Adverse Effects Of Minoxidil
Topical minoxidil has been considered safe however, some patients experienced side effects after application. The most common side effect of MS is irritant contact dermatitis with the typical symptoms of itching and scaling. The incidence is lower with 2% MS than it is with 5% MS. Allergic contact dermatitis can also occur because of PG or minoxidil itself. A patch test should be performed to determine the causative agents. Although an allergic reaction to minoxidil could occur, it is infrequent. If patients are allergic to PG, the vehicles should be substituted with butylene glycol, glycerin, or polysorbate. Moreover, MF, a PG-free formula, should be prescribed instead and if the reactions persist, then allergy to minoxidil should be suspected. In this scenario, the use of all minoxidil preparations should be discontinued.
How Well Does Minoxidil Work
Minoxidil is particularly effective in younger men and men in the early stages of male pattern baldness or hair thinning.
So, if you have recently noticed your hair starting to recede or getting thin on top, then you should definitely consider Minoxidil as your primary treatment.
If youre a guy in your twenties or thirties and your father or uncle suffers from male pattern baldness, the hair loss odds are stacked against you. In this case, minoxidil is a great preventative treatment. The sooner you act, the better!
Minoxidil 5% solution is the most common treatment for men. Scientific studies have shown that solutions stronger than 5% are not any more effective.
We always recommend chatting to a hair loss specialist first to ensure the best possible diagnosis and the optimal treatment for your specific needs.
Reason #: Lifelong Dependancy On Minoxidil
Ok, so lets recap: You quality for Minoxidil, youre willing to take your chances, and you are able to delay gratification in exchange for long-term hair regrowth.
But are you ready to spend the rest of your life using Minoxidil 1-2 times per day in order to maintain a decent head of hair?
Youd better be but you already knew that if you carefully read the quotations from the sources we cited thus far.
If you missed it, no worries let us emphasize the point again:
Once you stop using the minoxidil, it will take a maximum of 6 months to lose all of the hair that was regrown in the first place. Likewise, your balding will speed up or resume if the minoxidil had slowed down or altogether stopped your balding.
And as an indefinite user of Minoxidil, your wallet should be fat enough to shell out $30-40/month for a constant supply of the hair loss medication.
Someones obviously making a lot of money from this drug, and it isnt you.
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Procedures To Help Regrow Hair
While at-home treatments offer convenience, a procedure performed by a board-certified dermatologist tends to be more effective. For this reason, your dermatologist may include one of the following in your treatment plan.
Injections of corticosteroids: To help your hair regrow, your dermatologist injects this medication into the bald areas. These injections are usually given every 4 to 8 weeks as needed, so you will need to return to your dermatologists office for treatment.
This is considered the most effective treatment for people who have a few patches of alopecia areata, a condition that causes hair loss. In one study of 127 patients with patchy alopecia areata, more than 80% who were treated with these injections had at least half of their hair regrow within 12 weeks.
Hair transplant: If you have an area of thinning or balding due to male pattern baldness, your dermatologist may mention a hair transplant as an option. This can be an effective and permanent solution.
Laser therapy: If using minoxidil every day or taking medication to treat hair loss seems unappealing to you, laser therapy may be an option. Also called low-level laser therapy, a few studies suggest that this may help:
Hereditary hair loss
Hair loss due to chemotherapy
Stimulate healing and hair growth after a hair transplant
Studies indicate that laser therapy is safe and painless but requires many treatment sessions. To see a bit of hair growth, you may need several treatments a week for many months.
Minoxidil And The Hair Growth Cycle
Your hair follicles go through four phases of growth. Not every follicle is in the same phase at once. Minoxidil is believed to affect two stages of hair growth.
The anagen phase of hair growth is its growing phase. This is when the hair is being pushed out from the root. Applying minoxidil may extend the length of the anagen phase.
The telogen phase of your hair is its resting phase, when its done growing but not yet ready to fall out. In
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The Only 4 Things That Can Actually Prevent Hair Loss
Some products talk a big game, but when it comes down to it, they cannot back it up. In fact, according to hair restoration specialist Dr. William Yates of Dr. Yates Hair Science, there are only four real ways to slow down or prevent hair loss .
Propecia, or Finasteride: A prescription pill that can prevent hair loss by blocking the balding hormone.
Rogaine, or Minoxidil: A topical application of liquid or a foam that’s used to thicken the hair and slow its shedding.
Laser light treatment: A red light is used to stimulate growth in the hair follicle, reducing inflammation and keeping it healthy.
PRP injections: Take a bit of your blood, which is then enriched with platelets, and re-injected into you at the scalp. According to Dr. Yates, “that goes to the hair follicle to keep it from shedding and stimulates growth.”
“If you turn on the TV or look in a magazine, there are a bazillion products out there that will supposedly grow your hair,” Dr. Yates told Business Insider. “But the fact remains those are probably the only four things that I know of that have some scientific basis.”
He also advises not to put much faith in vitamin supplements like Biotin that purport to solve that hair loss cause.
“If you live in the United States, there’s hardly anyone that’s really vitamin deficient enough to lose hair,” Dr. Yates told us. “Will they help you? Probably not. Will they hurt you? Probably not, so it’s a wash.”
“I don’t put too much faith in those things.”
How Long Does This Minoxidil Shedding Last
Everything weve discussed so far probably has you wondering if minoxidil is worth the trouble. The good news is that minoxidil shedding does end for most men. It typically only occurs at the beginning of your treatment. To be more specific, research shows that it generally starts two to eight weeks after beginning the treatment.
After that, the shedding should subside. Continue to apply minoxidil as directed and remain patient. Most men start to see results in 4-6 months, with some men needing up to a year to see the real impact of the treatment.
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How Do I Know If I Should Be Taking Minoxidil
If you are experiencing an above-average amount of hair loss, then it could be a sign that you could benefit from an effective hair loss treatment such as Minoxidil.
However, its important not to rush into anything, as everyday hair loss is quite normal, and it may not be a cause for concern or require treatment most men will naturally experience a higher level of hair loss as they get older, for example.
Have you spotted any tell-tale signs such as a receding hairline, or thinning hair on your crown? If so, you may be in the early stages of male pattern baldness .
MPB is the most common form of hair loss, and Minoxidil is the most effective known preventative treatment for hair loss.
What Is Androgenetic Alopecia
Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.
As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it’s important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.
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Minoxidil Vs Finasteride: Do Either Really Work
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Both of these medications have been around for decades, with both widely used to treat male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia.
But do either of them really work? If so, which of them is the most effective option for stopping hair loss and regrowing hair?
Weve also talked about how you can use minoxidil and finasteride, either individually or as a combination treatment, to stop hair loss and grow a fuller, thicker head of hair.
Reason #: The Actual Hair Growth Isnt Great
If youre the impatient type who likes seeing immediate results, youre going to be very disappointed with how quickly Minoxidil works on your scalp.
According to by qualified physicians, get ready to spend MONTHS consistently applying the drug before any visible hair growth is apparent:
Evidence of hair growth may take 2 months or more of twice daily applications.
If hair regrowth occurs, use must be continued for continued hair growth re-grown hair may disappear within 3 to 4 months of stopping and the balding process will continue.
Discontinue if no improvement after 1 year of use.
Some people go as far to say hair growth will be obvious at the 4-month mark and warn of ADDITIONAL hair loss during the entire process:
Some people may experience some additional hair loss when they first start using minoxidil.
This might make some people feel like their baldness is getting worse before it improves.
In actuality, this can be normal and is a result of the hair follicles shifting the phase of growth they are in.
So what we have so far is a medication that does not treat the root cause of hair loss or slow it down. Rather we have a drug where hair growth occurs at a rate that outpaces the ongoing hair loss.
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What To Realistically Expect From Minoxidil
The above is not cause for despair. It only means that users should have realistic expectations.
First, a user should understand he has a 50% chance of responding to minoxidil. If he does respond, the crown is likely to respond best.
This does not mean that minoxidil is always ineffective for the front. It sometimes gives results, but within limits.
The most important distinction in frontal baldness is between a) scalp that has gone completely bald and b) thinning scalp. For areas in the front that have thinned but still have some hair minoxidil can give regrowth. For those parts of the front that are completely bald, minoxidil will not give regrowth.
This means that minoxidil cannot restore a receded hairline. What it can do is increase density in the areas behind the hairline that are in the process of thinning.
For men who respond positively, minoxidil regrowth peaks at the 1-year mark. The positive effects of minoxidil then starts to slowly decline . By the 5-year treatment mark, most men who continue treatment will still be better off compared to baseline. But for some men, hair loss might resume again after some years. In this sense minoxidil is like most other medications: some users eventually develop tolerance, but this varies from person to person.
Vitamins Minerals And Other Supplements
If your blood test reveals that youre not getting enough biotin, iron, or zinc, your dermatologist may recommend taking a supplement. If youre not getting enough protein, your dermatologist can tell you how to boost your intake.
You should only take biotin, iron, or zinc when your blood test shows that you have a deficiency. If your levels are normal, taking a supplement can be harmful. For example, if you take too much iron, you can develop iron poisoning. Early signs of this include stomach pain and vomiting.
Other supplements meant to help with hair loss tend to contain a lot of one nutrient. Because this can cause you to get too much of the nutrient, many dermatologists recommend taking a multivitamin instead.
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Reason #: Minoxidil Use Is Somewhat Impractical
As youll quickly find out or as youve already discovered you have to plan your life AROUND Minoxidil use, rather than have the drug fit into your busy lifestyle.
There are a number of conditions you have to watch out for when applying Minoxidil to your scalp, both before and after:
Make sure your hair and scalp are completely dry before applying this medicine .
Do not shampoo your hair for 4 hours after applying minoxidil.
Immediately after using this medicine, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.
Allow the minoxidil to completely dry for 2 to 4 hours after applying it, including before going to bed. Minoxidil can stain clothing, hats, or bed linen if your hair or scalp is not fully dry after using the medicine.
And good luck if you want to go swimming soon after taking Minoxidil. To avoid getting your hair wet, youll likely have to wear a swim cap in order to take full advantage of Minoxidils effect on your scalp.
So far the trade-off doesnt appear to be worth it!
What Can I Expect With Rogaine
Rogaine generally only regrows hair in a minority of men and women. In most cases, the best case scenario for hair growth with these treatments is a thin coverage of thin hair.
The real benefits of Rogaine is keeping what hair you have or slowing your thinning. Rogaines success depends on how advanced your hair loss has become.
You must apply it to your scalp twice a day for life to get and maintain any benefits. Research shows that using Rogaine only once a day is ineffective. If you stop taking Rogaine you will lose whatever hair you preserved or regrew within 2 to 4 months. And while Rogaine may stimulate hair growth, it may not prevent the hair follicles from their eventual deterioration.
Its also true that Rogaines effects may diminish over time. Some doctors believe that patients can build up a tolerance after many years of use.
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