When initiating medical therapy, one of the aspects to pay most attention to is that…
Does the use of minoxidil work to combat hair loss?This is one of the most common questions asked by patients being treated for baldness.
The drug, first introduced for antihypertensive treatment in the 1970s, proved its effectiveness in regrowing hair as well.
Its use today is still very common. But does it really work against baldness? What are its characteristics?
Minoxidil therapy for hair
baldness is a widespread problem that affects men, women and young people. One of the most common cases of baldness is androgenetic alopecia, a hereditary condition that leads to thinning and subsequent hair loss.
In these and other cases, minoxidil is one of the drugs recommended for effective treatment.
We are talking about anactive ingredient that was originally designed to dilate blood vessels and consequently reduce problems related to hypertension.
However, using minoxidil also has effects on hair. Specifically, the molecule affects the life cycle of each hair. The effect is that of an extension of the anagen growth phase of the hair, at the expense of the catagen and telogen phases.
Nowadays, the active ingredient in question is officially approved by the US FDA agency as an effective treatment against androgenetic alopecia.
The treatment with minoxidil
Before starting treatment with minoxidil, it is important to be seen by a specialist in the field, such as a tricologist.
In fact, while in some casesa different therapy may be recommended, in others minoxidil could be harmful or cause side effects to the patient.
There are two main concentrations of the product on the market: the 2% and the 5%. The former is recommended for those suffering from hair loss in the early stages, while the 5% is a stronger dosage more suitable for those in an advanced stage.
Concentrations below 2% cause no effect, while those above 5% cause no benefit but only more side effects.
The duration of treatment with minoxidil is variable butit takes a few months before the first results can be observed.
The fall induced with minoxidil
Beginning about 3-4 weeks after the start of minoxidil therapy, it is even possible to experience induced hair loss. This phenomenon is normal and should not cause concern.
In fact, it is the effect of minoxidil that begins to affect the normal life cycle of the hair.
At this stage, it is important not to panic and not to discontinue therapy. The effect of induced hair loss will only last for a few weeks, and soon, the effects of the medication will be seen.
Warnings and side effects
There are some considerations that you need to keep in mind before using minoxidil.
First, use is not intended for pregnant women and generally for those under 18 years of age.
Using the drug may induce angina phenomena, so systemic administration is contraindicated for patients with heart disease.
The most common side effects include headaches, skin irritation, dermatitis and even hirsutism.
In these cases, before discontinuing treatment, you should notify your primary care physician.