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Minoxidil for Hair Growth: Advantages and Effects Explained

minoxidil for hair growth

Are you suffering from hair loss? You are not alone. Did you know that over 147 million in the world also suffer from hair loss problems? The male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness are called androgenetic alopecia. The treatment for androgenetic alopecia is expected to grow at 10% by the year 2027. There are a few medicines that treat hair loss issues.

Minoxidil is a topical serum that stimulates hair growth and slows down balding. Minoxidil belongs to the class of drugs known as vasodilators. Hair growth usually occurs after 8 weeks of regular use.

The use of this medication will not cause permanent growth of hair. Once stopped, its effects would also subside.

How Does Minoxidil Work?

Once Minoxidil is applied to the scalp, it works by lessening the resting or telogen phase of our hair growth cycle and moves on to the active growth or anagen phase, which is also extended by the medication.

This helps your hair enter the active growth phase earlier and longer than it usually, leading to hair growth.

Quick FAQ

Can Minoxidil damage your hair?
Yes, Minoxidil can cause your hair to shed since it speeds up the resting phase. It results in it falling out more quickly than it usually does.
Do you have to rub Minoxidil in your scalp?
Once applied, you could rub it on your scalp, but wash your hands after rubbing it in.
Does Minoxidil work for everyone?
It doesn't work for everyone with hair growth due to inherited pattern loss.
Is minoxidil safe to use on beard?
According to the examination, researchers feel that using minoxidil for beard augmentation is safe. However, there are recognised adverse effects (one of which is dry, flaky skin, which may be readily treated with a specialist moisturiser), and you should check your doctor before beginning minoxidil.

How To Use Minoxidil?

Use the medicine as shown on the label or as advised by your doctor. Using more than recommended would not result in any additional benefits. It could only result in adverse side effects. Here are the proper steps to use it:

  • Make sure your scalp is dry and clean.
  • Apply it to the affected areas. It is usually applied day and night.
  • Only use it on your scalp and nowhere else.
  • Wash your hands after applying the medication.
  • It might take up to 4 months of continuous use to observe any progress.
  • The new hair that grows could be thin and colourless, but ongoing treatment would improve it further.
  • Store the drug at room temperature away from the reach of children and any source of heat, direct light, and moisture.

Dosage Guide:

The dosage depends on the patient. Follow your doctor’s prescription and the instructions on the label. It depends on the strength of the drug. These are the average doses of the medication:

  • Topical foam dose:

Apply 1/2 cup to the affected area of the scalp twice a day.

Topical solution dose:

  • Apply 1 cap (1 ml) to the affected area of the scalp twice a day.

Possible Side Effects of Minoxidil

Here is a list of side effects of using this medication:

Less Common Side Effects

  • Rashes or itching on the skin

Rare Side Effects

  • Burning of the scalp
  • Skin redness
  • Soreness or inflammation at the roots of the hair
  • Acne at the site of the application
  • Increased hair loss
  • Growth of facial hair
  • Face swelling

Side Effects of Overusing Minoxidil

  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Numbness or swelling of face, feet, or hands
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Blurring of vision

If any of these side effects persist after using the medication, seek medical attention immediately.

A Study On Minoxidil Hair Growth Topical:

A study based on a random trial of 5% topical Minoxidil versus 2% topical Minoxidil and placebo for the treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) was conducted by Duke Dermatopharmacology Study Center in Durham, North Carolina, USA. The aim was to compare 5% topical Minoxidil with 2% topical Minoxidil and a placebo for the treatment of AGA in men.

There were 393 men from 18-to 49 with AGA who applied 5% topical Minoxidil.

A total of 157 men applied 2% topical Minoxidil, and 78 men used the placebo.

After 48 weeks of treatment, people who used 5% topical Minoxidil were found to have a quicker response than those who used 2% topical Minoxidil and the placebo. The effectiveness was based on hair count, thickness, balding area coverage, hair growth, and hairstyling. They observed many benefits from using the 5% topical Minoxidil. However, there were also more irritants and side effects from the 5% topical Minoxidil than from the 2% topical Minoxidil and the placebo.

People who used 5% topical Minoxidil had a quicker response to the treatment than those who used 2% topical Minoxidil and the placebo. Topical Minoxidil was well tolerated by the patients who used the 5% and the 2% solutions.

Drug Interactions:

Following Are The Drugs That Interact With Minoxidil Topical:

  • Hypotensive Agents (Guanethidine)

Using these drugs and topical Minoxidil could result in low blood pressure causing headaches, flushing, fainting, weakness, or dizziness.

  • Topical Tretinoin

Using topical Tretinoin and topical Minoxidil could increase absorption of the drug leading to possible overuse side effects.

Precautions:

Before using topical Minoxidil, please consult a doctor to determine allergic reactions to it or any other ingredients present. You can also consult your pharmacist for more information.

Those who have the following conditions should consult with their doctor if this drug would be suitable for them or not:

  • Heart problems
  • Chest pains
  • Kidney diseases
  • Liver issues
  • Any disease relating to the scalp, like eczema infections

Seek medical advice before using this medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Alternatives:

Propecia (finasteride) is the only hair loss treatment the FDA has approved apart from Minoxidil.

  • Propecia

Propecia treats male pattern balding at the crown of the head and the middle of the scalp. This medicine decreases the DHT (dihydrotestosterone) of the body. A low DHT results in increased hair growth and slow hair loss. One study compared finasteride vs minoxidil which is more effective. According to study, finasteride is more effective than minoxidil.

Apart from Propecia, here are some natural alternatives to promote hair growth:

  • Pumpkin Seed Oil

Pumpkin seed oil aids in hair growth. A study proves that people who applied pumpkin seed oil experienced around 30% more hair growth than those who did not.

  • Ecklonia Cava

Japan and Korea are the places where Ecklonia Cava is found. It is an edible brown alga. This alga helps reduce the body’s DHT levels, stopping hair loss.

  • Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto is a tree, and its fruits are used to make the medicine for hair loss. Saw Palmetto stops testosterone from being converted to DHT. Low DHT levels result in the prevention of hair loss.

  • Reishi Mushroom

Lingzhi, commonly known as Reishi mushroom, is a polypore fungus that belongs to the genus Ganoderma. Reishi mushrooms have inhibitory components that decrease DHT levels to protect delicate hair. These mushrooms also improve blood circulation in the scalp promoting hair growth.

Conclusion

Topical Minoxidil for hair growth could bring you effective results with regular use. Sometimes, it may take up to 4 months to see results. Stopping everyday use of this medication can lead to hair loss and thinning of hair. Before using topical Minoxidil, consult your doctor and state any allergies or health conditions.

References