Minoxidil Hair Growth Treatment: Is it Effective?

 Minoxidil Regaine for hair growth

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil, sold under the brand name Regaine (or Rogaine in the USA) among others, is a medication used for the treatment of high blood pressure and pattern hair loss. It is an antihypertensive vasodilator. It is available as a generic medication by prescription in oral tablet form and over the counter as a topical liquid or foam.

Many men and women use minoxidil to counter the early effects of hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia (pattern baldness).

How does Minoxidil treat hair loss?

Originally used as a treatment for high blood pressure, minoxidil was also found to help treat hair loss, and stimulate hair growth. Topical minoxidil shortens telogen, causing premature entry of resting hair follicles into anagen. Minoxidil may also cause prolongation of anagen and increases hair follicle size.

How effective is Minoxidil for hair loss?

Minoxidil does not cure or fully reverse hair loss, but, with regular use, it can help reduce the effects of excessive shedding, and support the function of healthy hair growth. Minoxidil is most effective when used during early stages of hair loss. It is also more effective when used in conjunction with other hair loss treatments, including micro needling. 

What are the negative side-effects of minoxidil?

Although minoxidil is generally considered to be a safe treatment, it does come with the risk of negative side-effects. Some of the most common side-effects reported from using minoxidil are; headaches, dizziness, fatigue, weight gain, swollen ankles, itching scalp, skin rash, and excessive hair shedding. These side-effects are not permanent, and will stop once you come of the treatment. 

Is Minoxidil expensive?

Minoxidil is not an expensive treatment. You can pay around £15 per month for the treatment, however, it is ongoing, so the price would add up in the long term.

Should you try Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a treatment that could be considered if you are experiencing early stages of hair loss, caused by androgenic alopecia (male/female pattern baldness).  Minoxidil should not be used for temporary hair loss types such as alopecia areata, because it can cause excessive hair shedding during the initially stages, which can worsen certain hair loss conditions.

If you are expecting a miracle treatment for hair loss, then you will not find it in minoxidil. Results are usually minimal, and the treatment is far more effective when used alongside a good hair supplement, or a good micro needling routine. 

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