Minoxidil: A Quick Way to Solve the Hair Loss Problem

Hair loss is something that no one wishes to go through.

Many people have done everything possible to maintain their crowning glory for as long as humanly possible.

But when that time comes, are you prepared for it? Do you know what treatment to consider?

What could be the possible causes? And does Minoxidil works wonder for hair baldness?

Let’s find out!

Why am I experiencing hair loss?

That’s the first question you will ask when you start noticing hair in your shower drain.

Do you have any idea why your hair is falling out? You may be surprised by the answers. Many people experience unexpected hair loss, and the majority of hair loss has a cause — whether it’s hereditary, stress, diet, treatment, or even medical conditions.

The most common form of hair loss is inherited alopecia, also known as androgenetic alopecia. Hair loss is progressive with inherited hair loss, and hair loss worsens with age. Other factors, however, can cause your hair to fall out in some cases. If your once thick, healthy hair unexpectedly and visibly starts to fall out, it’s more than likely that a nongenetic factor is to blame.

The average person loses 50 to 100 hairs every day. Since new hair is developing on your scalp simultaneously, this hair loss does not usually result in hair thinning. However, sudden hair loss should be taken seriously. According to the Mayo Clinic, hair loss occurs when the hair follicle is damaged and replaced with scar tissue or when the cycle of hair growth and shedding is interrupted.

Androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss, affecting about 80 million people in the United States alone, both men and women. Hereditary hair loss causes a widening portion in the front and middle of the scalp and generalized thinning in women, while bald patches appear in men.

Measuring Hair Loss with Norwood Scale

Male-pattern baldness is measured using the Norwood scale.

Source: Hims

A receding, M-shaped hairline can identify it. The hair on the top of your head then begins to thin, leaving a bald spot. The two eventually cross, and you deal with a horseshoe pattern of hair across your sides.

Factors that can result in hair loss

Many factors can cause hair baldness, including:

  • Age 
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and lupus
  • Medication or major surgery
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress

Autoimmune diseases

Alopecia areata is one example of an autoimmune disease that can cause hair loss without warning. It is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its hair. This autoimmune condition causes smooth, circular patches of baldness on the scalp and other parts of the body in healthy people. Alopecia areata can be treated, so talk to your dermatologist about it.

Chemotherapy

Hair loss may occur as a result of radiation therapy or major surgery. Even though the sudden experience of your hair falling out is upsetting, it should go away once the procedure is ended.

Prescription Medication

Hair fall is one of the possible side effects of certain prescription drugs. Blood thinners, vitamin A supplements, certain arthritis drugs, antidepressants, gout medication, medication for some heart conditions, blood pressure medication, and birth control pills are examples of medications that can lead to hair loss.

Your doctor might be willing to recommend an alternative medicine if a prescription medication is causing baldness.

Thyroid Disease

Hair loss is a common symptom of many medical conditions, including thyroid disease. Thyroid disorder is a hormonal condition in which the body develops too much or not enough thyroid hormone.

Your hair can fall out in a general pattern or circular patches if your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive. Thyroid disease treatment can typically help with the sudden hair loss caused by thyroid disease.

Hair appliances can cause hair to become brittle

The loss of a single strand of hair is not the only cause of hair loss. Some types can be caused by hair trauma, which causes hair strands to split. Certain hair appliances that use high heat to style your hair can cause breakage and harm, appearing as baldness.

Blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, and other devices that add heat to your hair are among the damaging hair appliances that cause sudden hair loss. When you use these hot hair appliances on wet hair, they boil the water in your hair shaft, making your hair brittle.

Unhealthy Diets Can Result in Sudden Hair Baldness

Hair loss will occur if you don’t get the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body requires from your diet. Too little protein in your diet, for example, will harm healthy hair and prevent your body from developing new hair follicles.

You might notice that visible hair loss will occur after two to three months on a protein-deficient diet. Extremely restrictive weight-loss diets can result in noticeable hair loss, usually three months after losing 15 pounds or more.

Psychological Stress

Hair loss may occur as a result of extreme psychological stress in some instances. If you’ve had a stressful experience, it’s not uncommon for your hair to start falling out in clumps a few months later.

Baldness caused by stress usually is temporary, and after six to eight months, you should expect your hair to stop shedding and slowly begin growing back.

Trichotillomania

Also known as “hair-pulling disorder,” Trichotillomania is a type of mental disorder. It’s an impulse control disorder that primarily affects teens, particularly teenage girls. People with Trichotillomania feel compelled to pull their hair out impulsively and frequently, resulting in noticeable hair loss.

Trichotillomania is a condition in which people feel compelled to pull hair from their scalp, eyelashes, nose, eyebrows, and other parts of their bodies.

Fungal Infections

A scalp infection may be the source of your hair loss in some cases. Ringworm is a fungus that is particularly prevalent in infants. Tinea capitis, or ringworm of the scalp, may cause your scalp to become scaly, and your hair falls out in patches. This fungus is quickly treated with antifungal treatment, which will prevent hair loss.

Hair loss may also be caused by other underlying medical conditions like diabetes, lupus, and anemia. Consult your doctor about options for treating the disease and reversing hair loss.

Minoxidil for Male Hair Loss

There are two FDA-approved drugs to treat male trait baldness, affecting 35 million men in the United States. The drug Minoxidil is one of them.

The top and leading brands for Minoxidil include Rogaine, Hims, and Keeps.

Read our comparison post Rogaine vs. Hims: Best Solution for Hair Loss Treatment.

When used once or twice a day, the medication can avoid hair loss caused by male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia) in some men. Minoxidil (Rogaine) will also induce new hair growth if you’re lucky. The trick is to start using it as soon as you notice you’re losing hair and keeping using it to maintain the results.

However, Minoxidil has benefits and drawbacks, but it can be very beneficial for many men.

How Minoxidil Works

According to Lance Barazani, MD, a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology in Roslyn, N.Y., Minoxidil was originally a blood pressure drug that was taken by mouth. Doctors found, however, that when people took the medication, they experienced hair growth in particular areas of their bodies, he says.

The doctor said studies have shown that the drug can trigger hair growth in some people when given topically.

It acts as a hair loss treatment by extending the hair’s growth process. According to Dr. Barazani, each hair goes through a growth period in which it grows for around 1,000 days before falling out.

Hair follicles become miniaturized in men with male pattern baldness, and hair becomes more refined and more delicate. It occurs after puberty and is linked to androgens or male sex hormones. The hairline recedes with time, and the hair around the crown of the head thins.

The drug is available in two concentrations: 2% and 5%. Minoxidil 2% is formulated for women, while Minoxidil 5% is formulated for men.

The following dosage forms are available for this product

  • Foam
  • Solution

Source: Keeps

You can read our post Minoxidil Foam vs. Liquid; Which one is for you?  If you want to learn more about the Minoxidil in foam and liquid form.

Advantages of Minoxidil

If you’ve recently started losing your hair, Minoxidil might be a good option for hair loss treatment. The following are some of the benefits of doing so:

It works, especially for young men. You have the best chance of responding to Minoxidil as a therapy if you start it early, particularly if you’re a man in his twenties with thinning hair and a father and uncle who have male pattern baldness.

It’s available over-the-counter. It is not mandatory to get a doctor’s prescription. Minoxidil is available at your nearest drugstore, but some physicians advise consulting your primary care physician or dermatologist before beginning treatment on your own.

Disadvantages of Minoxidil

There also are some downsides to using Minoxidil, including:

It may be overpriced. A three-month supply of Minoxidil 5 percent will cost about $40.

However, Barazani points out that minoxidil 2 percent was historically only available by prescription and could cost up to $100 per bottle, which was not covered by insurance. Men can now get Minoxidil 5 percent (which is more than twice as powerful as the original prescription formula) for a lot less money.

He claims that four bottles can be purchased for around $50 at a discount warehouse store if you are a budget shopper.

It isn’t suitable for everybody. Minoxidil is most effective for young men who are just beginning to lose hair. Minoxidil would not allow anyone who is already bald to develop new hair. Furthermore, while some men will be able to grow new hair with the treatment, others will only be able to avoid hair loss, and some will not be able to grow new hair at all.

Hair loss will continue if you delay. If you stop taking the drug, your hair will thin again.

It can be awkward. According to Barazani, applying it to the scalp can be difficult for some men. While it is recommended that the solution be applied twice daily, Barazani claims that certain men will get away with only doing so once.

Check out our related post and learn more about Finasteride For Hair Loss.

Men should pick one drug and try it for a year before adding another to the mix, according to Barazani. You won’t know which one works if you try them both simultaneously, so you’ll have to keep using them, he says.

Meanwhile, it’s comforting to realize that appropriate medication is available without a prescription.

Proper Use

It is essential that you take this drug exactly as prescribed. Please do not take more of it or take it more often than your doctor has prescribed. Doing so would likely increase the possibility of it being absorbed through the skin.

Do not apply Minoxidil to other areas of the body for the same purpose. Absorption into the body can hurt the heart and blood vessels.

On the same skin region where you’re using Minoxidil, don’t use any other skin products. Hair coloring, permanents, and relaxers can all be used when on minoxidil treatment as long as the scalp is cleaned just before applying the color, permanent, or relaxer.

Minoxidil should not be used for at least 24 hours before or during a hair procedure.

Make sure you don’t double the minoxidil doses to make up for any missing ones.

For additional reading:

Hair Loss Treatments You Need to Learn Now 

Best Hair Loss Treatments For Men in 2021

Rogaine vs. Hims: Best Solution for Hair Loss Treatment

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