What Is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a vasodilator that helps treat male pattern baldness. It is also used in products that are intended for hair regrowth. The FDA has approved it as a topical product, usually in a foam or solution form, that helps with hair loss.
Originally, this substance was used to treat hypertensive patients. Hair growth was actually an unexpected side effect of the treatment. Since then, it was recognized as an effective solution to hair loss. It’s now used in a lot of brands.
It is worth mentioning though that Minoxidil does not work for front scalp baldness in men. It cannot be used for patchy or sudden hair loss, or if the user doesn’t have any family history of baldness.
What Does Minoxidil Do?
Since hair regrowth is only considered as a side effect of this drug, there is still no clear explanation yet as to how it exactly works. It was in August of 1988 when it was approved by the FDA as a topical drug that people can use for hair loss and male-pattern baldness.
There have been attempts to explain how Minoxidil works. There are basically 3 phases in hair loss—Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. Some sources claim that Minoxidil helps prolong the anagen phase, which is the first hair cell growth phase. When the anagen phase is lengthened, it can lead to better hair growth.
There is also a belief that Minoxidil can induce hair growth by stimulating prostaglandin synthase-1 via the immune system. According to some studies, hair loss seems to be somehow linked with the immune system. When the immune system is compromised, it may result in hair loss.
Hair regrowth will only be noticeable after several months of using Minoxidil. You need to continue using it to achieve the desired result. Once you stop using it, hair loss will resume its course.
Minoxidil is quite a popular topical product for hair loss since you won’t need to have a prescription to buy it.
What Is Minoxidil Used For?
The drug was originally developed as a treatment for high blood pressure. It was only after sometime when doctors started noticing that patients who were under treatment also experienced unexplained hair growth.
This is when and how the use of Minoxidil for hair loss originated. It helps stimulate hair growth in both men. Women who are experiencing thinning hair can also benefit from this drug. However, it will not help those who are losing their hair after giving birth.
Minoxidil Side Effects
Several considerations should be made before deciding to use any drug or product for whatever disorder that you may have. In the case of Minoxidil, you may experience some side effects.
It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional first so you can get a more accurate medical advice. You need to tell the doctor if you have allergies and what substances you are allergic to.
The most common side effects that you may experience are:
In some rare occasions, your skin may absorb Minoxidil, and it may result in serious side effects including:
- Chest pain
- unusual weight gain
- irregular or fast heartbeat
- difficulty in breathing
- swelling of the feet and hands.
These are not the complete list of side effects that may be experienced while using Minoxidil.
In such cases, discontinue use immediately and see a doctor. If you start noticing other side effects that are not mentioned here, you are advised to report it immediately to the FDA.
You need to carefully list down all health problems that you may currently have or have had in the past before you start using any new product such as Minoxidil. Consult your doctor first if you have any of the following conditions:
- scalp cuts and infections
- heart problems
- liver disease
- kidney disease
Women who are pregnant or nursing are not recommended to use Minoxidil. There are no clear studies on how it affects either the mother or the child. It is unclear if this drug can be passed through breast milk.
Minoxidil’s effectiveness depends on the type of product that you use. Make it a habit to always read labels before using so that you’ll know how to properly use it.
In a solution type product, there is usually an applicator included, usually a dropper, that you can use to apply the product.
Foams can be applied directly by putting the recommended amount on your hand then rubbing it gently on the balding area until the foam is completely dry.
Minoxidil should not be used on any other parts of your body unless specified by your doctor. You cannot use it on skin that is infected, painful, cut, red, scraped, or irritated. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after every application and avoid getting it into your eyes. Should the latter happen, immediately rinse your eyes with plenty of cool water.
Where To Get Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is considered a popular treatment for hair loss, so you should not have a hard time finding it. It’s available online as well as in physical supermarkets, drug stores, and specialty shops offering similar products.
If you are on the lookout for the best hair loss products, you might as well check other available options that do not contain the substance. One good example is Rejuvalex, which is a product that does not contain Minoxidil. It’s a hair growth formula that promotes stronger and longer hair by nourishing the natural growth cycle of your hair.
Minoxidil appears to be a viable solution for your hair loss problems as long as you are not allergic to it. However, topical solutions like this one usually lead to side effects. These effects might be initially mild but can become more severe each time you use the product.
For this reason alone, it might be better to check other hair loss treatments that are available in the market. We recommend Rejuvalex since this product works for both men and women. It does not contain Minoxidil, which lessens your risk of side effects.
Whether you decide to use Minoxidil or another product, the decision is up to you. Just make sure to choose wisely and don’t forget to pay your doctor a visit first. This will surely enlighten you more so you can end up making a better choice at the end of the day.