Posted 21/11/2021 in Hair Loss

Minoxidil for Hair Growth


Minoxidil for Hair Growth

  Medically reviewed & verified by the Dermatologist atAvrupa Hair Transplant Clinic

Written by: ClinicAdvisor


What is Minoxidil for Hair Growth?

Minoxidil is one of the treatments known for treating the problem of male and female pattern baldness and prevents hair loss. The active ingredient in this treatment is Minoxidil and has two concentrations 5% and 2%. 

At the beginning it was basically known as a vasodilator and it is used to treat high blood pressure. One of the side effects observed after patients used this treatment for treating high blood pressure was an increased amount of hair growth.

After several researches, this treatment was developed to be used as a treatment to prevent hair loss. It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); therefore, it is safe to use.

How Effective is Minoxidil for Hair Growth?

Hair growth with Minoxidil works by expanding the blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the hair follicles. Hair follicles are mainly nourished by blood which delivers oxygen and other nutrients that stimulate hair growth. 

It also prolongs the hair growth cycle (Anagen) and shortens the resting phase (Telogen) which stimulates and accelerates hair growth.

Types of Minoxidil

There are two types of Minoxidil:

  1. Minoxidil 5%: which is usually prescribed for men, as it contains 5% of Minoxidil and is used in severe cases of hair loss. Although minoxidil is available in drugstores and sold without a prescription, it is best to consult your doctor before using it.

  2. Minoxidil 2%: It is intended for women and minor cases of hair loss or for uses in facial areas such as the eyebrows. When used for the first time it is preferable to start with a 2% concentration.

Comparison Between Minoxidil Foam and Topical Solution

Minoxidil comes in two forms, topical solution (liquid) and foam (aerosol). Both deliver the same results as they contain 5% or 2% of the active ingredient minoxidil. Here are some of the differences between both forms:

  • Some people prefer to use Minoxidil foam because unlike the topical solution it doesn’t contain propylene glycol which can cause an allergic reaction to some people.
  • Others claim that the topical solution makes their hair greasy.
  • On the contrary, the topical solution is said to be better in terms of better penetration into the scalp. Rather than the foam that can be a bit hard to spray on the scalp only and not the hairs.
  • In terms of the price, the cost of the topical solution is lower than the foam regardless of the brand.

Bottom line, it is a matter of preference and people have different experiences with both types. 

Does Minoxidil Work on Hairline or Bald Head?

First of all, we need to know that minoxidil is not an effective treatment for those who suffer from complete baldness or receding hairline. The solution for such condition is a hair transplant

Minoxidil does not grow new follicles instead of lost ones. But its effectiveness lies in nourishing and stimulating hair growth in the existing hair follicles.

So, who can use Minoxidil? 

Here are some of the situations suitable for using minoxidil:

  • People who suffer from hereditary hair loss, both men and women.
  • Those who suffer from hair thinning and wants to increase its density.
  • It is also used to treat Alopecia Areata in some cases.
  • Minoxidil can be used after hair transplant to stimulate and accelerate hair growth and keep the old hair from falling out. 

What are the Conditions that are Not Suitable to Use Minoxidil?

There are some situations in which it’s not considered appropriate to use minoxidil. Among those cases are the following:

  • Those under 18 and over 60.
  • Those who suffer from baldness and receding hairline.
  • People having problems with blood pressure levels.
  • Those with heart problems.
  • Although there are no adequate studies, it is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women.
  • Those who suffer from sudden hair loss or due to other factors such as the use of some chemical products.

How to Use Minoxidil for Hair Growth?

Before using minoxidil for hair growth, you should do an allergy test on a small area of skin and watch the body's reaction. If you do not show any signs of sensitivity such as skin irritation and severe redness, you can start using it. Here's how to apply minoxidil correctly:

  • First of all, minoxidil should be applied to a clean, dry scalp.
  • Apply 1ml of the treatment onto the desired areas.
  • Massage the scalp with your fingertips to help absorb the treatment.
  • Leave it for 2-4 hours, depending on the target area.
  • Make sure to wash your hands very well after using the spray and avoid contact with the mouth and eyes before washing them.
  • Apply this process for a period of no less than 4 months twice a day (morning and evening) to get the desired result.

How to Use Minoxidil for Beard?

The method of using minoxidil for beard is not very different from the scalp, but you must apply it with greater caution to prevent contact with the eyes, mouth and nose.

Here's how to apply it on the beard:

  • Wash your beard very well with a mild cleanser containing balanced pH.
  • Dry the beard.
  • Apply 1 ml of the treatment on the desired area, avoiding contact with the areas where you do not want hair to grow.
  • Massage the beard in a circular motion until it is completely absorbed into the skin.
  • Leave it on for 2-4 hours and then wash it.
  • Make sure to moisturize your skin after each use to prevent skin drying out.
  • It is used twice a day, morning and evening. When using it in the evening, make sure to wash your face immediately upon waking up.

Minoxidil For Women

Women can use minoxidil 2% to treat hereditary hair loss. In some advanced cases, Minoxidil 5 for women may recommend by the doctor, but we advise not to use it without consulting a doctor.

Using minoxidil 5% for women when it’s not needed can lead to increased hair growth in some undesired areas of the body.

Minoxidil For Alopecia Areata

In a previous research that was conducted on a group of people suffering from alopecia areata, it was found that minoxidil works well to re-grow hair. 

This is due to the prolongation of the hair growth phase and the activation of blood circulation. However, the efficacy and mechanism of minoxidil in the treatment of alopecia is still unknown and further studies are needed.

Minoxidil For Eyebrows

Minoxidil can also be used to thicken eyebrows. Doctors usually recommend a 2% concentration, but it should not be used without consulting a doctor first.

Precautions When Using Minoxidil

When using Minoxidil for hair growth, you must follow some tips to prevent some of the unwanted side effects.

  • Avoid using the spray on irritated skin or on wounds.
  • Avoid exposure to the sun during the first 1-2 hours after applying the spray.
  • Avoid inhaling the spray and touching the eyes and mouth before washing your hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid using a hair dryer to dry the spray.
  • Do not mix it with hair styling products or with other treatments.
  • It should be stored in a safe place away from flames as it is flammable and out of reach of children.
  • In case you forgot to use one dose, do not try to compensate for it and just apply it once a day.

Benefits of Minoxidil for Hair Growth

Hair sprays containing minoxidil help treat hair loss. Among its most important benefits is reducing hair loss, stimulating hair growth and increasing its density.

Side Effects of Minoxidil for Hair Growth

Some people wonder about the possible side effects of minoxidil and if it’s safe to use. In general, this treatment is safe to use and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but some side effects may appear in some people, such as:

  • Irritation and itching of the scalp.
  • Swelling in the face, hands or feet for those who are allergic to the components of the treatment, especially minoxidil.
  • The appearance of hair in some unwanted areas.
  • It may cause dryness of the skin such as on the beard, so you must moisturize continuously.

Some uncommon side effects include:

  • Feeling dizzy and nauseous.
  • Headache.
  • It may cause a rapid heartbeat.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Unexpected weight gain.

WARNING! 
If you notice any adverse reaction, we recommend you to stop using the medication and consult your doctor immediately. 


Results of Using Minoxidil 

Minoxidil results usually start to appear after 2-3 months. It is expected that during the first few weeks you will notice faster hair loss, but this is very normal and does not cause any concern. 

This is because of the hairs entering a new growth phase. So, it gets rid of the damaged hair to give a chance for the new hairs to grow.

To obtain good results after using minoxidil, you must adhere to the period specified by your doctor and it is necessary to continue using it. It is known that hair loss treatments are not permanent and give results as long as you continue using them.

How Long to Use Minoxidil for Hair Growth?

Doctors usually recommend using Minoxidil for a period of at least 6 months, and it may last up to a year for advanced cases. The doses can then be reduced gradually before completely stopping using it.

Therefore, we recommend that you do not stop using the treatment suddenly once you notice hair growth. Because that will result in an adverse effect causing the new hair that grew to shed again.

For some people, the results persist and the hair does not shed even after they stop using it. And some other cases complain of hair loss after a period of stopping it.

So, what we can say here is that the results are very subjective and they vary from one person to another.

What is the Best Minoxidil for Hair Growth?

There are many brands that sell Minoxidil, some of which are FDA approved and very reliable and others are not.

Some of the most famous and effective brands of minoxidil that you can buy in the U.S and other countries are sold under the brand names Rogaine, Kirkland and Nioxin. In the U.K Minoxidil is sold under the brand name Regaine. 

In the U.S you can also find other good brands such as Hims, and Keeps that sell minoxidil. 

All of these brands have two types of the treatment either foam or topical solution. It is up to you to buy the brand you prefer. We advise you to go through reviews and read more about others’ experiences to decide on which brand to get.

How much is Minoxidil for Hair Growth?

As we have mentioned in the paragraph above that there are many brands that sell minoxidil. Prices vary from brand to another but on average you can get a 3 month-supply of topical solution minoxidil for as low as 17$. The cheapest brand is Kirkland with very high rates by users. 

Minoxidil for men:

Brand NameTypePrice
Rogaine 5%Topical Solution
3-month supply
$42.00
Rogaine 5%Foam
3-month supply
$59.90
Kirkland 5%Topical Solution
3-month supply
$16.14
Kirkland 5%Foam
6-month supply
$68.36
Nioxin 5%Topical Solution
3-month supply
$80.00


Minoxidil for women:

Brand NameTypePrice
Rogaine 2%
Topical Solution
3-month supply
$46.99
Rogaine 2%
Foam
2-month supply
$54.99
Nioxin 2%
Topical Solution
3-month supply
$62
Keranique 2%
Topical Solution
Spray
1-month supply
$28.97

Minoxidil Before and After 

Mr. Moe shared with us his experience with minoxidil for beard growth, where he told us about the effectiveness of the product and the good results that he got. He used it for almost one year and a half.

When we asked him if he experienced hair loss after stopping using it, he said:

"I never had any shedding of the new hair. On the contrary, my beard became thicker than before and all the gaps were covered."

Here are his results after almost a year and a half of using the treatment:


Minoxidil Reviews 

In a review about Minoxidil on Amazon the user said:

"I was balding the same as my brother and my father; I used this per instructions, and the hair roots that had not died but were not producing hair revived and some of the thickness returned. It's been 5 years, and my hair is holding steady, so the balding stopped. I understand that it works for many, but does not for some, so I guess I was lucky"

In another review a female user said:

If you are female going through menopause and experiencing hair thinning, and hair loss then this is for you. Its not a overnight cure. I put it on the bald spots and it grows my hair back. Morning and night I use a dropper and Its done. So it works for me


Question & Answer

?Does Minoxidil grow new hair

Minoxidil is effective in helping dormant follicles regrow hair once again, make hair thicker and prevent hair loss. However, it does not grow new hair follicles in place of the dead ones. With that being said, if you're suffering from baldness or have a receding hairline minoxidil won't help but instead a hair transplant would be the answer. 

Can minoxidil cause hair growth on face?

Unwanted hair growth is one of the possible side effects of minoxidil especially if it came in contact with areas where you don’t want hair to grow. This is mostly reported by women. Therefore, you must be very careful where you apply the treatment and avoid any unwanted areas.

How long does 60ml minoxidil last?

A 60ml bottle of minoxidil would last about a month since you will be using a 1ml dose twice daily. 

Is minoxidil for hair growth safe?

Minoxidil is an FDA approved medication for hair loss which makes it a safe treatment to solve problems such as hair loss and hair thinning.

Is Kirkland minoxidil good?

Kirkland is one of the famous brands that sell minoxidil and which delivers very good results. Compared to other brands it’s considered affordable and it also has very high rates on Amazon. 

Is oral minoxidil effective for hair growth?

Many studies have been conducted to observe the effectiveness of oral minoxidil for hair growth and the results show that it does increase hair growth and can be used as an alternative to topical solution or foam for those who don’t prefer using them. One of the side effects that was observed was hypertrichosis which is an excessive hair growth in other parts of the body.



Sources:

  1. Wikipedia: Minoxidil 
  2. Mayo Clinic: Minoxidil (Topical Route) 
  3. MedlinePlus: Minoxidil Topical
  4. Dovepress: Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review
  5. Dermatology and Therapy Journal: Efficacy and Safety of Oral Minoxidil 5 mg Once Daily in the Treatment of Male Patients with Androgenetic Alopecia: An Open-Label and Global Photographic Assessment

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