Updated: Jun 15, 2022
Most of us find hair loss to be a very distressing experience. While some men embrace their baldness, it is quite common for a person to develop certain insecurities and experience a loss of confidence as a result of chronic hair loss. According to the US National Library of Medicine, male pattern baldness affects more than half of all men over the age of 50.
This has resulted in numerous innovations in the field of hair loss, particularly for men, to either temporarily or permanently solve hair loss. As a result, there is a massive market for any new product that can effectively halt pattern baldness, and a number of European biotechs see this as an opportunity.
Several biotechs have products in late-stage clinical trials, some of which may become the first novel drug treatments for baldness in 20 years, thanks to several research breakthroughs in the science behind hair growth. One such revolutionary invention was the formulation of Minoxidil.
Minoxidil was initially prescribed as an oral drug to treat high blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Still, doctors noticed that it had an effect on hair growth throughout the body as a side effect of the drug. Minoxidil was found to cause increased growth and darkening of fine hair. Minoxidil was studied further, and a topical solution for hair growth was developed. 2400 patients were evaluated across 27 centres in the United States to confirm that a 5% minoxidil solution could help patients with androgenetic alopecia grow hair. Finally, the US FDA issued a green light to minoxidil in 1982 after concluding that topical application of minoxidil has no effect on blood pressure.
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment for hair loss. It is available in foam or serum form and is effective for hair regrowth. Minoxidil treats hair thinning and baldness on the scalp, and also promotes beard growth. It revitalises and expands your hair follicles, promoting the natural growth of thicker hair.
How was it formulated?
Minoxidil is a piperidine-pyrimidine derivative with the chemical formula: oxidation of 2,6-diamino-4-piperidinopyrimidine-1 (C9H15N5O). 2 Minoxidil solution (MS) contains inactive ingredients such as water, as well as ethanol and propylene glycol (PG), which act as vehicles to increase minoxidil solubility. Although PG aids in drug delivery into hair follicles, its frequent induction of local irritation led to the development of a PG-free minoxidil foam (MF). The foam formulation contains non-medical ingredients such as cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and butylated hydroxytoluene.
How does Minoxidil work?
The topical application of minoxidil (directly on the scalp) helps widen blood vessels, improving blood flow even more.
Furthermore, it improves the nutrient and oxygen supply to the follicles, promoting growth. However, there is no exact mechanism or validation of its function, but it aids in the transition of hair follicles from the resting phase, or telogen, to the growth phase or anagen.
The application of minoxidil appears to help lengthen the anagen phase, resulting in thicker or longer hair.
Minoxidil For Hair Loss
Minoxidil is an effective treatment for male pattern baldness. An older 2002 study discovered that participants who used 5% topical minoxidil versus 2% topical minoxidil experienced faster results and 45 per cent more hair regrowth over the course of 48 weeks.
Minoxidil has also been shown in studies to help awaken dormant hair follicles. It can be used as a gel, foam, or solution. The skin absorbs approximately 2% of the medicine in a topical application (involving a low drug concentration). It increases the rate and thickness of hair growth.
One of its primary applications, also known as vasodilation, is to expand blood vessels. During the anagen phase, expanded blood vessels cause hair follicles to feed the hair growth. It slows the rate at which hair falls out, giving the hair a thicker, more filled-out appearance. Even though it is a prescription based product, you can consider using Minoxidil 5% based hair serums for hair loss and re-growth, after consulting a dermatologist.
Minoxidil For Beard Growth
Minoxidil helps treat thinning of hair and balding on the scalp and enhances beard growth. This may help your hair grow thicker by revitalising and increasing hair follicle size. This may help your hair grow thicker and thicker by revitalising and increasing the size of your hair follicles. A group of Thai researchers investigated the use of minoxidil on the face. According to the study, minoxidil serums can be applied to the face to encourage and enhance beard hair growth. The side effects were minor, and minoxidil was more effective than placebo in accelerating beard growth. You can try BeardMax 5% Minoxidil beard growth serum by Man Matters, which is one of the best patchy beard solutions that is clinically proven and tested.
Before taking Minoxidil Medication
When using any medicine, it is important to know whether it poses any risks or not. Here are some things to consider before taking minoxidil:
Allergies: Consult your doctor if you have any allergies to medications, dyes, foods, or preservatives.
Medical problems: The presence of any medical problems may have an impact on your health while using it. It includes heart disease and scalp issues such as burning, irritation, or sunburn.
Other drug usages: Using two different medications may result in a reaction. As a result, if you are taking any other medication, consult your doctor. They would either recommend different doses or take precautions.
Pro Tip: Minoxidil solutions are prescription-based medications, and it’s based to consult with a doctor first before using this, to avoid risks.
How To Use Minoxidil?
According to research, the application of minoxidil begins and continues to work when used consistently.
You may notice that hair in some areas thickens and becomes less prone to male-pattern baldness. However, for best results, it must be used correctly.
1. Minoxidil For Hair
Here are the steps to use the minoxidil topical solution for hair:
It is important to dry the hair before applying the solution thoroughly.
1 ml of the solution should be filled into the dropper (provided with the solution).
Using a dropper, apply to patchy or bald areas. Part the hair properly so that the solution can reach the scalp.
Allow the solution to sit for 4-5 hours after rubbing it along the scalp with your fingers.
Finally, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and lukewarm water.
2. Minoxidil For Beard
Here are the steps to use the minoxidil topical solution for beard:
Wash your face with water or a gentle face wash and pat dry
Take 1 ml of Minoxidil for beard growth in dropper and apply all over the beard area
Gently massage this beard growth serum into the skin
Once done, cleanse your hands
Note: Apply daily. Minoxidil for beard works best when used on slightly damp skin. Your face should not be dripping with water, but it should not be completely dry either.
Minoxidil is a vasodilator that increases blood flow to the hair follicles. Increased blood flow promotes hair growth. Regularity, on the other hand, is crucial.
A missed dose or abrupt discontinuation of the product may affect blood flow and nutrient supply to the follicles. If you have any medical conditions, you should also see a doctor.
A proper dose, necessary precautions, and meticulous monitoring of side effects provide critical benefits.
Author Bio: Dr Naveen has done his MBBS from Jinan University, P.R China. He has worked as an assistant in Dermatology and Medicine department and has overall 7 years of experience. He believes in a holistic approach towards treatment and approaches each individual in a unique manner and believes in maintaining total confidentiality with the patient.