Hair loss, alopecia, or pattern baldness are some common problems that threaten the masses in the current age of pollution, personal stress, and other external factors. These clinical problems have pestered pharmaceutical researchers to dig deep and find a solution. One of the first and the most popular is Minoxidil.
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What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a highly sought-after drug that has been a popular and proven cure for hair loss and alopecia. Minoxidil was initially designed to act as a vasodilator for severe hypertension and had to be taken orally. But as a side-effect, hypertrichosis was observed in about one-fifth of the oral users. Hence, in the late 1980s, it was redeveloped as a topical medicine to treat hair loss problems or androgenic alopecia.
Types of Minoxidil
Minoxidil is available in two states:
Both these forms can contain 2% or 5% minoxidil. The former, however, contains alcohol and propylene glycol to ensure that the minoxidil can dissolve and be absorbed properly by the scalp tissues and reach hair follicles. These are also the principal causes of allergies and irritations. Besides, the runoff from the solution makes it difficult to maintain while the foam dries easily.
Minoxidil 2 vs Minoxidil 5: Which one to choose?
As mentioned Minoxidil comes in two formulations 2% and 5%. Many studies have been carried out to see which one yields better results:
- The FDA has approved 5% minoxidil foam for hair loss treatment in males since 2006. The study showed that the 5% minoxidil had shown results of hair growth before the end of a year.
- After two randomised and parallel studies that studied the efficacy of 5% and 2% minoxidil medication simultaneously with placebo, the 5% group and the 2% group showed almost similar results. However, it must be noted that the minoxidil 5 solution yielded similar results with a lower dosage than the 2% minoxidil solution.
Thus, after this 2014 experiment, minoxidil 5 was approved by FDA for female usage. Besides, it is to be noted that 5% minoxidil is mostly the preferred choice amongst both male and female users. You can use minoxidil 5% to treat alopecia and related issues safely and effectively.
Benefits of Minoxidil 5
Minoxidil 5 is usually beneficial in treating the following diseases:
- Androgenic Alopecia
- Low Immunity or stress-induced Alopecia or Alopecia areata
- Chemotherapy-induced Alopecia
- Dermatoses induced scarring alopecia
- Hereditary alopecia
- During Hair Transplant
How to apply Minoxidil 5?
Application of the Solution
You should follow these steps while applying the solution:
- You must ensure that your hair is completely dry. Give adequate time after bath to let it dry before applying the solution
- Measure 1 mL of minoxidil solution. You can use a dropper or any convenient measuring device.
- Part your hair to bare your scalp completely.
- Come in direct contact with your scalp and apply the medication with the help of the dropper or any other applier.
- Make sure that the solution is spread over your scalp. Rub the minoxidil solution with fingers.
Application of Foam
You should follow these steps while applying the foam:
- Make sure your hair and scalp is dry before the application of minoxidil
- Hold the container over your head and release one cap of foam
- Part your hair to bare your scalp thoroughly.
- Come in direct contact with your scalp and apply the medication.
- Make sure that the solution is spread over your scalp.
- Rub the minoxidil solution with fingers in areas experiencing hair loss or baldness.
After applying the medication:
- Let your hair dry before covering your head.
- Prevent staining from the medication
Precautions to be taken while using Minoxidil 5
Keep in mind the following precautions when you use Minoxidil solution:
● Stick to your routine
Try not to miss any doses, and if one is missed by a more significant margin of time, skip the dose and carry on with the next doses.
Must be applied only to the scalp. If other body parts are exposed- wash them carefully. In case of irritation or any discomfort, immediately contact your physician.
Stick to prescribed doses. The recommended doses never exceed twice daily.
Consult your physician for allergies of any kind or if under medication. One must also report if they have any chronic illness like hypertension or dermatological conditions like irritation or sensitivity to the sun.
No study has yet been established to ensure the application of minoxidil on children to be risk-free. Hence it is not advisable to try the product on underage people who are generally 18 years or below. It also has been reported to show the minimal effect on breastfeeding infants if the mother is using the product.
Risks associated with Minoxidil
Although it is prescribed as safe, here are a few risks associated with Minoxidil:
- Inflammation and Redness
- Scaling and flaking of the scalp
Some habits might need to be kept in check. Diets might be customized as per individual needs. Alcohol or tobacco must only be consumed after the physician’s consent during the course. Minoxidil is recommended to be taken after doctor consultation.