If you are in the early stages of hair loss and looking for a hair loss treatment then Minoxidil is the answer for you. Can Minoxidil alone stop hair loss? The answer is yes.
WHAT IS MINOXIDIL?
Originally, Minoxidil was introduced in the 1970s as an oral medication for the treatment of high blood pressure. Physicians noticed hair growth in some bald patients and started using it for treating hair loss in 1986.
The initial use of minoxidil was to treat male-pattern baldness also known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA). It works by dilating blood vessels in the scalp and improving hair follicle function.
WHO CAN USE MINOXIDIL FOR HAIR LOSS TREATMENT?
Minoxidil may not work for everyone so you must know the below criteria before using Minoxidil for stimulating hair growth.
- It is most effective for people under the age of 40.
- It works better for people who recently started experiencing hair loss.
- It works if hair loss is proven to be genetic.
- It is useful if hair started to thin around the crown or vertex of the scalp.
- It works for both men and women. It was introduced for males first but later low concentration minoxidil was developed for women too.
WHO SHOULD NOT USE MINOXIDIL FOR HAIR LOSS TREATMENT?
Minoxidil may have a few side effects. If you fall in any of the below categories then consult with a physician before using minoxidil.
- If you have or ever had heart, kidney, liver, or scalp disease.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you have low blood pressure.
- If you experience itching, redness, or irritation after using Minoxidil.
- If you are less than 18 years old.
TYPES OF MINOXIDIL MEDICATION
Minoxidil comes in two different forms. It can come as a liquid (topical solution) or as a foam. The original minoxidil was developed as a liquid solution but there were some issues that were resolved with the foam version.
It also comes in three different concentrations: 2%, 5%, and 10%. 10% is the recently developed concentration for people with severe hair loss.
COMPARING MINOXIDIL’S LIQUID SOLUTION AND FOAM
The liquid version of minoxidil can be sprayed directly on the hair scalp with a dropper. The foam version can be applied to the scalp with your fingers. Below are some of the pros and cons of liquid solution and foam.
- Some people may experience more irritation or allergy with the liquid solution as it includes propylene glycol which is not present in the foam version. Propylene glycol’s absence in the foam does not make it less effective than liquid solution as propylene glycol is only an additive used to preserve moisture.
2. Liquid solution may make your hair greasy. Foam can be absorbed easily so will not make your hair look greasy or oily.
3. Liquid may spill to other parts like the forehead, ears, or face and you may get unwanted hair growth in those areas. Foam does not have this problem as it can be applied to the specific head scalp and will not drip to other parts.
4. Foam is easy to apply on larger bald patches but liquid would be easier for small patches.
There is no medically approved benefit of any of these versions so it comes down to your personal preference on which version to use.
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HOW TO USE MINOXIDIL FOR HAIR LOSS TREATMENT?
Minoxidil foam is easier to apply compared to liquid. It must be applied twice a day. Follow the below steps for application.
- Apply it on dry hair.
- Hold the minoxidil can upside down and dispense about half a cup of foam in your hand.
- Split hair with fingers so that you can reach the scalp.
- Massage the foam to areas of the scalp affected by hair loss.
- Wash your hands thoroughly as foam could grow unnecessary hair on unwanted areas.
- The foam will take 4 hours for 75% absorption in the scalp. It’s okay to take shower after 4 hours. 100% absorption may take 11 to 12 hours.
Pro Tip: Use gloves to prevent contact with foam with your skin or fingers.
The process to apply liquid minoxidil is similar to foam. The only difference is that liquid is applied with a dropper. Take special care to avoid it spilling over unnecessary areas. Few companies recommend using liquid minoxidil only once per day (vs twice per day for foam).
SIDE EFFECTS OF MINOXIDIL
Be aware of the below side effects of minoxidil as they may look scary at first.
- Scalp Itching
- Irritated Skin
- Initial loss of hair – don’t get scared if you experience increased hair fall initially as your thin old hair will fall but new hair growth will start soon. In some cases, hair fall may continue for even 8-12 weeks before new hair growth starts occurring. Know that this is normal. If shedding does not stop even after 4 months then consult with your physician.
- Change in hair color.
- It can leave heavy stains on your clothes or linens so avoid contact with them for at least 4 hours after application.
BEST MINOXIDIL BRAND
Rogaine and Kirkland Minoxidil are two recommended brands of minoxidil.
Rogaine was the first FDA-approved minoxidil brand. Kirkland Minoxidil was introduced by Costco as a comparatively inexpensive drug. 3 months of Rogaine Minoxidil foam supply (3 bottles) will cost $55 whereas 3 months of Kirkland Minoxidil (3 bottles) will cost $30 (almost half of Rogaine).
MINOXIDIL FOR MEN AND WOMEN
5% minoxidil is recommended for men. They may also use 10% minoxidil in case of severe hair loss.
2% minoxidil is recommended for women. 5% minoxidil use for women would be off-label use as most of the 5% minoxidil clearly states “Not For Use By Women”.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE USING MINOXIDIL
- If minoxidil works for you then you would have to use it for a lifetime to prevent hair loss and maintain hair growth. Your hair may start thinning and falling again 3 months after you stop using it.
2. It may take a few weeks to 4 months to see results from minoxidil. Patience and consistency is the key.
Minoxidil is one of the only two FDA-approved drugs for hair loss. The other drug is finasteride (which comes under the brand name Propecia) and can only be used by men. There could be more side effects of finasteride like testicular pain or shrinkage, loss of interest in sex, etc. so minoxidil seems to be a better option to start.
Based on reviews from different customers, our recommendation would be to start with a foam version of Kirkland Minoxidil. Since you have to continue using it for a lifetime so it’s better to start with an inexpensive option. If it does not work then you may try the Rogaine foam option.
Share your experience if you have used Kirkland or Rogaine Minoxidil. Would you recommend it to others? Is there any other better solution than minoxidil for hair loss treatment?
LEARN FROM A DOCTOR HOW TO APPLY MINOXIDIL THE RIGHT WAY
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals so please consult with your physician before using minoxidil.
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