Minoxidil for Hair Loss

Minoxidil is an external medication designed to keep the hair follicles healthy in order to promote thicker hair. It is a lotion which must be massaged into the scalp twice a day in order to stimulate hair follicles and reverse the miniaturisation of the follicles which occurs with the over-production of DHT. In some cases, it may also lengthen the anagen, or hair growth, phase of the follicles so the hair which is already growing can continue to grow for a longer period of time. Because it does not tamper with the actual DHT hormone or androgen enzymes, minoxidil is approved for use by men or women to slow the process of male- or female-pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia.

Like finasteride, minoxidil works better under certain conditions. If you rate lower on the Norwood or Ludwig scale, your bald patch is less than 10 cm in diameter, and the bald area is on the crown of the head rather than the front of the scalp, then the medication is more likely to be effective at stopping your hair loss. Furthermore, if you begin treatment within the first decade of your hair loss then the follicles are not actually dead, so there is more chance to stop the thinning process and even promote regrowth in some cases. If you stop using minoxidil then your hair loss will continue and any hair regrowth will cease.

The brand name for minoxidil is: Rogaine®.