Sons 101: Minoxidil Explained

Sons 101: Minoxidil Explained

This article has been medically verified by Dr. Knut Moe - Medical Director at Sons

 

Minoxidil is one of the active ingredients within Sons’ treatment plans -  it helps to improve blood flow and improve oxygen flow to the scalp which helps to revitalise hair roots and fight against hair loss. It is one of the only proven medications to treat male pattern baldness. Here’s a 101 breakdown for everything you need to know:

Background

Minoxidil was the first medication to be approved for the treatment of hair loss in 1988. Before then it was used to treat high blood pressure in tablet form. However, reports of men growing hair whilst taking Minoxidil encouraged companies to trial it as a hair loss medication in a topical preparation. It is universally the most-used medication for hair loss in men and women today.

Does Minoxidil work?

Yes, Minoxidil is effective at treating hair loss. 

Clinical data has shown that Minoxidil is an effective medication that can regrow hair around the vertex (i.e. the scalp) of people experiencing hair loss.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12196747

How does Minoxidil work?

Minoxidil revitalises hair follicles which have been shrunk by DHT (dihydrotestosterone, a hormone which is the main cause of hair loss in men).

DHT restricts blood flow and causes hair follicles to shrink. Minoxidil increases blood flow and oxygen supply to the scalp, which helps to improve the quality and quantity of hair.

How do I take Minoxidil?

Sons recommend a 5% Minoxidil topical solution, which is applied to a dry or towel-dry scalp twice daily (once in the morning and once at night). The pump on our product delivers the required 1ml amount. 

How long does Minoxidil take to work?

You should be able to see signs of reduced hair loss or even some hair growth after 3-6 months. 

In your first 2-8 weeks of treatment, you might notice increased shedding - don’t panic, this is a sign that minoxidil is working. This process occurs naturally and is known as the exogen phase, where your old hair falls out and a new hair begins to grow in its place. Minoxidil speeds this process up leading to hair growth with continuous use. 

Optimum results appear after 12 months of consistent treatment - especially when they are used with Finasteride.

Is Minoxidil safe for long term use?

Yes - there is no clinical evidence that the long term use of Minoxidil causes negative side effects to people who use it.

However, like all medications, there can be side effects and in a very small percentage of people, it can cause mild scalp irritation. Like any medication, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the potential side effects, no matter how rare, prior to starting to use them.

I have heard Minoxidil can cause shedding, is that true?

Yes, Minoxidil can cause shedding in those who are using it for the first few months. This is actually a sign that it is working. Those miniaturised hairs that were dying off are not going to turn back into normal healthy hairs, they have to fall out so a new healthy hair can take its place. As you use Minoxidil consistently, the shedding should settle down over a couple of months. The main thing to remember is that it’s a long game - short term shedding settles down and should result in thicker, healthier hair in time. 

Why 5% Minoxidil?

There are different strengths of Minoxidil available ranging from 2% to 15%, but of the varying solutions of minoxidil, only 2 % and 5 % solutions are approved by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss.  Studies have clearly highlighted that 5% is superior to 2% but studies comparing 5%  to 10% and 15% are contradictory.  Based on this and the limited evidence for using >5% We recommend 5% Minoxidil as the most effective FDA approved minoxidil. In clinical practice, this is also the preferred clinical choice by hair loss specialists around the world and is proven to give the best benefit without side effects.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12196747/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31403367/