Hair loss is one of the most stressful experiences in life. And the stress of losing hair adds even more to the hair loss, making it all a very complicated cycle. Studies have shown that 40% of people experience some reduction of hair by the age of 40, which can be attributed to nutrition, stress, and genetics. If you’re part of that 40%, chances are you may be looking for the correct treatment to minimise or stop the condition.
From scalp pigmentation to derma rollers, you’ll find a range of suitable treatment options for hair loss. And one specific easy-to-use product that has been found to be effective at helping slow and even stop the balding process is Minoxidil. Before you simply take my word for it and buy minoxidil, you should take some time to learn about this hair loss treatment and how it can help you.
What Is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter treatment available in liquid and foam form that should be applied to the scalp twice a day to slow or stop the progression of male pattern baldness and thinning hair. For effective results, the treatment must be used continuously because if you stop using it, the new hair growth may reverse, and hair loss will continue.
Minoxidil tends to work best on men under age 40 who have been balding for less than five years. For hair loss that has spread over a larger area and that has persisted for a long time, minoxidil is less likely to offer benefits. Simply said, the younger you are and the sooner you start with the treatment, the better results you may achieve.
Can Minoxidil Stop Hair Loss?
Yes, it can. In fact, minoxidil is more effective at stopping or slowing hair loss than regrowing hair. Hair regrowth is more of a secondary benefit. Still, research has shown that about 40% of men and 25% of women can experience some regrowth with minoxidil. Research has also shown that using minoxidil together with finasteride is more effective than using either one alone. But be aware that women cannot use finasteride.
Note that you can buy minoxidil from any brand – whether it’s a pricey or inexpensive version, both will be effective. Using a 5% minoxidil in combination with low-level laser therapy can also be more effective than using the treatment alone.
How Does Minoxidil Work?
Although the minoxidil’s exact mechanism of action in the body isn’t completely understood, it is known to increase blood flow in the body by widening and loosening blood vessels. Experts believe that minoxidil also increases the flow of blood and nutrients to the hair follicles, stimulating hair growth. Unlike other forms of treatment that work by suppressing the androgen DHT that can attach hair follicles, minoxidil has no effect on hormones.
How Long Does Minoxidil Work for Hair Loss Prevention?
Minoxidil doesn’t treat the cause of hair fall – it’s a stimulus. For this reason, once the stimulus goes away, the conditions may take over, so you have to use it long term. Experts explain that once you stop the usage of the treatment, you break the cycle of the hair entering the growth phase, so you go back to where you started. The good news is, people use it for many years without any problem.
Generally, four months of treatment is necessary to start seeing results. It’s important to mention that some individuals may experience some additional hair loss when they first start using minoxidil. When this happens, it makes a person feels like their baldness is getting worse before it improves. However, this can be normal and is actually a result of the hair follicles shifting the phase of growth they are in.
Using a minoxidil 5% twice a day can work more quickly than using a 2% minoxidil. If you don’t notice any improvements in your hair loss after several months of using the product, stop the treatment and schedule an appointment with your doctor. Something else might be causing your hair loss. Keep in mind that no medication works the same for everyone. The results may surpass your expectations or the treatment might not work for you at all.
What Are the Side Effects of Using Minoxidil?
When applied topically, less than 2% of minoxidil is absorbed by the body, so serious side effects are rare. Some individuals might develop an irritated or itchy scalp or hair growth in unexpected places. To prevent this from happening, don’t use minoxidil more than directed, and wash your hands thoroughly after using the product so you don’t transfer it to other areas of your body.
If you have issues with high blood pressure or heart, talk with your doctor before using the treatment to ensure it’s safe for you. If while using minoxidil you experience rapid heartbeat, chest pain, dizziness, faintness, hand or feet swelling or unexplained weight gain, seek emergency medical attention. Individuals younger than 18 and pregnant women shouldn’t use any form of minoxidil.