In the previous post I gave a general overview of hair loss and what causes it, and I also wrote about some of the available treatments available today. In this post I will be writing about Minoxidil hair loss treatment, which is the treatment I personally use daily to battle hair loss.
What is Minoxidil and how does it work?
Minoxidil is a topical solution that is applied to the scalp and is used to treat male pattern baldness as well as hair loss and thinning in women. It is available in a brand called Rogaine, but there are other brands as well.
It is not known exactly how Minoxidil works, but it is believed to increase blood flow to the scalp (where it is applied) resulting in hair follicles receiving more vitamins and nutrients needed for normal hair growth. This helps reduce the damaging effects of DHT on the hair follicles, and as a result hair growth is vastly improved and hair grows thicker.
Minoxidil was originally used as an oral treatment for high blood pressure, with one if its side effects being excessive hair growth. This lead to research and eventually development of topical (applied to the skin) Minoxidil as a treatment for male/female pattern baldness and hair loss. In fact, it is the first ever FDA approved treatment for hair loss.
How to use Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is available in foam or liquid, and 5 percent or 2 percent solution. I personally use the 5 percent solution because it is stronger and more suited for my condition. Generally speaking, women tend to use the 2 percent formula while men will typically use the 5 percent.
Minoxidil is applied directly on the scalp. The hair must be dry, and for better results it should be applied twice a day – in the morning and in the evening. If you are using the liquid solution, 1ml is the amount to be used, and if you are using the foam then a capful of foam is enough.
The foam/solution should be spread evenly over the affected areas. If you are using the foam, you should massage the foam into the scalp. Make sure it reaches the scalp and avoid applying it directly on the hair, since it has no real effect if it isn’t absorbed into the scalp.
Be careful not to let it get into your eyes. If you accidentally do, wash your eyes with a lot of tap water.
After it is applied, remember to wash your hands well and let the Minoxidil dry. Avoid washing your hair or moistening it for at least 4 hours.
Does Minoxidil really work? When can I expect to see results?
Minoxidil is a good hair loss treatment, and it can definitely slow down hair loss/pattern baldness. However, it will not be effective for someone who is already bald. It is most effective when starting using it at the earliest stage of the balding process as possible.
This is because Minoxidi is not a cure for baldness, but rather a treatment that helps hair follicles deal with the damages of DHT and grow better and thicker.
Remeber that since male pattern baldness and thinning is caused by DHT, in order for a product to stop hair loss completely it needs to lower DHT levels, which Minoxidil doesn’t do.
Results are expected within six months to a year, so you should try it for at least 6 months before seeing substantial results, and it should be used for as long as you are interested in fighting hair loss. If you suddenly stop, you should expect your hair to fall out again.
Are there any side effects?
Minoxidil is considered safe, and its side effects are usually not serious. I personally haven’t experienced any side effects using the foam.
In fact, one of the reasons why it is so popular is because its side effects are usually not serious, as opposed to the common side effects of Finasteride (Propecia). Having no side effects is the main reason why I chose to use Minoxidil over Finasteride.
Some people complain about itching/scalp irritation. Scalp irritation is more common with the liquid solution rather than the foam.
Other side effects may include slight changes in hair color or excessive growth of hair in nearby areas such as the forehead.
If you experience any other side effects then stop using it immediately and consult your doctor.
Minoxidil is a great hair loss treatment for people who have started to experience hair loss/thinning caused by scalp sensitivity to DHT, but have not gone bald yet.
Although it’s main function is stopping and slowing down hair loss, studies have shown it can regrow some hair as well.
It is common to use Minoxidil as a first line of defence treatment, and add more treatments if hair loss continues later on. It can even be combined with Finasteride to maximize results and speed up hair growth.
The positives of Minoxidil include improving hair growth and thickness of the hair, and having none to very few side effects.
The cons are the constant need to apply it daily, perhaps for a lifetime, and the fact that it doesn’t completely solve the balding problem since it does not lower DHT levels.
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions or want to add your opinion, leave your comment below.