Minoxidil, applied topically used for the hair loss treatment. It is effective in helping promote hair growth in people. Minoxidil in its liquid form is applied directly over the areas of the scalp undergoing hair loss. Originally minoxidil was indicated for the treatment of severe hypertension, and when patients reported slowing of the progression of hair loss and actual growth of new hair the research started for minoxidil use in hair loss. Minoxidil mechanism of action is dilatation of the local blood vessels of scalp and speculated direct activation of hair follicle growth.
Minoxidil is available in three concentrations 2%, 5% and 10%. Minoxidil is to be applied at night before going to sleep. Minoxidil can be applied twice daily also but not more than 2 ml should be applied in 24 hrs. Few patients can have burning sensation, eryhtema, palpitations and headache with the use of minoxidil. Once started, Minoxidil has to be used for indefinite period and minoxidil takes 4 months for the results to become apparent. In women, the minoxidil can be used in 2% concentration to prevent further hair loss and occasional hair regrowth can be achieved. Consult your doctor during pregnancy and lactation. Its cause in people with alopecia areata is unclear.
Some physicians recommend the use of minoxidil after hair transplantation. Application of minoxidil to the grafted areas once a day can shorten the time interval between the hair restoration procedure and the growth of transplanted hair by around one month.