What is Minoxidil and How does it work?
The American Hair Loss Association says that about 85% of all men will experience Hair Loss by the time they reach 50. Some even start earlier due to a lot of factors such as heredity (male pattern baldness, otherwise known as androgenic alopecia) and overall health. In response, a lot of anti-hair fall products have been introduced in the market and now, we’re going to look at one of the most popular and arguably one of the most effective hair loss formulations available to people experiencing Hair Loss Problems, Minoxidil.
Minoxidil is an FDA approved, over-the-counter (it is available without a prescription) topical formulation that works by acting as a hair growth stimulant that can be applied directly on the scalp. It improves hair follicle health by increasing blood circulation in the scalp, which results in increased blood flow and thus oxygen supply in the hair follicles.
Insufficient Oxygen causes hair follicles to shrivel ultimately resulting to hair fall, and left untreated, complete hair loss; regular use of Minoxidil reverses this extremely destructive process. Available in 2%, 4%, 5% and higher level of concentrations depending on the severity of the case Minoxidil is usually in the form of a lotion, and hence is widely referred to as minoxidil lotion.
Minodixil also works through inhibiting shortened Anagen Phase in hair cell growth, thereby promoting faster hair growth. One of the believed mechanisms of Androgenic Alopecia (as distinct from general hairloss or Alopecia Areata) that causes Hair Loss is how it curtails significantly the Anagen (growth) phase of the hair cell growth process. Minoxidil undoes this negative effect through prolonging this growth phase.
Minoxidil, owing to its effectiveness and minimal side effects, is extremely popular among people experiencing hair fall or worse, almost complete hair loss. Although a general hair loss treatment, Minoxidil works best in improving the crown area of the head. It is less effective in dealing with receding hairline or treating the frontal area. Also, Minoxidil is not a permanent cure for hair loss, but is certainly an effective one. As such, it has to be applied continuously, twice daily. The longer it is in the scalp, the better Minoxidil is absorbed , which therefore translates to better results. It is therefore recommended that Minoxidil is left unrinsed on the scalp for a while before washing it away.
People who live by the saying “Prevention is better than cure” have also found use for Minoxidil. Regular use of Minoxidil improves health of the hair follicle, which can help thwart the early signs of baldness. Even without hair loss, Minoxidil aids in the prevention of the problem.
How Effective is Minoxidil?
One study claims that applying 1mL of 2% Minoxidil solution for 24 consecutive weeks resulted in a 13.2% increase in hair count. Naturally, the effects of Minoxidil become less successful as the severity of the case escalates.
Another study reveals that 5% Minoxidil is more potent and expectedly more effective than its 2% counterpart. In the same study, it was found out that after 48 weeks of successive twice a day application, the 5% solution yielded 45% better hair growth than the 2% Minoxidil.
In a comparative study looking at the effectiveness of minoxidil on general hair loss (Alopecia Areata) and male pattern baldness (Androgenic Alopecia), Minoxidil was found to be more effective in the treatment of the former case. Minoxidil still works on MPB (male pattern baldness), but the degree of effectiveness of the formulation is significantly lower than its effects on normal, general hair loss.
Minoxidil-Other Products Interaction
As has been stated in the earlier section, Minoxidil by itself, albeit an exceptionally effective treatment is not a permanent treatment to hair loss. Further, it is predictably less effectual in more extreme cases and cases with androgenic causes.
This is why, some have experimented using Minoxidil with other products including Pyrithione Zinc (main compound found in anti-dandruff shampoos such as Head n’ Shoulders), Ketoconazole (present in anti-fungal products like Nizoral), and Tretinoin (all trans retinoic acid).
It has been found out that using Minoxidil in conjunction with these products have resulted in more long-lasting and faster effects than using Minoxidil alone. In this section, we introduce each and look at how well Minoxidil works with each and every one of them.
Pyrithione Zinc is an anti-dandruff compound that is believed by some to be helpful in combating hair loss by aiding in hair regrowth process. To confirm the validity of this claim, a study comparing 5% Minoxidil against 1% Pyrithione Zinc in a leading anti-dandruff shampoo was made.
The results suggest the Minoxidil is more than twice more effective than Pyrithione Zinc in improving overall hair of the scalp, but a combination of the two—of Minoxidil and Pyrithione Zinc—is comparatively better than the Minoxidil solution alone in 9 weeks. After 27 weeks, however, the combination lost its initial advantage and ended up performing worse than Minoxidil alone and practically no different from Pyrithione Zinc used unaccompanied.
Needless to say, a more thorough and long-term study on the combination of Pyrithione Zinc and Minoxidil is in order.
Ketaconazole is believed to have an additive or synergistic effect when used with Minoxidil but very few studies have been done on the subject and therefore still is a matter of debate. One cursory study, however, indicated that using a 2% Ketoconazole shampoo (for example, Nizoral shampoo) together with 2%
Minoxidil is more effective than Minoxidil when used in isolation. The Ketaconazole-Minoxidil combination, though, is less effective than a Minoxidil – Finasteride combination.
Tretinoin is an analogue of Vitamin A that can potentially help in boosting the skin permeability of Minoxidil by three times. It itself also has hair regrowth properties, but is comparatively weaker than Minoxidil. Adding 0.01% Tretinioin to 5% Minoxidil used once a day has the same effect as that of a combination of 2% Minoxidil used together with Tretinoin used twice a day.
Lastly, I would like to share this really awesome Video Review by Tiago Pina on the said Medicine. Enjoy
With the presence of so many Hair Loss Cure Medicines available in the Market today, Minoxidil is a clear standout from the rest. It’s popularity is due to the fact that there have been countless success stories to support the effectiveness of this medicine. Majority of the most used brands of Hair Loss Cure Medicines has a certain percentage of Minoxidil in its contents.
Hair Loss Cure is a process that entails a lot of research in your part. We hope this review of ours may somehow shed a light in your quest for a lasting solution to your Hair Loss Problems.