"Hair loss can be one of your major concerns as it may drastically affect your overall look and personality." There are various reasons which can cause hair loss and so as there are various ways to treat hair loss. If you are someone suffering from hair loss and looking for the treatments or medications for hair re-growth then it is very sure you must have heard about the medicine "Minoxidil" known to re-grow hair. In this article we will take a closer look on Minoxidil and know about if it can actually re-grow hair.

Overview on Minoxidil:

There are medicines available for hair loss which can help slow down the thinning of hair and can increase the growth of new hair and enlarge the existing hair. These medicines work effectively when they are taken regularly without fail. Though one must not expect to regrow a full head of hair with medicines; the hair coverage on the scalp surely improves with some medicines when taken properly and regularly.

Overview on Minoxidil

Minoxidil is one medicine that is used to regrow hair and can help treat hair loss. This is marketed under various trade names including Amexidil, Avogain, Mintop, Rogaine etc. Minoxidil is available without a prescription and can be sprayed, rubbed on the scalp or can also be taken orally for hair regrowth.

Minoxidil is actually an antihypertensive vasodilator medicine which is effective in treating adrogenic alopecia. It is not very clear how minoxidil solution stimulates the growth of hair; but it is known that it helps in improving the function of hair follicle and this helps in stimulating hair growth. We will know about this in a more detailed manner in the following array of our article.

Can Minoxidil Regrow Hair?

"Can minoxidil regrow hair?" This must be one of the most obvious questions growing in your mind; if you are suffering from hair loss and worried about its absolute treatments via medication.

Answer is YES, minoxidil does help in regrowing hair. So, let us check about how minoxidil works in improving the hair growth or if at all it really re-grows hair!

Mechanism of Action: How Does Minoxidil Work in Regrowing Hair?

We are not very sure on how exactly minoxidil helps in growth of hair; but there is certain a mechanism by which it works in regrowing of new hair. Here we will talk about one proposed mechanism of Minoxidil action in promoting hair growth.

Minoxidil is a potassium channel opener which causes hyperpolarization of cell membranes. It is believed that minoxidil widens the blood vessels and opens the potassium channels and this way it scopes more oxygen, blood and nutrients to reach the hair follicles. This may result in the shedding of the hair follicles in their telogen phase which are then replaced by thicker hairs in a new anagen phase.

Though minoxidil is known to be effective in treating hair loss and helps regrow hair, it is less effective when there is a large area of hair loss in the scalp. It is also known that it is only useful in case of central or vertex hair loss.

We will know more about if minoxidil can regrow hair in our following paragraphs.

How Effective is Minoxidil in Regrowing Hair?

Minoxidil is found effective in treating hair loss and also in hair regrowth. In fact, FDA has approved the drug for treating baldness in men. Minoxidil under the trade name, "Rogaine" is considered to be beneficial for male patients of baldness in having moderate to dense hair growth on the crown of the head. Though it does not work for everyone, in a study it was found that about 39% of men with baldness found it effective in regrowing their hair.

FDA also approved for non prescription sale of Men's Rogaine extra strength (5% minoxidil solution).

Now, Johnson & Johnson has also introduced the 5% minoxidil solution for women to treat hair loss and is known to regrow hair in an effective manner.

How to Use Minoxidil for Hair Regrowths?

Let us know how to use minoxidil solution for hair re-growth in this section.

  • Before using the minoxidil solution, wash your scalp with a mild shampoo and let your hair and scalp get dried.
  • Once hair and scalp is dried apply the minoxidil solution and allow it to remain on the scalp for at least 4 hours before washing.
  • Make sure you are washing your hands immediately after applying minoxidil.
  • You can use minoxidil on your scalp twice in a day or even more as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Check the exact dosing instruction on the label of the minoxidil medicine or consult the same with your doctor.

Keep a note that there are various types of minoxidil applications like dropper, foam, spray etc.

Things to Note Before Using Minoxidil for Hair Regrowth:

There are some things you must note before using minoxidil. Check the below list.

  • Make sure you are not using minoxidil solution if you are allergic to any ingredient present in minoxidil solution.
  • Keep noted that some medical conditions may interact with minoxidil solution when used. So it is better to tell your physician if you have any medical issues.
  • Pregnant women or someone who is planning to get pregnant and breast feeding women must inform their doctors before using minoxidil
  • Women with heart problems or issues of blood pressure must consult doctor before using minoxidil solution.
  • Similarly if you are taking any medicine, herbal preparation or dietary supplement, you must consult with your doctor before using Minoxidil.
  • Also make sure you have properly checked with your doctor properly on when to start, stop or change your dose of minoxidil.
  • Make sure you avoid getting minoxidil solution in to your nose, eyes or mouth.
  • Be informed that minoxidil may cause dizziness and this may go worse if you take alcohol or certain other medicines.
  • Check with your physician if you do not find improvement in hair growth even after 3-4 months of using minoxidil solution
  • Make sure you contact poison control center or emergency room right away in case you accidentally swallowed minoxidil.
  • Children must not use minoxidil solution.

Side Effects of Using Minoxidil for Hair Growth:

  • Burning of eyes or eye irritation, itching or redness in the treated area where minoxidil solution has been applied eye can be one of the side effects.
  • There may be growth of unwanted hair in some other part of the body in some people using minoxidil.
  • Dizziness, fainting, chest pain, fast heartbeat, swollen hands or swollen feet, sudden weight gain etc can be some side effects.

Make sure you immediately contact your physician if you notice the side effects after taking minoxidil.

NOTE: Contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers, your local poison control center or reach emergency room in case overdose of minoxidil is suspected.

FAQs on Minoxidil for Hair Regrowth:

Q. How to Properly Store the Minoxidil Solution?

It must be stored at room temperature in between 59 degrees to 86 degrees F in a tightly closed container. Make sure you are keeping it away from heat and light and also away from the children's reach

Q: How Long Would it Take for Hair to Regrow After Using Minoxidil?

It would take 4-6 months of continuous use of minoxidil to notice the improvement in growth of hair. It is best to use minoxidil for 6 months as directed to see its benefits.

Q: What Will the Hair Look Like if Minoxidil is Working?

If you are using minoxidil for hair re-growth and it is working on you then at first, hair growth would be usually soft, downy, colorless and then the new hairs grow by their thickness and match the colors with other hairs on your scalp.

Also Read:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: June 27, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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