Minoxidil for hair loss

Does Minoxidil work for a receding hairline?

Minoxidil is a popular treatment for hair loss in both men and women, known under the brand name Regaine. It’s most effective in the early stages of hair loss, and in some cases can even cause hair to regrow. 

 

How does Minoxidil work? 

Minoxidil is a type of medicine known as an antihypertensive vasodilator. It’s thought to work by widening the blood vessels in the hair follicles, allowing oxygen and blood to flow easier to the area. The treatment is applied directly to the scalp in order to stimulate the hair follicles- which shrink as a result of alopecia- hair loss in both men and women. 

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How do I use Minoxidil? 

Minoxidil is a long term treatment that should be applied twice daily- for both men and women. Always apply the dose specified on the instructions. 

There are three types of applicators- a pump spray, extended spray applicator and a dropper. Which one you use will depend on how big or small the area is. 

For the pump sprays, prepare the mixture by releasing a couple of sprays into the air before using. Then aim the spray towards the middle of the balding patch, repeating as many times as specified on the packet. For the dropper application, fill it up with the liquid and release it onto the appropriate section of hair. 

 

How long does it take to work? 

Minoxidil is a long term treatment and takes time to make a difference to your hair. Generally, you can expect to see results after 4 months of using it. You will need to keep using it in order to maintain your hair and prevent further hair loss though if you stop taking it the hair will begin to fall out again after 3-4 months. 

 

What are the side effects? 

Like any medication, you might experience side effects by using Minoxidil. Headaches are the most common side effect alongside: 

  • Itching
  • A rash
  • Hair growth in other areas
  • Dermatitis 

Less common side effects might include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Irritation in the eye
  • Acne
  • Changes in the hair colour or texture
  • Temporary hair loss

Seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any of these side effects. 

 

Where can I get Minoxidil? 

You don’t need a prescription to get Minoxidil and it’s available from most pharmacies. The treatment isn’t suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women or those who have high blood pressure. Before you use it, make sure you review the information leaflet to make sure Minoxidil is appropriate for you. 

 

Sources

  1. Medicines.org> Minoxidil: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.8303.pdf

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