Minoxidil for Hair-Loss
Minoxidil is available in two forms: oral and topical. Oral minoxidil is a tablet that was originally used to treat high blood pressure, but was found to have a positive effect on hair growth. Topical minoxidil is a solution or a foam that is applied directly to the scalp, where the hair loss has occurred. Topical minoxidil is more widely used and studied than oral minoxidil, and is the only FDA-approved treatment for hair loss in women.
How does minoxidil work?
Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the hair follicles, which stimulates them to produce new hairs and prolongs their growth phase. Minoxidil also prevents the hair follicles from shrinking and dying due to the effects of DHT. Minoxidil does not cure hair loss, but it can help to prevent further hair loss and improve the appearance of the scalp.
How effective is minoxidil?
Minoxidil is one of the most effective treatments for hair loss, especially when used in combination with other treatments, such as finasteride, another medication that blocks DHT. According to clinical trials, minoxidil can increase hair count by 10% to 15% after one year, and by 20% to 25% after two years of treatment. Minoxidil is most effective in people with mild to moderate hair loss on the top of their head caused by AGA. It is less effective in reversing a receding hairline or restoring hair in completely bald areas.
Minoxidil does not work overnight. It takes time for the hair follicles to respond to the medication and produce new hairs. Generally, you will need to use minoxidil daily for 3 to 6 months before you start to see any improvement in your hair loss. You should continue using minoxidil for at least a year to confirm whether it is effective for you. If you stop using minoxidil, your hair loss will resume within 3 to 6 months, so you need to keep using it regularly for best results. If no improvement occurs after 12 months of use, you should stop using this medication.
What are the side effects of minoxidil?
Minoxidil is generally well-tolerated, with few and mild side effects. The most common side effects are related to the scalp, such as itching, irritation, dryness, flaking, and redness. These side effects usually go away after a few days of use or by using a mild shampoo or conditioner. Other possible side effects of minoxidil include allergic reactions, headache, dizziness, chest pain, palpitations, swelling, weight gain, increased body hair growth, and changes in hair colour or texture. These side effects are rare and usually mild. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, you should stop using minoxidil and consult your doctor.
How to use minoxidil?
Minoxidil is applied directly to the scalp, in the areas where you have experienced hair loss. It is available as a 2% or 5% solution or foam. Different brands and strengths have different usage instructions, so always read the patient information leaflet carefully. It is recommended to use minoxidil twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, and to apply 1 ml of the solution or half a capful of the foam each time. You should not use more than the recommended amount, as this will not increase the effectiveness of the medication, but may increase the risk of side effects. You should not apply minoxidil to other parts of your body, as this may cause unwanted hair growth.
Before applying minoxidil, make sure your scalp is clean and dry. Part your hair in the area of hair loss and apply the solution or foam with the dropper or applicator provided. Spread the medication evenly over the affected area and gently massage it into the scalp. Do not rinse or wash your hair for at least 4 hours after applying minoxidil. Wash your hands thoroughly after each use. Avoid contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, or other sensitive areas. If minoxidil gets into these areas, rinse them with water immediately.
Where can I get minoxidil in the UK?
Minoxidil is a safe and effective treatment for hair loss that can help you restore your hair and your confidence. If you are interested in trying minoxidil for your hair loss, you can order it online from Hair Repair Clinic.