What is Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Minoxidil is one of the most effective drugs used to treat men with male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. Approximately 40% of men have experienced hair regrowth in after 3-6 months. It was initially taken orally in pill form, as a treatment for patients with high blood pressure. However one of the side effects was an increase in hair growth, even in areas of skin with minimal hair[1]. This side effect of minoxidil is one of the reasons why it is a course of treatment for hair growth.

Minoxidil is actually the active ingredient in a lot of the most popular hair loss treatments available on the market. It’s most common brand name is Rogaine, And it is usually sold as a topical solution or foam. Minoxidil usually comes in two concentrations. The 2 percent and the 5 percent. 2 percent and 5 percent. The 2% Minoxidil is designed for women as the 5% has been shown in studies to cause facial hair growth in women.

How does Minoxidil Work?

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How minoxidil facilitates hair growth is not completely understood yet. However there are theories surrounding why it regrows hair. Scientists and hair loss experts hypothesize that minoxidil works as a vasodilator by widening blood vessels and opening potassium channels, which lead to a greater supply of oxygen, blood and important nutrients to the hair follicle. As a result of this process, hair follicles in the telogen (resting) phase may be shed, and eventually replaced by newer and thicker hairs in the anagen (growth) phase.

It is important to note that
besides extending the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, Minoxidil has also been shown to increase the diameter of existing hair follicles. In a 1998 study on on topically applied minoxidil in baldness, seven test subjects who received a 5% dose of minoxidil experienced an average hair shaft diameter of 0.029mm prior to treatment, 12 weeks after treatment, the average diameter had increased to 0.043mm. Another important thing to note is that minoxidil seems to have the most visible effects on subjects who still have a lot of hair. Especially in younger men who have been experiencing hair loss for less than five years. In individuals who have experienced a lot of hair loss, it is less effective

Using Minoxidil Properly

Firstly, you should read and follow all directions listed on the product package before using this drug. it is important that hair has been washed and towel dried thoroughly prior to applying the topical or the foam. This is important because the scalp is prone to buildups of oil and dirt. A clean scalp will allow minoxidil to better penetrate the scalp and esure maximum results. Minoxidil is most effective when used twice a day. It should be applied directly on the scalp area where hair has begun to thin. It may also be used indefinitely to take care of existing hair follicles and to maintain existing hairs that have regrown. Results are usually expected after approximately 4-5 months of proper use.

While minoxidil does stimulate hair follicles, growth and thickness, it still does not cure pattern baldness. This is because it does nothing to deal with the presence of dihydrotestosterone(DHT), or the enzyme responsible for DHT accumulation around the hair follicle, 5-alpha reductase, which is also converts testosterone to DHT. Treatment needs to be continued indefinitely to maintain hair regrowth. If treatment with minoxidil is stopped, all hair regrowth can be expected to be lost within 4-6 months abd the appearance of balding returns.It is strongly recommended to not use minoxidil if you’re 18 years or younger.

Minoxidil Side Effects

While minoxidil is generally safe, there are side effects associated with its use, as it is with any drug. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking minoxidil:

– Chest Pain (Less common)
– Increased or irregular heart rate (More common)
– Rapid weight gain (More common)
– Abnormally low blood pressure (Rare)
– Sexual issues (Rare)

If any of the following side effects occur while taking minoxidil, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

– Skin Redness, flushing (Common)
– Swelling of feet (Common)
– Numbness in hands or feet (Less common)
– Skin Rash (Rare)
– Itching (Less common)
– Hives (Less common)

Some of the side effects that can occur with minoxidil may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects.
If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

– Headaches

– Increased hair growth around the face and arms

– Breast tenderness

Minoxidil use & women

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One of the major questions you might have about minoxidil if you’re a woman is whether minoxidil is safe to use for women. Minoxidil is generally thought to be safe for men, for women however, there might be questions regarding its usage. An even bigger question of safety arises when it comes to pregnant women.

Women who experience androgenic alopecia can use minoxidil. As the FDA has not approved the promotion of 5% minoxidil or extra strength minoxidil for women, only the 2% concentration is available. However, many dermatologists do prescribe 5% minoxidil for women with androgenic alopecia, only if it is taken under their supervision. A few clinical studies on androgenic alopecia in women have also shown that the 5% minoxidil solution is actually a lot more effective than the 2% solution.

The team at Hair Growth Reviews also recommends that you consult with a well informed hair loss specialist that can provide you with reliable information regarding hair loss.

History of Minoxidil

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Minoxidil has an interesting history as it was initially created for a purpose completely different from hair loss.
Minoxidil received FDA approval in 1979 and was initially developed by the Upjohn Company in the form of oral tablets to treat patients who had high blood pressure.

However, patients who started taking minoxidil began to report that they were experiencing mild hair regrowth. This side effect led to Upjohn , to test it as a possible treatment for hair loss. They discovered that a topical application of minoxidil to the scalp could help lead to hair growth and prevent hair loss in patients. It was sold in the USA under the brand name Rogaine.

It was the first drug to be approved by the American Food & Drug Association(FDA) as a treatment for androgenic alopecia and hair loss in both men and women.