What is Minoxidil for Women?
Minoxidil has been on the market for over 40 years and was originally developed as an oral medication used to treat high blood pressure by opening blood vessels and allowing more blood to flow through them. Doctors observed that patients taking Minoxidil for high blood pressure and also suffered from hair loss or thinning hair began to have thicker and fuller hair. As a result of further investigation, a topical solution of Minoxidil was developed and was applied directly to the scalp as a treatment for thinning hair and hair loss to produce thicker hair and hair regrowth.
What is it Minoxidil for women used for?
Hair loss in women is quite common and minoxidil for women is used by millions of women to increase hair growth and reduce hair thinning. It is important to note that applying Minoxidil to the scalp topically works only if the hair loss is caused by female pattern hair loss or hereditory hair loss and not another condition.
In general, hair grows about half an inch every month. As each hair grows for up to six years, it will stop growing, rest for a while, and eventually fall out, replacing it with a new hair that will grow for six years. The percentage of your hair growing at any given time is about 85 percent, meaning 15 percent of your hair is resting.
However, if you have female pattern hair loss, your hair follicles will become smaller and smaller over time, and the thickness of your hair will be reduced. A smaller follicle means a shorter growth cycle for your hair. Eventually, when strands of hair fall out, they're not replaced with hair of the same thickness. Instead, it is replaced by thinner, finer strands of hair. So your hair won't grow as thick as it did previously
Doctors speculate that female pattern hair loss is caused, among other things, by ageing, genetics, and changes in the level of male hormones, or androgens, after menopause. This is why female pattern hair loss is also called androgenetic alopecia or hereditary hair loss.
How Minoxidil for hair loss works?
Minoxidil is the only drug the FDA approved for treating hair loss in women. As mentioned above, it works by extending the growth phase of the hair follicles.
When your hair grows, rests, and eventually sheds, your hair follicles go through four stages:
The anagen phase. In the hair growth cycle, this is the first phase. The hair grows from barely visible to its full length during this phase. The growth phase can last for years before your hair starts to detach and shed.
The catagen phase. During this phase, your hair follicles begin to shrink and eventually detach from your scalp and fall out.
The telogen phase. This is also called the resting phase, during which the old hair 'rests' under the skin while new hair begins to grow.
The exogen phase. This is also called a "shedding" phase, during which your old hair starts to fall out, and your new hair begins to grow.
It works by improving blood flow to the hair follicles, which allows them to become larger. This means they will produce thicker hair. Minoxidil also works by moving your hair follicles from the resting or shedding stage to the growth stage. Therefore, the hair is growing rather than resting or shedding.
This results in a faster hair cycle, with resting and shedding hairs entering the anagen phase and stimulating new hair growth.
This reactivates dormant hair follicles by telling them to grow again when Minoxidil is used.
It is backed up by a large body of scientific research, unlike many other over-the-counter treatments for hair loss.
How is Minoxidil for women administered?
Make sure the scalp area is clean and dry before applying Minoxidil. If you wish to use this product on damp hair, you can do so. You can either fill the applicator with 1 ml of Minoxidil (up to the 1 ml line) or use 20 drops. After parting your hair, apply the solution evenly to the thinning area of your scalp. Gently rub it in. Before applying other styling products (such as gels or mousse) or going to bed, let the solution dry completely.
You should avoid using Minoxidil on days when your hair is colored or chemically treated (for example, permed) if scalp irritation is an issue.
How long before you see results
The process of regrowing hair takes time. Most people will see benefits from Minoxidil after using it regularly for four months. For hair growth to be maintained, this medication must be used continuously. After using this medication for four to six months, you should visit your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens.
Most 2% minoxidil side effects are mild, with its stronger 5% dose likely causing the most severe reactions. The following are some of the most common side effects you may experience using Minoxidil:
Rashes on the skin
Excessive hair growth
Scaly appearances on the scalp
Allergic skin reactions such as eczema and itchy skin
Before using a topical minoxidil product, try a patch test first to avoid side effects. Doing this lets you understand how your skin reacts when minoxidil solution is applied.
The initial two to four weeks of using Minoxidil may increase hair loss. This is because some of the old hairs are being pushed out and replaced by new hairs. This is a good sign, as it indicates it is working. There is a possibility that Minoxidil can also cause telogen effluvium, which is a form of hair loss that occurs when hairs in the telogen phase (resting phase) begin shedding. Again, these hairs will be replaced with new hairs, which have begun the anagen phase (growth phase).
Who shouldn't use Minoxidil for Women?
Minoxidil shouldn't be used if you have any of the following conditions: scalp diseases such as eczema, infections, cuts, heart problems (such as chest pains, heart attacks, heart failure), kidney diseases, and liver diseases. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use Minoxidil.
You should store Minoxidil for women in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat.