Solution : Consult A Doctor
If youve been using minoxidil for 2-4 months with no success, then you may want to consult a doctor to find out why that might be. There could be an underlying reason why it hasnt been effective, so its best to get professional medical advice if it does not work for you after a few months of continuous use.
Remember: minoxidil is a treatment for male pattern baldness . If youre losing hair for another reason then minoxidil is unlikely to be effective for you. Therefore, its important that you talk to a doctor if minoxidil has had no effect on your hair coverage to ensure there is no underlying cause.
What Causes Minoxidil Shedding
Minoxidils side effects are typically mild. Common side effects include mild itching and burning as well as flaky skin. Minoxidil can also cause your hair to shed, especially when you first start using it.
As minoxidil speeds up the resting phase of your hair, sometimes it falls out more quickly than it normally would.
However, minoxidil also extends the growth phase of your hair. That means that even though some hair shedding is to be expected at first, new hair growth should soon replace the hair that youve lost.
Not everyone will experience shedding as a side effect of minoxidil, while some may experience it severely. There arent statistics currently available that explore how common this particular side effect is.
You cant do much to prevent minoxidil-related shedding or even predict if youll experience it when you first start using the product.
One thing to be aware of is that the higher the concentration of minoxidil you use, the more powerful the side effect is likely to be. Using a foam with 2 percent concentration of minoxidil, for example, could cause fewer side effects than with a 5 percent concentration.
If youre seeing a lot of hair loss, you might want to switch to a less powerful dose of minoxidil. If youre concerned about hair loss and havent started using minoxidil yet, start with a lower concentration and work up to a higher one if you need it.
Side Effects Of Minoxidil
As mentioned, shedding hair in the first few weeks after treatment is a normal response to using minoxidil. Given that less than 2% of minoxidil is absorbed by the body when applied topically, serious side effects are rare. Side effects of minoxidil include :
- Scalp irritation
- Allergic contact dermatitis at the site of drug application
- Hair growth in untreated places
Side effects, especially hypertrichosis, are more common with the higher 5% dose than the 2% formulation .
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How Can You Treat Female Hair Loss
Regardless of the cause, the goal of treating thinning hair is to encourage the hair follicles to function to the best of their ability. Its important to have realistic goals: Of course I want my hair to go from puny shedding strands to 1970s-style Cher goddess hair, but alas, I know that is not going to happen. Before starting any treatment, it is important to consult with your dermatologist to make sure the treatment path you decide is the one that is right for you.
In the past, and during this particular bout of shedding, I took Nutrafol, a supplement that contains a combination of botanical ingredients and vitamins to support healthy hair follicles. It is formulated to treat hair loss in multiple ways, containing highly-concentrated botanicals to support hair at every stage of the growth cycle, Engelman explains. She also recommends Prose, particularly their Root Source product for those with thinning hair. The supplements are custom-made for each person, and theyre packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant extracts designed to boost our stores of nutrients and target the causes of thinning hair. They have been proven effective in clinical trials, and are a fantasticand healthyway to address hair thinning/loss, she says.
Noticeable Hair Loss In Women Can Be Deeply Distressing Here Are Some Medical Treatments That May Help
About one-third of women experience hair loss at some time in their lives among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots. Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does on men w, because it’s less socially acceptable for them. Alopecia can severely affect a woman’s emotional well-being and quality of life.
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It’s called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic “M” shape hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman’s hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
There are many potential causes of hair loss in women , including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it’s important to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may also want to ask your clinician for a referral to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties. Hair loss in women can be frustrating, but recent years have seen an increase in resources for coping with the problem.
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Some Details That You Should Pay Attention To When Using The Drug
Use with the recommendation of a doctor
Use in the amounts specified by your doctor
Take care to use it without leaving the treatment unfinished and without skipping a day
Make sure that the medicine penetrates your scalp by massaging
While spraying the medicine, be careful not to get it in your eyes or on your face
Make sure to use it regularly every day
While using minoxidil, be careful not to use other hair remedies without asking your doctor
If you are wondering if minoxidil works, we recommend that you pay attention to all these details. Unfortunately, if you do not take into account at least one of them, you will not be able to see the permanent effects of the drug. If you have other questions about the drug and its use, we recommend that you consult your doctor and get information. You should not forget that you can get the most accurate information from physicians who are experts in their field.
What Causes Frontal Baldness
Most scientists today believe that DHT is the main cause of frontal baldness.
DHT is an androgen . Men produce this hormone naturally. Their bodies make DHT through testosterone, via an enzyme called 5-Alpha-Reductase .. 5AR attaches to testosterone molecules and converts them to DHT. This endogenously synthesized DHT then circulates throughout the body, attaching to cell structures called Androgen Receptors .
When DHT attaches to ARs in the scalp, it can lead to hair thinning and ultimately baldness. This happens through a process known as hair follicle miniaturization . Under the influence of DHT, the follicles become progressively smaller and weaker. In the end they become so small that their hair cannot even protrude past the scalp . This is the underlying physiological mechanism of male-pattern baldness, also called Androgenetic Alopecia .
For most men, the first signs of AGA are in the frontal hairline, specifically near the temples. The temples are the first to thin, and ultimately go completely bald. The rest of the front hairline then follows. Dermatologists call this a receding hairline.
To summarize, frontal baldness is typically the first sign of AGA. If left untreated, the AGA may spread to the entire top part of the head. In advanced baldness, there is hair only on the back and sides of the head. This progression of hair loss is captured in the so-called Norwood scale, depicted below.
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Who Should Not Use Rogaine
You should not use Rogaine if:
- You dont have a family history of hair loss.
- Your hair loss comes on suddenly and falls out in patches.
- Youre under the age of 18.
- Your scalp is discolored, itchy, infected, or painful to touch.
- Your hair loss is caused by hair products, chemicals, or hair grooming methods like cornrowing.
- Your hair loss is caused by another condition, like a thyroid disease or alopecia areata, nutritional deficiencies, scarring of the scalp, or medications, like chemotherapy.
If you have heart disease, see your doctor before trying Rogaine.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Minoxidil is for external use only. Do not let minoxidil get into your eyes, nose, or mouth, and do not swallow it. Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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Benefits And Effectiveness Of Minoxidil
Minoxidil is effective at slowing hair loss and encouraging new and thicker hair growth. Studies show that 5% minoxidil seems to work better than the 2% formulation for treating hair loss .
Rogaine tends to be more effective in younger men who have been balding for less than five years. Minoxidil is less likely to produce benefits once hair loss spreads over a large area and has persisted for a long time. Basically, the younger you are, and the sooner you start minoxidil, the better the results tend to be .
Studies show that using minoxidil and finasteride together are more effective than using either one alone. However, women cannot use finasteride, and pregnant women should not even touch finasteride tablets .
A small clinical trial found that men who used 5% minoxidil in combination with low-level laser therapy were more satisfied with their results than men who used minoxidil by itself .
Are Minoxidil And Finasteride Safe To Take Together
Studies show that minoxidil and finasteride are safe to take together. In fact, many studies have looked specifically at the effects of minoxidil and finasteride as a combination treatment for hair loss in men.
Interestingly, some of these studies have found that finasteride and minoxidil are more effective when used together than they are separately.
A 2015 study published in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal found that regular use of both finasteride and minoxidil together helped to maintain a good hair density level.
Interestingly, this study used a topical version of finasteride, rather than the more common oral finasteride tablets.
A larger study published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy looked at the effects of finasteride and minoxidil used at the same time to treat male pattern baldness.
After 12 months of treatment, 94.1 percent of the men who used finasteride and minoxidil at the same time showed improvements, compared to 80.5 percent and 59 percent of the men treated with finasteride or minoxidil alone, respectively.
Finasteride and minoxidil work through different mechanisms — minoxidil as a topical vasodilator and finasteride as a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor that targets DHT.
Since they work in different parts of the body, theres no risk in taking them together. In fact, as the studies above show, youll likely experience better results by using finasteride and minoxidil together than by only taking one medication to treat hair loss.
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What Is Minoxidil & How Does It Promote Hair Growth
Minoxidil is a vasodilator, meaning its designed to dilate blood vessels and improve the flow of blood to certain areas of your body.
Although its mechanism of action isnt exactly known, it is believed that when applied topically in the form of a serum or foam, minoxidil interacts with scalp sulfotransferase, which converts it into minoxidil sulfate which is thought to be the active form of minoxidil.
From there, it shortens your hairs telogen phase , and pushes it into the anagen phase prematurely, and even extends the growth period of hair, making your hair grow longer and thicker.
Unlike finasteride, which works by reducing the levels of DHT in your bloodstream, minoxidil has no known effect on your hormones. Its best to think of minoxidil as a local solution that can help improve your hair growth, whilefinasteride is designed to shield your follicles from DHT.
One of the most common misconceptions about minoxidil is that its only effective on the scalp and crown. Many people are convinced that minoxidil isnt effective for preventing frontal hair loss around the hairline.
How To Apply Minoxidil To Your Scalp
Minoxidil is designed for once-daily application, with the morning the best time to apply the liquid solution to your scalp.
Before applying minoxidil, make sure your scalp and hair are dry. Moisture can affect minoxidils absorption rate, meaning that a reduced amount of the medication could make its way into your hair follicles.
You should avoid shampooing your hair for four hours after using minoxidil. This means its often best to wash your hair and scalp before applying the treatment.
Apply the minoxidil solution to the affected areas of your scalp. If necessary, you can spread the minoxidil solution over the target area using your fingers. If you use your fingers, make sure you wash them immediately after applying the solution to your scalp.
Allow the minoxidil to dry naturally . Its best to avoid wearing hats or other garments that cover your scalp in the two to four hours after using minoxidil.
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Does Rogaine Actually Work
Many studies have shown the effectiveness of Rogaine as a treatment for hair loss. The International Society of Hair Restoration wrote that two studies found that the majority of patients who used 5% minoxidil for treating male pattern-baldness reported decreased hair loss, rapid onset of action in promoting new hair growth and very effective to effective new hair growth results during the treatment time.
At the Limmer Hair Transplant Center in San Antonio, Texas, many of our patients have seen thicker hair growth after using Rogaine. In the picture above, a female patient was very frightened when she began using minoxidil and experienced hair shedding. But, as you can see, she stuck with her routine of using the medication daily and saw her hair mass index go up four points after just two months of treatment!
So can Rogaine actually make your hair loss worse? Again, the short answer is no. It may seem as though you are losing more hair when you first start the treatment, but as long as you continue with your doctors plan, then you should begin to see fuller hair growth within a few months.