History of minoxidil
Minoxidil has been around for quite some time. It was developed in the fifties of the last century as an antihypertensive drug in pill form under the brand name Loniten. During the product testing phase men discovered a remarkable side-effect. There was clearly an increase in hair growth on the test persons head and limbs. After this discovery they started to develop minoxidil further. As a result they created a minoxidil based lotion in 1998 under the brand names Rogaine. Rogaine was the first officially registered and proven hair growth product on the market.
How does minoxidil work ?
Minoxidil brings new life into the hair follicles and causes them to move from the resting phase into the growth phase. A combination of genetic heredity, hormones and age will cause the hair follicles in the scalp shrink. As a result, the growth phase is shorter and the resting phase is longer. After a certain time the resting phase has grown so long, that the hair will not grow anymore. Researchers believe that minoxidil promotes blood flow to the hair follicles, or the number of active hair cells increase. The growth phase gets extended because the hair follicles will get larger, making the hair grow longer and thicker. As a result the hair density of the scalp will also improve because there now are more hair follicles simultaneously in the growth phase.
What kind of results can I expect from minoxidil?
Minoxidil is one of the most proven topical medicines against hair loss. First men believed that minoxidil only worked on the crown, but personal experiences from over ten thousand people have shown that it also works really good on the front side of the head. If you would like to maintain your results you are required to keep using minoxidil on a regular basis (once a day at least). Normally you will start to see results after two to four months, but the final result may take 12 to 18 months. The regrowth will start with small, thin vellus hairs. These will gradually get thicker and firmer. Unfortunately, not everyone will benefit from minoxidil. If you have used minoxidil for 12 straight months and you still see no sign of vellus hair the chances are little that minoxidil will work for you. In this case you could try other products like topical finasteride.
Is minoxidil suitable for you?
Minoxidil is used as a treatment for both hair loss and thinning hair. You could use the checklist below to see whether minoxidil could benefit you or not.
– You changed your hair style to hide hair loss.
– Baldness runs in the family.
– You notice that there are more hairs in the shower drain, on your pillow or in your comb.
– You can see your hair thinning on your crown or you can clearly see you hairline receding.
If two or more of the above statements are correct then you are probably experiencing hair loss and could offer minoxidil solution.
Minoxidil safety and side effects
Research has shown that minoxidil lotion / foam is a safe drug . Side effects that are experienced are often related to inactive ingredients as propylene glycol or perfume, and not with the active ingredient minoxidil. People will often jump to the conclusion that somebody might be allergic to minoxidil which in most cases is not true. Around 3% of the minoxidil users is sensitive or allergic to the ingredient propylene glycol. Sensitivity or allergy can result in irritation on the skin or an itchy and red scalp. This will quickly dissapear after discontinuation of the treatment. There are also cases where the alcohol in which minoxidil is incorporated have lead to skin irritation. Another rare side effect that can occur with rogaine foam is perfume allergy. When experiencing any of the earlier mentioned side effects you are advised to switch the minoxidil product instead of discontinuing minoxidil completely.
If you want to keep the risk of side effects to a minimum it is advised to use minoxidil not more than once a day.
Possible side effects:
– Low bloodpressure
– Fast heartbeat
When not to use minoxidil:
– If you could be allergic to any of the ingredients in the minoxidil product.
– If you are pregnant.
– If you are breast-feeding.
– If you are currently taking prescription or non prescription medicines.
– If you are currently taking dietary supplements.
– If you have heart or blood pressure problems.
Which minoxidil product is suitable for me?
If you look purely at the quality of the ingredient minoxidil then there is little difference between the different manufacturers. However, there are different kinds of minoxidil products available on the market and it is certainly important to educate yourself on this product before you make a decision to purchase it. Minoxidil is available in different strengths, different shapes and with different additives. In the overview below I will provide some information on all the different types of minoxidil products.
This is the lightest version of the minoxidil product and is primarily used by women. For women this is also the recommended strength. This is mainly because the 5% variant can also cause undesirable hair growth and this is not a welcome side effect for a woman. There are also men who make use of the 2 % variant. These men then suffer from side effects at the 5 % variation or find the 5% variation too greasy.
This is the recommended minxodil version for men. It is also the strongest variant that has been approved by the FDA. There are also some women who use the 5% variation, but as I allready pointed out, there is a chance that you have to deal with unwanted hair. The 5% solution is the best selling minoxidil product and also proven more effective than the 2% solution .
This is the strongest minoxidil solution and not yet approved by the FDA. The effectivenes of the 15% solution is even stronger than the 5% variation, but the chances of side effects also increases slightly. Most men step up to the 15 % variation when they clearly see that the effect of the 5% solution starts to decline. If you read the experiences from users on the internet you can conclude that the 15% solutions continues to work during a much longer period than the 5 % solution.
Just since recently you see manufacturers bringing a combination product on the market of minoxidil and finasteride lotion. Finasteride lotion is a fairly new product and if you read the user experiences you can conclude that finasteride in lotion form approximately has the same effects as oral finasteride, but the dreaded side effects of this product seem to be a whole lot less.
Minoxidil without PPG
Most of the minoxidil products contain the substance PPG. This substance stimulates the transport of minoxidil to the hair follicles. There are users who are higly sensitive to this substance. It causes irritation to the scalp. For anyone who suffers from it, there is a minoxidil product on the market without PPG. Before purchasing a product without PPG is good to know that PPG definitely has a positive effect on the absorption of minoxidil, so if you’re not sensitive to PPG ’s better to use the variant with PPG.
Minoxidil lotion or foam
Minoxidil products are produced in two forms, lotion and foam. If you purchase the lotion solution you will receive a dropper or sprayer. You can use that to apply the minoxidil to the scalp. The disadvantage of the lotion is that the lotion can drip down from your head if you do not immediately massage your scalp after applying. If you use a foam product you don´t have this problem. The disadvantage of the foam solution is that prices are often slightly higher.