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Minoxidil For Hair: Everything You Need To Know

Minoxidil For Hair: Everything You Need To Know
25 September 2023
2-minute read

When it comes to fighting hair loss, there are usually two types of medication that are prescribed to men: Finasteride and Minoxidil. Both are very effective at delivering results but work differently. 

This article will look at Minoxidil: What is it? And how does it work to stop hair loss and regrow hair? Let’s look at some of the facts behind the medication and other useful bits of information for you.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil, either in its topical or oral application, is a medication that is a form of treatment against hair loss and thinning hair. For those who can’t tolerate Topical Minoxidil due to reactions like redness or skin irritation, or the treatment doesn’t work for you, prescribers may offer you Oral Minoxidil as an alternative.

Originally, the drug wasn’t used for hair loss - it was given to people who had hypertension. One of the noted side effects of the treatment, however, was hair growth, leading researchers to conduct studies to see if it could be an effective method of combating hair loss, leading to topical Minoxidil being licensed for hair loss in the 1990s. Since then, Minoxidil for hair loss has been one of the most popular treatments on the market.

There is some evidence to suggest that thicker strands also come through once the medication takes full effect, but you are likely to experience a slower rate of hair loss and greater growth. At least 60% of men experience positive signs of improvement with Topical Minoxidil and early evidence suggests that the oral treatment may be as effective as topical treatment.

Your Sons prescriber might recommend Minoxidil on its own or the medication alongside Finasteride for an all-round approach. This often depends on the severity of your hair loss and you will likely be offered different treatments with different severity of hair loss..

How does Minoxidil work?

While Finasteride blocks DHT, a hormone that causes hair loss, Minoxidil is a vasodilator that widens blood vessels on the scalp and is converted into a sulfate by enzymes to promote healthy hair growth, though its exact mechanism is not fully known.

The medication promotes healthy hair growth by increasing the flow of blood to hair follicles. This better environment for new strands to develop in is a result of a shortened resting phase of the hair cycle and an increased growth stage.

Crucially, maintaining the regularity of your consumption keeps your chances of having healthier hair and greater volume - even skipping a few days will harm the results you want to see.

You might begin to notice the first signs of the treatment working within 3 months of starting. At 6 months, more significant signs of the medication working should show. It’s usually not until between 9 and 12 months that the full effects of the treatment will have happened. Routinely check your crown or temples as these will be the most noticeable areas for change. Some people can report some shedding in the first few months of usage but this usually settles down with continuous use and is actually a sign that it is working to replace thin lifeless hair with thicker healthier hair.

For more on this, plus lots of other information regarding hair loss and the treatments to fight it, explore the Sons website.

All of our blog articles are reviewed by our Medical Director before publication.