Topical Minoxidil

Topical Minoxidil: Everything You Need to Know

In Hair Loss, Men's Health by userLeave a Comment

Hair loss is an unfortunate part of life. And the truth is this. All men will lose at least some of their hair at some point. So if you’re worried about losing yours, you’re certainly not alone.

The facts are that roughly two-thirds of American men are already seeing some serious hair follicle depreciation by the age of 35. As we know, that decline continues with age. Thus, the older you get, the more likely you are to lose your hair.

That being said, countless millions of men are constantly on the lookout for ways to stop that shedding in its tracks. And while minoxidil may not be a household name, it’s the active ingredient in many market-leading brands that promote natural hair regrowth.

So what is minoxidil exactly and how does it work? Let’s look at just what minoxidil can do for hair regeneration, its potential side effects, and how effective it is in treating hair loss.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is the drug behind famous brands such as Rogaine and Regenepure. While scientists do understand the underlying reasoning behind why it’s so effective, they’re not quite sure about the specific reasons for how it activates hair follicle regrowth beyond the increased blood flow effect.

What we do know about it is that it’s a vasodilator. That means it’s one of a family of drugs that promote blood flow. It does this by opening blood vessels. The vasodilation action promotes the regrowth of hair by allowing the blood to flow more freely to the follicles. However the specific cues beyond that are still unclear.

Here’s the interesting part. While minoxidil is a vasodilator, scientists have used other vasodilators with no effects on hair regrowth. Thus, there is something about the chemical compound of minoxidil that not only increases blood flow, but somehow activates the follicle to stimulate the hair to not only grow, but to also strengthen.

The fact is that however it works exactly, most people find that they do see moderate to substantial hair regrowth when using minoxidil. Yet, this doesn’t come immediately. It takes a considerable amount of time to see results when using it. How long exactly? Oftentimes, several months to 6 or more months.

Types of Minoxidil Available

You’ll notice that there are two strengths of this product on the market – minoxidil 2% and minoxidil 5%.

The 2% version was the first to get FDA approval. As you’ve guessed, it was pretty weak. It did yield results, but not the best outcome for its users.

The 5% version has proved to be far more effective. The higher concentration, plus the alcohol and propylene glycol delivery system (as opposed to water for the 2% version) brings far greater results.

What Does It Treat?

While you can use it to treat thinning patches of hair, minoxidil does have its limitations. Hoping to lose that shiny front section? Sadly, that’s beyond its scope.

It also doesn’t treat the receding hairline that we associate with male pattern baldness. It also sadly can’t treat sudden hair loss, caused by conditions such as alopecia

But if you’re thinning up top, it can help to stimulate regrowth to give you a fuller head of hair. That’s why it’s one of the go-to hair loss treatments available today.

Using Minoxidil

Topical minoxidil usually comes in either a liquid or foam form.

Apply minoxidil when your hair and scalp are completely dry and when you’re not planning to wash your hair anytime soon.

Check the dosage and rub the amount directed into the scalp. Work it in from the center of the target area. You may need to apply it a little at a time – it’s a targeted treatment so you don’t want it to go anywhere it shouldn’t.

Let it dry for at least 4 hours. Make sure you dry it naturally – using a hair dryer with it is not helpful.

Try to keep it out of contact with your clothes or bedding until it’s completely dry – if not, it might stain. It should also be completely dry before you add any styling products to your hair.

Cautions When Applying

You should not apply minoxidil to any parts of the scalp where the skin is broken, irritated or infected. Make sure that you wash your hand thoroughly after applying it, to make sure it doesn’t spread to other areas.

Also, only use it on the part of the body it is recommended for.

Naturally, when applying something to the top of your head, there’s always a danger of it getting in your eyes. If this does happen, then immediately rinse your eyes repeatedly using cool water. 

Maximizing Effectiveness

To increase the effects of minoxidil, you can use it in conjunction with a finasteride treatment.

It works by fighting against the hormones that cause male pattern baldness in the first place. This helps you to retain the hair you have, while minoxidil stimulates regrowth.

The last point is – stick with it.

While some users find they’re seeing results in three months, for others it’s a longer road. Most people will see results after six months. If you’re wondering if it’s all worth it, try not to bale out too soon.

Although it takes a little time, you’ll be glad you stuck with it when you’re rocking a fuller head of hair.

Side Effects

Like all drugs, there are side effects to minoxidil. 

Happily, minoxidil’s side effects all fall into the ‘less common’ or ‘rare’ categories. They can occasionally include symptoms like:

  • rashes or skin irritation
  • acne
  • inflammation at the treatment site

If the product is overapplied, then there is a chance the body could absorb a very high dose. In rare cases this could cause:

  • fainting
  • dizziness
  • irregular heartbeat

If you notice these or any other side effects, it’s good to seek medical attention promptly.

A Word of Warning

A little friendly advice – be careful where you put your minoxidil.

If you allow it to trickle into places it shouldn’t go, you might find some unexpected (and we anticipate, unwanted) hair growth popping up.

While this is not the end of the world for men, some women who use it for treating thinning hair have had the distressing experience of sprouting facial hair. While this proves its effectiveness, we’d advise caution when applying it.

The Takeaway: Everything You Need to Know About Minoxidil

In summary, if you’re looking for a proven, affordable way to treat male pattern baldness, minoxidil should form the backbone of your treatment regime.

It’s proven to be effective for many users, it’s available without a prescription and you can even buy it online and have it delivered discreetly to your home. 

Used correctly, and particularly in conjunction with finasteride, it’s a great way to fight that sign of aging that no man ever welcomes.

At Alpha, we understand that hair loss sucks. That’s why we’ve developed two treatments to help you keep what you have, and regrow what you’ve lost.

Click here to learn more and place your order today.