Hair Loss Treatment: Minoxidil

What is Minoxidil?

Minoxidil is an antihypertensive vasodilator medication that basically slows and stops hair loss, and promotes hair re-growth. Interestingly, it was initially used as a medication to treat high blood pressure but was later discovered to have a side effect of promoting hair growth. From then on studies were conducted to further determine the efficacy of minoxidil in treating hair loss and balding. Now it is available over the counter under the trade names Rogaine/Regaine, Vanarex, Mintop and Loniten (oral), and Avacor Physician's Formulation.

Minoxidil is the only drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness. Based on previous studies it promotes hair growth in 20-25% of women. According to PubMed, while results vary widely from one person to the next, minoxidil has proven to be effective in stopping and reversing hair loss.

Product Limitations

Another downside is that it must be used continuously, sometimes two times per day, in order for it to be effective. Additionally, hair growth only occurs after the medicine has been used for several months, sometimes even up to one year. Therefore, the time lag between first application and hair growth can be lengthy.

If you're in the process of trying a product that contains minoxidil or are thinking about it, consider an integrated approach to tackling hair loss.

Hair Additions to Partner Treatment

Since it may take some time to see results, purchasing a hair addition is a perfect option for women who are in the process of using a product that contains minoxidil. Other options that women may also consider are laser hair loss treatments.

Hair additions may include but are not limited to: hair replacement systems, hair extensions, hair prostheses, and high quality human hair wigs. Today’s hair additions are not simply a pull off the shelf and stick on your head accessory. Women meet with an expert and decide exactly what type of hair addition, colour, texture, and style is right for them. 

When it comes to selecting a wig or hair replacement solution, it's best to do your homework. In the case of wigs for chemotherapy related hair loss, women who visit a hair loss professional before losing their hair will find it much easier to select a wig that matches the color and style of their natural hair (including highlights and lowlights).

Wigs range in price, style, and texture. Purchasing a wig or hair prosthesis that is made specifically for you could be the one saving grace that gets you through bad hair days. If you're interested in learning more about individually customised hair loss solutions for women, contact our hair consultant in your area.

If you're thinking about using a product that contains minoxidil, make sure you look at all your options and learn about the pros and cons of each. It would be helpful to have a thorough conversation with a physician and with others who are going through a similar situation to determine which option is right for you.

References
MINOXIDIL - ORAL (Loniten) side effects, medical uses, and drug interactions | MedicineNet

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