What is Minoxodil?
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is the key ingredient found to be effective in helping reduce hair loss; this was the first FDA approved medication for male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. It is applied directly onto the scalp in a form of a topical solution, whether it be liquid or foam based, and it can be purchased without a prescription.
There is a misconception that minoxidil only works on the crown, because all original studies were performed in this particular area. On the contrary, Minoxidil also has very good results in other parts of the head. Although it does not work when the area is very bald. The best results from this medication will be seen anywhere from 5 months to 2 years. In a long-term use, the hair will continue to fall, but at a much slower rate.
How Minoxidil Works
Minoxidil works by increasing the duration of the growth phase of the hair, known as Anagen phase. It also helps the blood flow to hair follicles, which can increase the diameter and length of miniaturized hairs. By result, Minoxidil prolongs the growth of the hair and increases the diameter of the follicles, thus giving the patient more coverage in his or her balding areas.
How to Use Minoxidil
Minoxidil only works by applying it directly onto the scalp, and should be used, twice a day, one in the morning, and once at night before bedtime. The 5% formulation for minoxidil can be more effective than the 2% solution. You would see authentic results after 6 or 16 months.
What are the Most Common Side Effects with Minoxidil Topical Solution?
The most common side effects are itching and other skin irritations of the treated area of the scalp. Products with a minoxidil topical solution contain alcohol, which would cause burning or irritation of the eyes or sensitive skin areas. If the minoxidil topical solution accidentally gets into these areas, rinse with large amounts of cool tap water.
Contact your specialist if irritation persists.
Is Minoxidil as Effective as Finasteride?
Minoxidil and Finasteride are two FDA-approved products for hair loss treatment. They work by different mechanisms. The success rate is similar between 5% minoxidil (twice daily) and 1 mg finasteride pill (once a day)
Can Women Use Minoxidil?
Yes. Women can use both 2% and 5% formulations. However, it is important to consider that women are usually more sensitive to the side effects of the solution, such as decreasing blood pressure and developing allergic skin reactions. Another side effect for women can be the development of facial hair.
Who Should Not Use Minoxidil?
People with any heart problems should not use it.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use it.
Minoxidil will not prevent or improve hair loss, which may occur with the use of some prescription and non-prescription medications, certain severe nutritional problems (very low body iron; excessive vitamin A intake), low thyroid states (hypothyroidism), chemotherapy, or diseases, which cause scarring of the scalp.
How Soon Can I Expect Results From Using Minoxidil?
Since normal hair usually grows only 1/2 to 1 inch per month, hair regrowth with Minoxidil also takes time. Generally new hair growth is slow for a Minoxidil user. Continued use 2 times a day for at least 4 months is usually needed, before you notice hair regrowth.
Would using a topical Minoxidil solution in combination with Finasteride be more effective than Minoxidil alone?
YES, both medication when used for hair loss has shown to a give a better result. We constantly seen in dermatological diseases using a combination of medications with different mechanisms of action, works well, rather than either one when used alone. Finasteride and Minoxidil work on different mechanisms of action, making them a very effective way to treat hair loss problems.
If Minoxidil is Placed on a Wet Scalp, What Will Happen?
Topical drugs actually penetrate the skin much more effectively when the skin is damp not wet. Therefore, theoretically, the minoxidil potency should increase. Please make sure that your skin is just damp, and not wet with drops of water, otherwise the water will change the composition of the minoxidil product and make it more difficult to be absorbed.
Can I Apply Minoxidil Topical Solution and Wash My Hair an Hour Later?
No. For Minoxidil to work best, you should allow it to remain on the scalp for about 3 hours before washing. The recommended use is for the minoxidil to stay on the scalp for the entire day, then once again for the entire night while sleeping. By doing this, the scalp will receive a constant dose of what is needed from the medication to treat their hair loss problem.