Minoxidil was discovered by mistake when scientists were trying to make a blood thinner. The side effect of this medicine was hair growth on the head and body. This eventually led minoxidil to become a key ingredient in hair loss recovery.
Minoxidil is mixed in propylene glycol, with 5% concentration for men and 2% for women. There are commercial products with higher concentration of minoxidil, (10%, 15%, 20%) they are less effective. There is a limit to how much the skin can absorb, which is 5% only.
Glycol improves the absorption capability of the skin so minoxidil spreads evenly. This ensures that hair grows in the entire region and not just in one spot.
Minoxidil, a Definite Hair Loss Solution
Between the years 1991-2001, the FDA and USA Health Departments approved the 2% and 5% concentration of minoxidil for commercial use. After it was determined that it works effectively and equally for both men and women. Current recommendations are 5% minoxidil twice daily for men and once daily for women.
Effects of Minoxidil on Men and Women
Clinical trials were conducted to determine the efficiency of 2% and 5% concentration. Trials for partially bald men showed that in 48% of the subjects, hair loss stopped after a year of using minoxidil. Additionally, their hairs were restored too. 36% men had partial hair regrowth. Only 16% of them showed no change at all.
The minoxidil 5% concentration increased hair growth by 45%. This was proven more effective for men. 54% of the patients showed regrowth of hair with this concentration. Similar results showed for women where it was observed that in thinning areas, hair grew after a year along with hair thickening.
How does Minoxidil Work?
It works by prolonging the anagen phase of your hair. This basically supports and maintains your hair growth cycle. Minoxidil increases the thickness and length of hair, thereby improving the overall quality. This in turn incites more anagen cycles.
Our hair grows in three phases. The first is anagen phase, also known as the growth phase. Next comes the catagen phase, and finally the talogen phase. Towards the end of the cycle, old hair falls out and new ones grow to replace them. Male pattern baldness is the interruption of anagen phase where hair stops growing.
DHT is a byproduct of the male hormone testosterone, the main cause of male pattern baldness. DHT reduces the anagen phase by inhibiting the hair follicles. This cuts off the supply of nutrients and minerals to the hair follicles that are essential for their growth. Eventually the follicles die, leaving that head space bald.
Many clinical studies have proven minoxidil’s ability to stop male and female balding. Additionally, it triggers regrowth of hair on the head.
Minoxidil grows hair by directly re-stimulating the follicle growth via prostaglandin synthetase stimulation. The key role is the proliferation of the dermal papilla cells. Unlike ingredients like saw palmetto and/or propecia etc. that are DHT blockers, minoxidil has nothing to do with androgens.
Using minoxidil with finasteride can stop DHT from inhibiting the hair follicles. It is a fact that finasteride is more effective but it is best to use both in controlled concentration. Volunteers who tried both reported faster and better results compared to just minoxidil.
Deeper analysis revealed that minoxidil opens the potassium channels that are sensitive to adenosine. This is a part of the hair follicle. Effects of genes also take place.
How to Use Minoxidil?
There are three steps to using minoxidil
Wash your hair with an herbal, chemical free shampoo. After a shower, dry your hair properly before applying the minoxidil.
The spray comes with a spray applicator for targeted use. Apply directly on the thinning area. 1ml should be enough.
Do not wet or wash your hair for at least 4 hours after applying the spray.
How Should Minoxidil be used?
Normally minoxidil 5% is to be used twice a day for men and once a day for women, every day. The spray will work only in the area where you apply it. Make sure that the liquid touches your scalp and not the hair above it. Use only in the thinning areas where hair density is less.
*It is a proven fact that 5% concentration is more effective compared to 2%.
You should know that minoxidil is mixed with propylene glycol. This causes a slight irritating feeling on the scalp. You may feel that your hair are/look unmanageable or sticky. If this is too much of a problem for you then we suggest using the 2% for day time and 5% for night. The 2% is based on alcohol variant so it is less sticky.
When using minoxidil, you need to be patient as results will take time. The clinically published range is from 6 months to one year. The customers who witnessed the effects reported having to wait for a long time. But good news is, the hair fall stops till the new ones come out.
Minoxidil makes the existing hair thicker. Those who don’t receive the full benefit just have short fuzzy hair growth. If there is complete baldness, then applying minoxidil won’t grow any hair.
**Always wash your hands after applying this in your hair. Do not exceed the daily recommended dose. If you have doubts about this treatment, then ask your doctor. Use punctually for 4-6 months, this will tell you whether it is working for you or not. The purpose of this treatment is to treat androgenic alopecia in men and women. Very few have reported that minoxidil did not work for them.