Understanding Minoxidil: Your Go-To Guide
If you have been dealing with hair thinning or hair loss, you have most likely been recommended minoxidil in some form. Minoxidil is one of the most popular topical hair growth treatments on the market today, one that has yielded significant results for many who have used it.
It’s an over-the-counter medicine that you can find at any pharmacy or even supermarket near you, making it one of the most accessible hair growth treatments out there, as well as one with some of the greatest potential to do great things for your hair.
This post serves as your go-to guide to using minoxidil as part of your hair care regimen. Minoxidil is one of the best hair growth treatments on the market, and it can play a key role in your progress towards a full, healthy head of hair.
Keep reading to learn more about minoxidil -- we’ll cover the treatment’s uses, how to use it, side effects, and the best additional products to pair with it.
First, why am I losing hair?
Before we get into the details on minoxidil, we first need to talk about hair loss. If your hair is thinning out in certain areas or if parts of your head are going completely bald, you are likely experiencing androgenic alopecia.
Don’t let the name scare you – androgenic alopecia is extremely common, affecting half of men and a quarter of women over the age of 50. It’s the scientific name for male or female pattern baldness, terms that you are probably more familiar with.
The primary cause of androgenic alopecia is a hormone called dihydrotesterone, or DHT for short. DHT is a male sex hormone, also known as an androgen. Androgens are present in the bodies of both men and women, but are present in much higher levels in men.
The higher androgen levels in the male body account for many of the physical differences between the sexes, and the androgen DHT even plays a crucial role in forming the male anatomy in utero. DHT is the reason why, when a young man reaches puberty, he starts growing facial hair, experiences a deepening of his voice, and sees other changes in his body. It is an extremely important hormone that regulates aspects of the male and female body.
However, DHT also plays a major role in male and female pattern baldness. If you are a man in the latter half of adulthood, you may notice that your hairline is receding or that a bald spot has started to form on the crown of your head. If you are a woman, you are less likely to experience androgenic alopecia, but if you do, you may notice thinning of your hair that is especially visible in the divide on the top of your head.
The thinning of your hair in these areas often occurs due to higher levels of DHT in your body, which can increase the speed at which your hair falls out and grows back, but also can shorten and thin out your hair as it regrows. Increased DHT levels in your body as you age can also cause a longer amount of time to elapse between your hair shedding and growing back, a process that normally occurs over the course of a few years.
Hair loss can have a negative impact on your life, but minoxidil can help.
Whether you are a man or a woman, androgenic alopecia can take a toll on your confidence, making you feel frustrated and discouraged. If you are noticing your hair thinning out or even watching parts of your head go bald, don’t let it get you down – there are hair loss treatments available that have led to success for many.
Minoxidil has a strong reputation as a hair growth treatment and is often used to treat male and female pattern hair loss.
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, was originally developed for treating high blood pressure. However, its main use eventually became stimulating hair growth for men and women dealing with DHT-related hair loss since it worked so well for it as a side effect. Minoxidil is available in 2% and 5% topical solutions without a prescription, making it easy to obtain it and get started with in your hair care routine.
Rogaine is said to increase blood flow to the scalp, helping to speed up your hair growth cycle and make sure your hair follicles get what they need to function well. In clinical trials and studies, minoxidil has performed well, and is FDA-approved.
However, as with many hair treatments, the results of using minoxidil vary from person to person. Some users experience a noticeable decrease in hair loss but no hair regrowth while using minoxidil. Others see both a decrease in hair loss and an increase in hair regrowth.
Are there any side effects with minoxidil?
Minoxidil’s main potential side effect is a dry, irritated scalp while using the treatment. Some users of minoxidil have also noticed the treatment changing the color and texture of their hair.
To help you deal with the irritation and dryness that may be caused while using minoxidil, we included the hydrating and moisturizing ingredient argan oil in our hair growth-promoting shampoo and conditioner.
Argan oil is a naturally-derived ingredient that is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, helping to keep your hair healthy and your scalp moisturized. Argan oil is perfect for balancing out the potential negative effects of minoxidil on your scalp.
How do I make the most of minoxidil?
Minoxidil is best used in tandem with a high-quality shampoo and conditioner that contain ingredients that benefit your hair and scalp health. Our Shampoo & Conditioner is made with a specialized combination of DHT blockers and other ingredients that are beneficial for your hair, especially when it comes to your follicles and scalp.
The formula includes natural DHT blockers stinging nettle, saw palmetto, and licorice root extract, as well as biotin, caffeine, argan oil, and niacinamide. Each of these ingredients can benefit your hair and scalp in different ways, and helps to keep the side effects of minoxidil at bay while nourishing and supporting overall hair health.
Biotin is an antioxidant that can help keep your hair strong and healthy by increasing the production of keratin in your hair. Keratin is a protein that increases the strength of your hair, and its production can slow down as you age due to increased oxidative stress. If your hair is weakened by oxidative stress and insufficient keratin production, it may be more prone to breaking and becoming brittle, causing you discomfort and frustration that could be made worse by the potential side effects of minoxidil. To keep these potential pitfalls at bay, a combination of biotin to increase keratin production and argan oil to moisturize your hair and scalp can make a huge difference.
Overall, minoxidil is one of the most promising hair growth treatments on the market. It is available over the counter, meaning you can easily get it without a prescription from your doctor. However, it is best paired with a great shampoo and conditioner that are packed with ingredients that support hair growth and work to block DHT.
Our formula is designed to mitigate any irritation or dryness caused by using minoxidil, so we highly recommend pairing the treatment with washing your hair daily with groMD’s Shampoo & Conditioner combo.
Hair loss can be frustrating, but that doesn’t mean there is no hope for your head. By building up a strong line of defense against DHT, oxidative stress, and other potential causes of hair thinning and hair loss, you can significantly improve the health and fullness of your hair for years to come.
Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.