All over the world a large population suffered from a common problem, that is hair fall. But there is no proper treatment has been discovered till now.
Although it is not completely untreatable because two FDA-approved medications help to delay the telogen phase and restrict the excessive hair fall. And these two charismatic FDA medications are minoxidil and finasteride.
Minoxidil is the only FDA approved topical hair treatment product which is used for androgenic alopecia (pattern baldness) by male and female.
what is minoxidil?
When minoxidil was discovered it was used for the treatment of hypertension because it is a potential arteriolar vasodilator. But it showed some side effects like hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth over the body). And after this side effect, our discerning researchers and physicians saw a flicker of hope for this untreatable problem.
Minoxidil is an over the counter medication (non-prescribe). And it is the only FDA approved solution for the treatment of alopecia. It is generally the first choice of treatment according to many dermatologists. And it is useful to an extent. It is generally available in many concentrations like 2%, 5%, and 10% but the most used concentration is 5% solution.
According to the various research, 5% of minoxidil solution show a positive effect in male pattern baldness and 2% of solution are effective in female pattern baldness.
How does it work?
The exact mechanism of action of minoxidil is unknown. But according to the research, it is a potential arteriolar vasodilator so, it may dilate the vessels and improve the blood flow. It helps to enhance the regrowth of hair and increase the anagen phase and delaying the telogen phase.
The effective region of minoxidil is a crown area of the head and apart from this it also prevents the frontal hairline from going backwards in some cases.
Use of minoxidil
According to the research, minoxidil is only useful for-
- Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness)
- Female pattern baldness
But from the past few years, it is used to growth of body hair like-
- Beard growth
- Eyebrow enhancement
- Alopecia areata
- Frontal fibrosing alopecia
Minoxidil should apply two times a day, and take 1ml each time and use it mostly over the crown area, and at the frontal hairline
Probable side effect
By the way, minoxidil has not any life-threatening side effects. And it is considered as a safe topical product for hair regrowth in androgenetic alopecia for both male and female.
But alcohol is used as a penetration agent in the minoxidil solution. so, it can cause dryness, itching, redness, and allergies in some of the cases.
Some other probable side effect which is observed.
- Unwanted body hair (most common in female)
- Mild chest pain
- Frequent weight gain
- Irregular heartbeat
Although, these side effects mostly occur in the oral form of minoxidil. But if you ever feel these side effects during the use of minoxidil immediately contact your dermatologist or pharmacist.
Types of minoxidil
In the course of time, the form of minoxidil has also changed. And now it comes in different types of form. And every form has a different advantage over others. But the quantity of dose is similar in every form.
Method of use for every form has mentioned by the company on the product box and booklet.
FDA approved minoxidil form-
Lotion form (liquid form)
- Minoxidil 5% solution officially approved in 1993 through US FDA. And the first product of minoxidil are came in lotion form and the lotion form has used since that time. And this form of minoxidil is most widely used. If the area of baldness is high lotion is the best option.
- The lotion comes with two different auxiliary equipment one is a dropper and other is spray pump. Mostly people used dropper because in long hair if you use spray, it doesn’t apply on scalp properly and messed up with hair. But the spray is the best option if your hair is properly shaved. The spray is highly précised (5 spray=1ml).
- The only disadvantage of lotion form is, it flows over the head and cause unwanted hair growth
- Minoxidil foam is also FDA approved and it is safe to use. One of the best things about foam is, it does not flow over the head so it minimizing the risk of unwanted hair over the face.
- People who use foam instead of another form. They Observed the foam is more effective than lotion and gel. Although there is no scientific research about this, it is only observed by people who used it continuously.
- The bad thing about foam is its stability. Foam is less stable than lotion so has to take care of it from heat and sunlight.
- This is the least commonly used form. People try to avoid gel because it messes with hair and they face difficulties regarding the dose measurement.
- But one thing is good about gel which makes it different from both the form, and that is no overflowing of gel over the head so no chances of unwanted hair.
- Gel use is a good option for patchy or less baldness. And it is a better option when the baldness only occurred at the frontal hairline.
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)
- I am 18-year-old can I use it?
Off course not, no need to use it before 18-year-old. Might be it is caused due to poor nutrition and other factors like disease or environmental factors. So, if your hair fall is starting in early-stage then first you should go to the dermatologist.
- Can I use minoxidil 10% solution?
Although, 5% minoxidil is most effective in case of male pattern baldness. And 2% is effective for female.
- Is finasteride being effective with minoxidil?
Absolutely, it seems that if you take finasteride along with minoxidil it is more effective. But finasteride has some serious side effects. So, you should take it under the supervision of a dermatologist.
- Can I use the oil after applying minoxidil?
Generally, dermatologists do not recommend oil after applying minoxidil. But in case of extremely dry hair condition, you may use a small amount of oil-water mixture.