What Is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil as a topical solution is used for hair regrowth. It’s a substance that helps in the treatment and prevention of hair loss, most particularly male pattern baldness.
However, it may not be used if your baldness is at the front of your scalp or if you have receding hairline. Likewise, it is not for those who are experiencing hair loss due to non-hereditary factors.
This substance is a vasodilator. Vasodilators are drugs that help widen your blood vessels. They prevent the tightening of your muscles so blood can pass through easily. Among the vasodilators, there are only two that are able to work directly on the vessel walls: Minoxidil and Hydralazine.
As a vasodilator, this substance may also treat high blood pressure levels especially among pregnant women. It is a quick solution to those who have pulmonary hypertension. Since it helps the heart relax and pump regularly, this substance may even prevent heart attack or failure.
What Does Minoxidil Do?
As previously discussed, this substance is primarily for the treatment of hair loss that is caused by age and hereditary factors. It is commonly used in topical treatments for hair loss as a main ingredient.
According to our research, there is no specific and definite explanation yet on how it works in the body to produce such benefits. Experts have their theories, however.
The most common theory regarding its mechanism is that it prolongs the anagen phase of your hair cells during hair growth cycle.
The hair cells in your body undergo three phases of growth: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Through this hair growth cycle, your old hair follicles are being replaced by the new ones.
Research shows that a shortened anagen phase is one of the causes of hair loss, particularly in men. This shortened period happens when your testosterone hormones and its derivative, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), start to react with your hair follicles.
Another theory suggests Minoxidil’s capacity to regrow hair could be because of its ability to increase blood flow throughout the body. It helps in the production of more oxygen to regulate blood circulation. Proper blood circulation allows all your body parts to function well.
There is also this one last suggestion that it probably supports the immune system. General hair loss may sometimes be an effect of having a weak immune system.
What Is Minoxidil Used For?
Minoxidil is generally used for treatment of hair loss due to male pattern baldness. This kind of hair loss particularly happens to men who are either aging or have a family history of it.
Brands and products using this substance suggest that it may not be used by those with receding hairlines, or those who are experiencing sudden patchy or uneven hair loss. This is because such conditions could possibly be more a cause of non-hereditary factors.
Hereditary factors are those that happen because there is a shrinking of the follicles. Such shrinking is a gradual occurrence that then results in the production of lesser to no more hair.
Non-hereditary factors, on the other hand, are also called external factors. They include stress, unhealthy diet, or hormonal imbalance. Some manufacturers believe that sun damage and pollution could be factors too.
While Minoxidil is much more beneficial to men, it may still be beneficial to women. There aren’t a lot of studies about the effects of the substance on them, but some companies still create Minoxidil solutions for women at a lower concentration level.
Regardless of gender, though, keep in mind that solutions containing this substance are not for those who are 18 years old and below.
As with any other drugs, supplements or products, you should consult your doctor first if you are taking medications but would like to take Minoxidil-containing supplements.
Minoxidil Side Effects
There are numerous reports online indicating that this substance has side effects. These include the following:
- Allergic reactions (e.g. rashes, itching, flushing)
- Acne breakouts
- Burning of the scalp
- Increased hair loss
- Blurred vision
- Chest pain
- Dizziness and fainting
- Frequent rapid and irregular heartbeats
- Headache and fatigue
- Numbness or tingling sensations of hands, feet, and face
- Swelling of hands, feet, lower legs, or face
- Sudden weight gain
- Unwanted facial or body hair
- Difficulty in breathing
According to experts and medical websites, this list is not yet complete as you may experience adverse results other than them. They recommend that for safety purposes, always consult your doctor before taking any product containing the substance.
Any product containing Minoxidil should at least have a complete instruction and dosage on its label. It’s important for you to read such labels and follow everything in there meticulously.
Generally, though, there are certain standards to follow in applying any Minoxidil product. Here are some of them:
- Ensure that your hair and scalp are completely dry prior to the application of the product.
- Follow the amount of solution prescribed on the label or recommended by your doctor cautiously.
- Do not shampoo or clean your hair at least 4 hours after applying the solution. Do not dry your hair using a blow dryer either. Doing so might lessen the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Always wash your hands before and after applying the medication to avoid getting the chemicals of its ingredients.
More so, it is crucial to conduct your own research on the product you want to try. Make sure that the company manufacturing it is legit and has a reputable name in the pharmaceutical industry.
If possible, gather some customer reviews and evaluate them cautiously. Then, consult your doctor about the product or if he or she has any better alternatives.
Where To Get Minoxidil?
Minoxidil solutions and foams are available directly on the website of manufacturers offering them. Some online retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart also sell them.
There are many hair loss treatment solutions nowadays that use Minoxidil as their main ingredient. The manufacturers of these products believe that the substance indeed is the perfect ingredient that can regrow your hair.
However, it appears that there are still ongoing debates regarding the substance’s true mechanism in the body. Experts and doctors are still arguing as to the reason behind its hair re-growing capacities.
In addition, the reports about its side effects should be taken into consideration. Though they are less likely to happen with the right usage of the substance, it would still be best to take necessary precautions and extra care.
That being said, we highly recommend trying out products that have safer and more active ingredients. Many hair loss products are available on the market today that actually have only natural nutrients. As naturals, they are less likely to cause severe negative results.
Rejuvalex, for instance, contains only vitamins and minerals that are known to prevent hair loss and help with hair regrowth. It doesn’t contain any chemicals, drugs, or other substances.
Moreover, it has numerous positive reviews praising it for its safety and effectiveness. According to the customers, it indeed helped them regrow their hair back without experiencing any adverse results.
You may still want to try formulas or solutions containing Minoxidil. However, just to be sure, conduct your own research about the product of your choice. Most importantly, consult with your physician first to avoid any unwanted circumstances.