Combating Hair Loss with Minoxidil

close up of male scalp, medicine dropper

-By Kawkler Moo, Hair Technician

Hair loss is a common concern for many individuals, both male and female, worldwide. While the reasons for hair loss vary, from genetics to hormonal imbalances or lifestyle factors, it can be difficult to find an effective solution that works for your specific concerns and needs. Amid the variety of treatments available, Minoxidil has emerged as a popular option for combating hair loss.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a medication that improves hair growth for both men and women, particularly for individuals experiencing androgenetic alopecia, more commonly known as male or female pattern baldness. It is a vasodilator, which means it opens blood vessels to increase the flow of blood. Although minoxidil was not originally for hair growth specifically, it may help to increase blood flow to the scalp and in turn, allow for the growth of new hair and increase in hair density.

How is Minoxidil Used?

This medication typically comes in a topical form, which is applied directly to the scalp, focusing on areas that are experiencing hair thinning or loss. You should apply it twice a day for best results, and no more than instructed should be used. The hair and scalp should be dry before using topical medication. If you miss a dose, do not double the next one or use extra. The scalp should not be cut, scraped or sunburned when applying the topical medication as this may result in scalp irritation. Do not wash out for at least 4 hours.

Regular and consistent application is key to potentially witness noticeable results. Patience is also essential, as visible improvements may take 2-4 months to become apparent. While results can vary among individuals, many users report a reduction in hair shedding and an increase in hair thickness and coverage.

How Long Should Minoxidil be Used?

Once the use of minoxidil is stopped, your hair will return back to its normal growth pattern, causing hair loss to resume. Continued use is best for maintaining hair growth.

Like any medication, minoxidil may have side effects, although they’re generally mild. Some individuals might experience scalp irritation, dryness, or itching, especially during the initial weeks of use. Rarely, individuals might encounter more severe reactions such as dizziness, chest pain, or rapid heartbeat. Consulting with one of our physicians before starting minoxidil is crucial, especially for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or those using other medications.

Minoxidil has no downtime or disruption to your everyday life.

Who Can Benefit from Minoxidil?

Both men and women experiencing hereditary hair loss can potentially benefit from minoxidil. However, its effectiveness varies from person to person, and it may not be suitable for everyone. Consulting with one of our hair restoration surgeons can help determine whether minoxidil is the right choice for you, and to discuss personalized treatment plans. A TrichoTest™ is an informative first step in analyzing your genetic markers to help prescribe hair loss medications effectively.

Hair loss can have a significant impact on one’s self-confidence and well-being, but treatments like minoxidil offer hope by potentially restoring hair growth and improving the overall appearance of the scalp. While it’s essential to manage expectations and understand that results may vary, many individuals have found success and satisfaction with minoxidil as part of their hair loss treatment regimen.

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