Does Minoxidil Work?

For most of us, both men and women, hair loss is an inevitable part of life. No matter how hard we will our hair to stay on our heads an estimated 50% of the male population and around 30% of women are affected by hair loss. When it is androcentric alopecia, (the type of hair loss this article will be concerned with) or male pattern baldness as it is more commonly known, there are many different causes that can be identified. However, it is generally believed to be linked to the hormone dihydrotestosterone which is made from the male testosterone. While the causes are the same, there are differences in hair loss between the genders; while men tend to go bald in specific places, such as the crown and hairline; hair loss in women is usually over a wider area leading to a general decrease in hair density rather than specific patches. Despite these differences in hair loss, though, Minoxidil is used for both men and women in the treatment of androcentric alopecia.

It is fair to say that the issue of hair loss treatments is a confusing place. If you go onto the internet there are hundreds of pages, all contradicting one another yet each insisting that what they are doing is the best; some claim a mixture of Minoxidil and Azelaic acid, others tout Minoxidil by itself or with Finasteride. All, however, are merely voiced opinions and if we are to look at them objectively then they all merely attest to us that there is no universal hair loss treatment that can be called a 'miracle cure' as Minoxidil was when it first came out. This confusion is increased when we remember that science cannot fully explain why it works. A second thing that can be taken from these hundreds of dissenting voices is that the effectiveness of Minoxidil is as varied as those who use it. While if you choose to use Minoxidil there is a very good chance that you will witness some re-growth of hair (around 50% of men and women seeing a change in hair density), how much or how little you experience depends very much on a number of factors and a great deal of luck. You need to remember that there is no doctor who can tell you precisely how much of an effect it will have. However, there are a number of general conclusions.

The first is that despite all the variations in opinion, Minoxidil can have an effect on hair loss, and even if only for the possibility it is worth pursuing. The second is that before you use Minoxidil you should consult your doctor as there are a number of people who should not use it; mainly those who have a history of hypertension or who are on medication for it, and pregnant women. However, regardless of whether you have this problem or not because Minoxidil is a medication (and quite a potent one) it is always best to consult your doctor before you decide to use it. The third conclusion that can be taken from this is that Minoxidil is more effective when used by women (thought to be around 5 times more effective) than by men, however, it is important to remember that the stronger solutions of 5% or above are unsuitable for women to use and Minoxidil should not be used at all when you are pregnant. Fourthly, when used in conjunction with other medication, Minoxidil can be even more effective, though you should always be careful when mixing medication and be aware of the potential side effects or any increase in danger.

That it comes in different forms, such as lotion, gel, foam, and cream show the variety of different methods of its use and the different demands that have been put onto it. Overall though, regardless of the product you use, Minoxidil has proven a safe, potent, and potentially impressive treatment for hair loss, and has been used by millions of people since its conception in the late 80s and will continue to be one of the most popular products on the market for combating hair loss.

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