What is Minoxidil used for?
Minoxidil is a local vasodilator, which promotes an improvement of capillary microcirculation, and also acts to increase the prolongation of cell multiplication and the hair growth phase (anagen phase).
How does this drug work?
Minoxidil improves capillary microcirculation and increases cell multiplication and the hair growth phase (anagen phase).
Who can use minoxidil?
Minoxidil can be used for alopecia and hair loss in men and women. As a general rule, 5% is recommended for men and 3-4% for women to prevent the development of facial hair (hirsutism), which is described in 5-10% of cases.
Use of minoxidil after hair transplantation
- It is started 15 days after hair transplantation.
- It has the effect of reducing the Shock Loss (post surgical effluvium).
- It accelerates the growth of transplanted hair.
- It is believed that its mechanism of action is the opening of potassium and nitric oxide channels, thus improving vasodilation.
Step-by-step minoxidil foam application
In addition to the 2%, 3%, 4% and 5% concentrations in which minoxidil is available for the treatment of alopecia and hair loss, there are several dosage forms.
Most patients prefer application at night, as it works while they sleep and the hair can be washed the next day before returning to daily life.
Hair treatment with Minoxidil foam is the format preferred by many, its application is as follows:
- For the application of minoxidil it is advisable to have dry and clean hair.
- We put minoxidil foam in the palm of the hand the size of a walnut for each area of the scalp that we are going to massage. (the areas are: frontal line, receding hairline and crown of the head).
- Next, spread the foam massaging in circles until the topical is absorbed by the scalp.
- Repeat the same procedure with each zone until all of them are completed. Remember that, to facilitate absorption, it is advisable to gently massage the scalp in each area to be treated.
- Once finished, it is very important to wash your hands with soap, cleaning any remaining residue on your hand.
- Avoid contact of minoxidil in the eyes, rinse with plenty of water immediately if it happens.
- It should be applied once or twice a day, depending on how advanced the alopecia is.
- Remember, it should be applied directly on the scalp with dry hair.
- In order to obtain good results, the use must be continuous to have noticeable effects from the 4th-6th month.
- It is very important to know that once you start using it, you have to keep it for life. If you stop taking it, the hair loss will return.
Side effects of Minoxidil
Generally speaking, minoxidil is well tolerated when used topically (scalp application) with few side effects that tend to diminish with continued treatment.
The most common side effect is:
- Allergic reaction due to contact dermatitis, usually caused by the irritant action of alcoholic vehicle propylene glycol.
- Nowadays it is possible to buy lotions with minoxidil without propylene glycol, which reduce the risk of allergic reactions to this drug.
- Hypertrichosis in unwanted areas where there has been contact with minoxidil.
- Rarely headaches.
- Despite the possible adverse reactions described above, as a general rule it is well tolerated by most users who apply it correctly.
What you need to know about Minoxidil treatment
- Between the 3rd and 6th week after starting Minoxidil treatment, a DreadShed phenomenon can be observed, which is temporary hair loss.
- During the beginning of the treatment, there is an acceleration of the loss of weak and miniaturized hair to allow the passage of new strong and healthy hair. This phenomenon means a positive effect indicative that the current medication in the organism favorably.
- Minoxidil is usually administered in conjunction with other medications to promote hair growth, this joint administration being much more effective for hair growth.
- The drug should not be used in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and should be avoided or used with caution in hypotensive patients (low blood pressure) or with severe heart problems.
- The effect of minoxidil is not immediate. In the first few months, there may even be an increase in hair loss, and this is normal.
- It is important to be aware of this so as not to abandon the treatment because you think it is not working.