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Minoxidil - Does it REALLY work?

Updated on October 20, 2012

Minoxidil Works!

If you are reading the article you are most likely suffering from hair loss. And you have most likely scoured the internet for you options on how to prevent it or even get your hair back. You have probably come across Minoxidil before and know how what it does but want to know if it REALLY works before committing to spending money and squirting the stuff into your hair every morning and night.

Minoxidil one of the only FDA approved hair loss treatments available although there are many other natural products which have proven to have great results in clinical studies which are not FDA approved, so in you search to fight hair loss do not limit yourself to FDA approved only or you will be very limited indeed. But being FDA approved shows that it had been proven to show results and to be safe.

In a clinical trial of men using topical minoxidil for one year

  • in 48% of men regrowth was moderate to dense.
  • in 36% of men regrowth was minimal
  • and 16% of men had no regrowth.

Regrowth is just a bonus of any hair loss product. Yes this shows only a 48% chance of regaining moderate to dense regrowth BUT this is regrowth, if you have hair loss we need to just hang on to what we have, and percentage of regrowth is one worth taking.

You can get Minoxidil in 2% and 5% with 2% being recommended for women. There are also much higher doses being sold on the internet such as 20% but evidence shows no increased results after 5%. In clinical studies though "5% topical minoxidil was significantly superior to 2% topical minoxidil" with "45% more hair regrowth"( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12196747)

As a women I started off on the 2% and had great results. I saw a lot of new growth around my hairline and all through my thinning areas came new vigorous sprouts. I got very excited and thought to myself if I got great results from the 2% then I would get better results from the 5%. But to the contrary. The 5% is a lot heavier and greasier then the 2%. Within a week of using it my scalp began itching and I got dandruff. My hair looked so greasy all the time. My scalp was so irritated I had to stop using it. After a few weeks all the hair I had grown with the 2% began to fall out. My brother uses the 5% with great results. He says it makes his hair slightly greasy but he doesn't mind. I have since started using my good old trusty 2% again. Minoxidil always comes in a carrier (the liquid or foam). Clinical studies show many people have no reaction to minoxidil when the carrier is alcohol but when propylene glycol is added many people get contact dermatitis. If you find you are having a reaction such as I was to minoxidil try a brand or solution without propylene glycol.

There are two types of minoxidil you can use as well, foam or liquid. They are both good for different reasons. The liquid is cheaper and is better if you are female of have longer hair. The foam can be tricky to get to the scalp with longer hair. The foam is more discrete and doesn't make your hair look so dirty and unwashed which is why most prefer it. I use the liquid and apply it with a small dropper. Pretty simple. Some people use the foam in the morning so they can look better and the liquid at night to save money.

When you first start using minox you will notice a lot of your hairs falling out..THE DREAD SHED!. This is normal and it means minox is working. Yay. So don't stress about it because soon you will see all your new baby hairs growing and forget all about the hairs you lost. I got stressed as some were falling out and short hair was sticking up, I thought my hair was getting damaged and snapping off short. I went to the hairdresser and she said "oh no, they are not snapped, very strange, they are all new hairs growing everywhere". I couldn't stop smiling!

Minoxidil can be a hassle. I have used it for a year and then given up...only to realise how much it helps and to start again. It is not expensive but going overseas and taking your little bottle is annoying, having greasy hair is annoying and thinking you have to do this until they cure hair loss IS ANNOYING. But it does work. I get great results, so does my brother. So if you are concerned about hair loss, I would give it a go!


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