Minoxidil is one of only two FDA approved medications for hair loss sufferers, and the only one for women. Here is what you need to know.
Minoxidil – Where It Came From
A pharmaceutical business called the Upjohn Company produced a drug called Minoxidil back in 1963 with the intention of treating ulcers. Minoxidil was a vasolidator, a drug which relaxes smooth muscle cells inside the walls of blood vessels and makes the vessels wider. So it was originally marketed as a blood pressure medicine. During one of it’s FDA tests it was discovered that the drug had another significant benefit, it promoted hair growth. Upjohn took the smart decision to rebrand their drug as a medication for hair loss sufferers, and never looked back. Today Upjohn is a part of one of the world’s largest companies, Pfizer, and the drug they developed is sold around the world under various names, Gainehair, Hairex and Hygaine but predominantly it is marketed as Rogaine.
So How Does It Work?
It might surprise you to learn that the answer to how does it work is that we just do not know. Well, not for sure anyway. A well-educated guess would be that the dilation of the blood vessels allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach the follicle and encourages more hair to grow than would otherwise have been the case.
How Long to See Results, How Long Do They Last?
It is necessary to apply Minoxidil once or twice a day, every day. On the Rogaine website it tells you that you will need to wait at least four months for any results to be seen. So there is a considerable commitment required. For many the Minoxodil will simply not work, for the rest the commitment is for life. Any benefits will disappear within months if use is discontinued.
What Are the Dangers?
Minoxodil is an FDA approved medicine. That means it has been tested and rated safe to use. That is not quite the same thing as having no side effects though and Minoxodil does have a few recognised issues. Hypersensitivity, dryness and dandruff are all associated. There is also the possibility of allergic reactions to the the chemicals used to carry the Minoxidil, propylene glycol is is used in many versions and is known to trigger reactions in some users. Worth mentioning also that,because of the changes in the hair cycle triggered by the drug it can, in some rare users, cause hair loss.
HIS Hair Clinic
Minoxidil is a great solution for many men and women. If you start treatment early enough, at the point where your temples are receding and you are just beginning to lose hair at the crown, it can stave off further hair loss effectively for a long time. The only FDA approved alternative comes with much more significant side-effects leaving Minoxidil the clear winner in our opinion. Bear in mind though that for a significant percentage of users Minoxidil simply will not work, and you will need to wait months to find that out. By which time the situation will have deteriorated further and you will need to make a new choice.
If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our friendly team of experts, simply complete the contact form at the side of this page. Or click here to find your nearest clinic.