Factors to Know About Minoxidil

Factors to Know About Minoxidil
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Our genetics are responsible for many of our wonderful traits, but they also come with other less-thrilling traits, like male pattern hair loss and hair thinning. Many people consider a head full of hair key to their appearance and identity, which is why it can be distressing when your hair starts thinning or falling out.

If you are not ready for male baldness just yet, two types of medication can be prescribed: Minoxidil and finasteride. Although both medications are effective in treating hair loss, they work differently. In this article, we’ll outline things you need to know about minoxidil.

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is a highly effective over-the-counter medication for hair loss and thinning. It can either be applied topically or orally to stimulate hair growth in both men and women.

How does Minoxidil work?

Originally, minoxidil was used as an oral medication for hypertension, and reversal of male pattern hair loss and hair growth were noted as side effects. This led to further research, which resulted in the development of topical minoxidil for treating male pattern baldness.

Minoxidil is a vasodilator, meaning it opens the blood vessels, increasing the supply of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to hair follicles. This helps to strengthen the existing hair and encourages them to grow. In addition, this medication helps to expand hair follicles, which promotes the growth of thicker, stronger hairs.

How long does it take to work?

Minoxidil is not a magical treatment, and it can take time before you start noticing the first signs of the treatment. Hair regrowth in men is usually noticeable after four months, and major signs of the treatment are evident after around six months. The full effects of minoxidil medication are usually evident after nine to 12 months.

The key question, however, is what happens when you stop using minoxidil. After a few years of treatment, when you have successfully regrown thick, healthy hair, you may be tempted to stop the treatment. Unfortunately, you will need to keep using Minoxidil to avoid becoming bald again. It is important to note that although minoxidil treats hair loss, it’s not a permanent cure. It takes about three months to shed the new hair regrowth if you stop using this medication.

Minoxidil side effects

Little topical minoxidil is absorbed in the body, which means side effects or risks are not common. However, some people may experience the following side effects:

  • Scalp irritation: You might experience irritation and itchiness of the scalp after using liquid minoxidil. This is because one of the ingredients that form liquid minoxidil is propylene glycol. The irritation is usually an allergic reaction to propylene glycol. If you experience scalp irritation after using liquid minoxidil, you can opt for foam minoxidil, which does not contain propylene glycol
  • Unwanted hair growth: Although rare, some people may experience unwanted hair growth in other areas, such as the face. You can prevent this by ensuring you rinse other body parts that may have come into contact with minoxidil


Minoxidil is probably the most popular first-line treatment for hair loss. It tends to work better when used in the early stages of hair loss, so if you start experiencing hair loss, it should be among your first treatments.



South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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