need to warn you that azelaic acid can have a harmless but rather alarming side effect. It can cause a mild but temporary stinging, burning and redness when applied. This effect gradually goes away with repeated use. For this reason I recommend you mix up your first bottle with half the dose of azelaic acid. Furthermore, the first time you use it, I recommened you only apply it to a very small area of your scalp. Wait an hour or so and then if everything is OK, proceed to apply it to the rest of your scalp. If everything goes OK with the first bottle you can then add the normal amount of azelaic acid flakes and proceed with the higher dose. The stinging, burning and itching can vary from individual to individual. For most people it is relatively mild. This side effect is not harmful to hair follicles or your skin. Actually it is beneficial for the skin and the hair regrowing process.
The Provillus Vitamin
I've been personally experimenting with a multitude of varous supplements and herbs for more than 25 years. In my opinion there are basically two kinds. The first kind is the kind that doesn't work. This kind of supplement usually has no side effects. The other kind is the kind that works, but you end up having to stop taking them because of side effects. My core belief is that anything powerful enough to exert an effect on the body will always come with some degree of side effects. So instead of spending money on supplements to grow back their hair, I would rather people invested a smaller amount of money into a high quality shampoo which has been found to be very helpful for the treatment of male pattern baldness. More about this further down the page. But if you still desire to pursue taking a nutritional supplement for your hair loss below is the list of ingredients found in Provillus.
Vitamin B-6 5 mgs.
Biotin 5 mgs.
Magnesium 150 mgs.
Zinc 15 mgs.
Saw Palmetto 1500 mgs.
Proprietary blend 30 mgs
Nettle (urtica dioca) (Leaf)
Pumpkin (Cucurbita Maxima) (Seed)
Eleuthero Root (Eleutherococcus Senticosus)
Uva - Ursi (Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi) (Root)
Muira Puama (Ptychopetalum Olacoides)
The thing that concerns me the most about this supplement is the ingredient Saw Palmetto. I have no doubt that a good quality Saw Palmetto extract can be helpful for treating the balding condition. However...again...there are two kinds of supplements in my experience. The stuff that doesn't work because it is of poor quality, or the stuff that works but the benefits come with side effects. I've received numerous complaints over the years from those that took saw palmetto. The side effects reported are things like loss of libido, difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, gynocomastia (the growing of female type breasts), and testicular pain. Think about this..... saw palmetto is the active ingredient in many supplements for women designed to enlarge their breasts! Personally I believe a better alternative is to apply saw palmetto topically and I do have other formulas on my site that speak to this idea. I believe it is just as effective and has no systemic side effects.
Like I said if you insist on taking a nutritional supplement it should be a easy matter to do a search and compare ingredients and prices. Make sure to check out e-bay as well. Seems like you can always get a better price there.
Another thing I recommend is to use a shampoo known as "Nizoral". Nizoral can be found in any pharmacy in the medicated shampoo section. The active ingredient in Nizoral is ketoconazole. This substance is a known antiandrogen which is a glorified way of saying it blocks DHT. DHT is the hormone most resposible for causing male pattern baldness. Nizoral was never designed as a hair restorer but this has been something discovered about it after it was on the market for treating dandruff. I buy mine at Walmart. It costs about $15 for a two month supply. You use it as your shampoo twice per week. Using more often than twice per week can result in a dry scalp so go easy on the stuff.
In conclusion Provillus...at least the topical part is a bonafide treatment for hair loss but in my opinion it is too expensive. There are cheaper and just as effective ways to make your own version. The vitamin supplement I would recommend you skip because of the potential side effects. Instead substitute this with Nizoral shampoo. In the long run this routine will cost you less and be equally if not more effective for keeping and regrowing some of your lost hair.