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Minoxidil and Hair Loss


What is Minoxidil?


Minoxidil is a topical remedy used for reducing hair loss and encouraging new hair growth on those suffering from balding. Minoxidil was first introduced into the mass market by the brand name Rogaine.


In the beginning, the topical reformulation of minoxidil was available to patients and potential users through a prescription provided by a doctor. Now, it can be bought off drug stores as an OTC hair loss remedy.


How Minoxidil Works?


It is unclear how this chemical compound encourages hair growth, but it still works. There is one common theory, however. You see, minoxidil was originally prescribed to patients with heart problems. It was used predominantly to lower the blood pressure in patients.


Categorically speaking, oral minoxidil is a vasodilator, which means it has the capacity to open up constricted veins and arteries. It can also cause veins and arteries that are wide open to constrict, if needed. The oral formulation of minoxidil has some minor side effects.


In order to make minoxidil marketable as a remedy for hair loss, these side effects had to be erased from the picture. Therefore, manufacturers and researchers sought a way to remove the side effects.


Logically, without ingesting the minoxidil the side effects won’t manifest. Therefore, the topical formulation was born out of a need to provide a means for people to use the drug.


The Benefits of Minoxidil


The advantages of using the chemical compound as a topical remedy for common and male pattern baldness have been under scrutiny since the eighties. Like most topical formulations, researchers are more interested with knowing which concentration was more effective in producing positive results.


Two concentrations of minoxidil were used during the early controlled, clinical trials of minoxidil. There was a 5% formulation and a 2% formulation of the drug. Guess which formulation provided better results?


It was the 5% formulation that provided better results. Minoxidil helped in two ways:


• It promoted some hair growth on affected regions of the scalp

• Minoxidil also promoted less hair fall in the affected regions of the scalp


If only generic 2% formulations of minoxidil are available, you may also make use of such brands. A 2% formulation would still produce the same effects as the 5% formulation, though to a lesser degree.


The Side Effects of Minoxidil


Irritation may take place when you use minoxidil. The irritation may manifest on the scalp itself or on the surrounding skin surfaces where the minoxidil may drip when you apply it on a daily basis.


To remedy this basic side effect, make sure that you’re very careful with the application of minoxidil. Avoid rubbing the formulation on other parts of your face if you don’t want irritated spots to emerge.


Another basic side effect is the growth of hair in unwanted areas. This is also the result of lettering the chemical compound touch areas other than those that are affected by alopecia.


Unwanted hair may be removed by different approaches. You may make use of laser therapy as well, though you might be spending far more than you had intended.



READ THE FULL: 10 Hair Loss Medications, Vitamins and Herbs