Minoxidil is a vasodilator that was originally used to treat patients with hypertension.
It was discovered completely by accident that it had a very interesting effect on the regression of baldness, and to a lesser extent stimulating new hair growth.
It has been on the market for more than 15 years. In the 1980s, the North American Upjohn Corporation, began producing a solution with minoxidil concentrate at 2% to treat baldness and hair loss, under the trade name of Rogaine. In other countries it was called Regaine.
Usually Minoxidil is used in concentrations of 2 to 5%, based on which is more effective for each specific person.
Mechanism of action
This topical drug causes vasodilation or increased vascularization at a capillary level causing a greater contribution of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle
At the hair level, it prolongs the growth or anagen phase of the hair cycle.
Possible Side Effects
In some cases and at concentrations of 5% hypotension has been detected in arteries in patients who are susceptible to mild headaches.
On other occasions irritation of the scalp may occur. Both effects disappear with a lower concentration.
In some women, the use of 5% minoxidil may cause facial hypertrichosis (enlargement of facial hair), so it is advisable to use it at lower percentages and apply it solely and exclusively on skin with hair, avoiding the face and washing the hands well after its application.
At the onset of the use of minoxidil, a telogen effluvium can be produced, or increased hair loss, this is due to the synchronization of many follicles in the rest phase of the hair cycle. This effect disappears approximately a month after its use.
Like Finasteride, Minoxidil should be used continuously to maintain good results, because if left, the process of hair loss can reappear. These medicines may not work for all patients, but have shown their beneficial effect on many people.
The combination of Minoxidil and Finasteride may provide an additional beneficial effect for men with androgenetic alopecia.