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Minoxidil is a medication originally conceived to treat hypertension. When used on oral form (pills), it generated hair growth on the face and limbs, which prompted scientists to investigate its effectiveness on the treatment of baldness and hair loss.


Minoxidil as a Hair Loss Treatment

It is known that Minoxidil produces a vasodilation effect, which promotes an improvement in the micro-circulation at the scalp (capillary micro-circulation). It also acts improving the cellular proliferation and in lengthening the growth phase of hair (anagen phase).

By regulating the hair follicle growth cycle, it reverts the hair miniaturization process present in androgenic baldness. Its action only takes place in the follicles during miniaturization. It neither works in follicles that are already completely miniaturized or on normal follicles, meaning, it can't revert the hair loss. 

How to use Minoxidil?

It may be used orally (tablets) or topically (in lotions). However, in the case of hair care should be avoided the use of tablets in order to reduce side effects.

The Minoxidil lotion must be applied on the scalp with dry hair.

In order to obtain best results, the lotion must be used in a continuous manner. In general Minoxidil is well tolerated when applied topically (local application) with little side effects, which tends to decrease as the treatment goes on.


Common side effects:

  • Allergic reaction (contact dermatitis type): usually occurs by the action irritating propylene glycol (alcohol). Today you can purchase lotions with minoxidil without propylene glycol, which decreased the risk of allergic reactions.
  • Facial hypertrichosis (increased facial hair): is uncommon in men and occurs mostly in women, an average of 3 to 7% of cases.
  • The drug should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, and should be avoided or used with caution in patients with hypotension (low blood pressure) or have significant heart disease.
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