"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

What is minoxidil, a hair growth prevention treatment? Here's what the science says.

Hair loss (also often called alopecia) most frequently affects the scalp but can occur anywhere on the body. This could be very common and typically nothing to fret about. with reference to Half Australian male Show signs of visible baldness at age 50. More than a quarter of Australian women Report thinning hair at the identical age. It is commonly genetic.

But when you've noticed hair loss and are frightened about it, see a GP or dermatologist for a diagnosis before trying any treatment. Products claiming to reverse hair loss are all over the place, but they've been scientifically tested to see how well they work.

One group of products which have actually been scientifically tested, nevertheless, are often called topical monoxidil products. These include products like Regaine®.

So, do they work? Here's what the research evidence says, what you'll be able to realistically expect and what you could know when you're considering this treatment.

Hair loss could be very common, and sometimes has a genetic cause.
Tuned in by Westend61/Shutterstock

What is minoxidil – and does it work?

Topical minoxidil often comes as a foam or serum that you simply apply to your scalp.

It has been approved by Administration of therapeutic equipment, the Australian regulatory authority for therapeutic devices, for the treatment of hereditary hair loss in men and girls. Minoxidil can also be available in pill form, however it isn't currently approved for hair loss (more on that later).

So, is topical minoxidil effective? In short – yes, but results vary widely from individual to individual, and it must be used repeatedly for several months to see results.

Scientists don't know exactly how minoxidil works. It can affect different stages of the hair's life cycle, thereby encouraging growth. This too Opens the blood vessels Close to the hair follicles.

This increases blood flow, which in turn provides more oxygen and nutrients to the hair.

Although minoxidil is unlikely to revive a full head of thick, lush hair, it will possibly slow hair loss and Encourage regrowth.

This is the over-the-counter option with essentially the most evidence. Two strengths can be found: 5% and a couple of%.

An evaluation of randomized controlled trials found that minoxidil applied twice every day to the scalp increased the variety of hairs per square centimeter. Eight to fifteen hairshas a rather greater effect with higher potency treatments.

Can I exploit it for non-genetic baldness?

There are many reasons for hair loss. The essential cause in each men and girls is a hereditary condition called androgenic alopecia.

Although topical minoxidil is barely approved to be used in Australia for androgenic alopecia, there may be some evidence that it could help with other conditions that cause hair loss.

For example, it will possibly speed up hair regrowth in patients who've experienced hair loss. Chemotherapy.

Unfortunately, when the hair follicle is destroyed, comparable to after a burn injury, minoxidil isn't effective.

Although small studies have shown promising results using minoxidil to advertise facial hair growth (for Beard or The eyebrows addition), topical minoxidil products usually are not currently approved for this use. More research is required.

Bald man admiring the sunset.
The leading reason behind hair loss is a hereditary condition called androgenic alopecia.

What else do I would like to know?

Minoxidil won't work well for everybody. You may experience a brief increase in initial treatment. hair loss, since it changes the hair cycle to make way for brand spanking new growth. Minoxidil must be tried for 3 to 6 months to see whether it is effective.

And because it doesn't treat hair loss, it is best to. Continued Use it day by day to take care of the effect. If you stop, you'll start losing recent hair growth. Within three to four months.

Minoxidil products is probably not suitable for everybody. If you've a medical condition or take any medications, it is best to talk over with your doctor or pharmacist before using minoxidil products.

It has not been tested for safety. People under 18, over 65 or those who are pregnant..

You can read. Consumer Drug Information Sheet For more information on using over-the-counter minoxidil products.

Many people don't like long-term use of minoxidil solutions or foams because they require every day application, which may be painful. Or they could notice negative effects, comparable to scalp irritation and changes in hair texture.

some people Better tolerate foam products. Compared to solutions, because solutions contain more of a compound called propylene glycol (which might irritate the skin).

A woman saw hair in her hairbrush.
Hair loss affects women too.

What concerning the oral pill type of minoxidil?

Minoxidil can also be available as an oral pill by prescription. While traditionally used for hypertension, it has also been used as a treatment for hair loss.

In 2020, a Systematic review identified 17 studies involving 634 patients using oral minoxidil for various hair loss conditions.

The authors found that oral minoxidil was effective and usually well tolerated in healthy individuals who had difficulty using the topical product.

The review found that oral minoxidil can increase body hair growth and cause cardiovascular negative effects in some patients. More research is required.

In Australia, oral minoxidil is accessible under the trade name Loneton® However, it's currently only approved to be used in hypertension.

When people seek prescription treatment for an unapproved purpose, it is named an “off-label” prescription. Off-label prescribing of oral minoxidil, possibly to be used in alopecia, may contribute. lack of Loniten® tablets in recent times. This can reduce the supply of the drug for individuals who need it for hypertension.