Scalp Botox Stops Sweaty Hair in Its Tracks—Here’s How It Works

woman with hair in a bun


Smoothing wrinkles may still be the first thing that springs to mind when most people think of Botox. But the popular product can also do something else: lessen sweating.

"Botox, also known as Botulinum toxin, can temporarily halt or lessen sweating by blocking the nerve signals responsible for activating the sweat glands," explains dermatologist Dr. Aanand Geria. "Normally, nerve signals are transmitted from the brain to the sweat glands, telling them to produce sweat. Botox works by blocking the release of a chemical called acetylcholine, which is involved in transmitting these nerve signals. Botox stops the nerve signals from reaching the sweat glands by preventing the release of acetylcholine, reducing or eliminating sweating in the treated area."

Meet the Expert

  • Dr. Aanand Geria is a board-certified dermatologist based in Verona, New Jersey.
  • Dr. Lesley Rabach is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in the head and the neck. She is also the co-founder of LM Medical in New York City.

We spoke to Geria and facial plastic surgeon Dr. Lesley Rabach to get their thoughts on scalp Botox—everything from the benefits and costs to how it works and what the procedure entails. Keep scrolling for all the info.

Benefits of Scalp Botox

  • Reduces sweat
  • Preserves hairstyles
  • Can boost hair growth

Among fitness enthusiasts especially, scalp Botox has seen an increase in interest. "It is becoming increasingly popular," observes Rabach, who notes it's become especially in demand over the past several months. "It is a great way for people to preserve their blowouts because one of the many wonderful things Botox does is prevent sweating—that is why people get Botox in their armpits, palms, and soles," she explains.

Beyond just sweat prevention, scalp Botox can help with hair growth. The thought process is that your muscles are relaxed post-Botox injection, and blood flow increases when they are more relaxed. When blood flow increases, hair growth follows. As always, consult your dermatologist before trying.

How It Works

The FDA has approved the use of Botox as a treatment for hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. Botox works by temporarily blocking a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which controls the nerve signals that stimulate sweat glands, (essentially cutting off communication while the Botox is in effect).

When we asked Rabach for her thoughts on the efficacy of scalp Botox for sweating, she assured us that it works, explaining that "hair follicles also have sweat and oil glands, so by reducing the sweat and oil production on the scalp, hair will remain clean longer."

What the Procedure Entails

"While it does vary from person to person, typically we start with 100 units, and patients may require up to 200 units total," explains Rabach. She adds that each person needs to be evaluated to determine the amount that would be best for them. "Botox is injected throughout the hair-bearing area in small aliquots and takes only about five minutes to administer," Rabach says. After treatment, Rabach asks that patients refrain from working out for several hours and wait approximately three to five days before getting their next blowout. "Treatments should be done two to three times per year, or more if needed," she recommends.

How Much it Costs

In terms of what you can expect to pay, at most places, including LM Medical, scalp Botox is the same cost per unit as Botox Cosmetic, as it's another cosmetic use for Botox. Depending on where you live (Botox in larger cities is typically more expensive), this treatment can cost between $1,500-$2,000 per session.

How Long it Lasts

It's important to note that the treatment is temporary. "The effects of Botox injections for excessive sweating are temporary and typically last for several months," says Geria. "The duration of the effect can vary from person to person and may depend on the treated area, the amount of Botox used, and other factors."

She adds, "Botox injections for excessive sweating are repeated every 4-6 months to maintain the desired effect. However, the exact frequency of treatments may vary based on the individual's response to the injections and their specific case of hyperhidrosis."

Who is a Good Candidate

Deciding if scalp Botox might be right for you? Rabach says the treatment is perfect for patients who often work out but want to avoid washing their hair daily. "With the rise in 'Botox,' you can do the intense workout and sweat, and your hair remains dry," she says. However, Rabach warns that if you have a particularly dry scalp with specific dermatologic conditions, you should probably avoid this treatment as you wouldn't be someone who would benefit from it to begin with.

Safety Consideratioins

"Botox injections are generally considered safe when administered by a qualified medical professional," explains Geria. Still, using Botox for excessive sweating on the scalp is not a common practice, "and more research may be needed to understand its safety and efficacy in this area fully."

Geria adds that Botox is "typically used to treat excessive sweating, a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis, in areas such as the underarms, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. Excessive sweating is commonly experienced in these areas and can cause significant discomfort or embarrassment."

Potential Side Effects

  • Mild headaches

As for side effects, there isn't much to worry about. "Botox, in general, is a very well-tolerated treatment," notes Rabach. She says that on occasion—though Botox is used to treat headaches—some might experience a headache from the scalp Botox in the following 24 hours after treatment. "While this is somewhat rare, it can happen," she admits. "Otherwise, this is a very well-tolerated treatment for most people."

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Shibasaki M, Crandall CG. Mechanisms and controllers of eccrine sweating in humansFront Biosci (Schol Ed). 2010;2:685-696. doi:10.2741/s94

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