Minoxidil preparations for hair restoration with alopecia
Hair loss is a problem with which, according to statistics, half the age of men face 50 years of age, quite often for a number of reasons, women also appear. To eliminate it resort to hormonal therapy, physiotherapy procedures, injection techniques, the intake of vitamin complexes, and in neglected situations, even to hair transplantation. Recently, specialists dealing with this issue have started using minoxidil based products, the advantages of which are high efficiency, convenience and ease of use.
- Mechanism of action
- Composition and types of preparations
- Precautionary measures
Minoxidil is a chemical compound exhibiting vasodilating properties and the ability to stimulate the functions of hair follicles. In cosmetology and medicine is used to maintain hair growth, treatment and prevention of baldness in people at risk. The main indication for the use of minoxidil in men and women is androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness, caused by an increase in the level of male sex hormones in the body) and a hereditary predisposition to it. With this form of alopecia, hair loss occurs slowly, beginning at the crown or along the central part.
Minoxidil for hair is useful for the following problems:
- focal alopecia (loss of strands only in certain places);
- diffuse loss of strands (over the entire surface of the scalp during combing or washing);
- prolapse on the background of nervous stress;
- alopecia caused by hormonal disorders ;
- rare and thin hair.
Interestingly: Initially, minoxidil in the form of tablets (drug "Loniten") was used to treat arterial hypertension. In patients who used it, a side effect was seen in the form of increased hair growth, increasing their density and volume, which prompted specialists to conduct experiments to evaluate its effectiveness to combat alopecia.
Mechanism of action
Minoxidil is not a universal remedy for alopecia. When hair loss caused by side effects of taking medications, improper care for them, a violation of metabolic processes, it will be ineffective. The mechanism of its action at the moment has not been fully studied, but it is believed that the stimulation of growth and the cessation of hair loss during its application is due to:
- activation of protein synthesis in the cells of the hair follicle;
- stimulation of the transition of hair follicles from the resting phase to the growth phase;
- an increase in the duration of the phase of growth of follicles and a reduction in the phase of rest;
- improvement of blood microcirculation on the scalp;
- increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the hair bulb;
- stimulation of growth and restoration of functions of hair follicles.
Minoxidil helps to strengthen the hair shaft, the growth of long and thick hairs. The best results of its use in the early stages of baldness, when the moment of the beginning of hair loss has passed no more than 5 years.
The reaction to it in humans is very individual. Someone may not notice the effect at all, and some, on the contrary, almost completely lose their bald patches, in their place grow new strong and healthy hair. In neglected cases, minoxidil does not help, since the hair follicles located in the area of hair loss are already unsustainable. Also, drugs with it do not have a significant effect, if the bald areas occupy large areas.
It has been established that minoxidil acts more on women than on men, so they should use funds with a lower concentration.
Important: The maximum effectiveness of the minoxidil based agent is shown on the parietal part of the head. Elimination of the bald patches by this method in the frontotemporal zone does not bring improvements or gives a very poorly expressed result.
Composition and types of preparations
For the treatment of alopecia, solutions, shampoos, lotions, foams, sprays, balsams and gels containing minoxidil are released. Solutions are colorless or yellowish oily liquids, available with a concentration of 2 to 15%, and include the following components:
- minoxidil (active ingredient);
- propylene glycol;
- azelaic acid;
- vitamins and others.
The higher the concentration of the active substance, the more effective the drug against baldness, but the greater the chance of side effects. Solutions with a concentration of 2% are mainly for women, whose problem is not as severe as that of men. Means with a concentration of minoxidil of 10 and 15% can only be used by men with severe alopecia, since women, given their greater sensitivity, have a high risk of side effects.
The most convenient and popular form of minoxidil for hair is foam. After its application, they do not become fatty for several hours, it dries out faster than the solution, is characterized by a low risk of allergic reactions due to the absence of propylene glycol in the composition. Disadvantages of it are less economical and inaccurate dosing.
The most popular are:
- lotion and foam Rogain 2 and 5%;
- solution and Kirkland lotion 5%;
- Lipogaine solution 2% for women;
- lotion PHS 10 and 15%;
- solution and spray Cosilon 2 and 5%;
- solution Dualgen 5, 10 and 15%;
- Alerana 2 and 5%;
- Lotion Spectral DNC 5%.
The price of the drug depends on its form, the concentration of minoxidil and the manufacturer. The greater the percentage of active ingredient, the more expensive the agent.
Means containing minoxidil, should be used exclusively externally in accordance with the instructions or recommendations of a doctor. Solutions and lotions are applied to clean, dry scalp with a pipette, spray or other devices, depending on the packaging and the manufacturer. After the preparation has got on problem zones, it is recommended to rub it into the skin with massage finger pads. Distribute funds for the hair is not necessary.
After the procedure for 4 hours you can not wash your hair. Usually, two-time application is prescribed in the morning and in the evening (minimum 2 hours before sleep), the interval between applications should be at least 8 hours.
Warning: After rubbing minoxidil into the scalp, the hands should be thoroughly washed with soap. Touching the fingers of other parts of the body can trigger hair growth. To prevent this, it is best to put disposable gloves on the hands during the application and immediately discard them after the procedure.
The use of minoxidil does not give an immediate result, the first improvement in the condition of the hair on the head is noticeable no earlier than 3-4 months later. The maximum effect occurs one year after regular application. At first the hairs growing on the bald patches are very thin, like a fuzz, afterwards they change to thicker and stronger ones.
In order to maintain the achieved result, minoxidil must be continued for a long time (constantly), but at a lower frequency (every few days) or at low concentrations. Otherwise, all the hair that has grown on the background of treatment with the drug for a few months or half a year will again fall out, as the drug does not eliminate and does not affect the cause that caused baldness.
Local treatment with minoxidil can be combined with other methods for hair restoration. With its appointment, together with anti-androgenic drugs, the effectiveness of the drug increases, since not only stimulation of growth occurs, but also the negative effect of hormones on the hair follicles. Minoxidil is also used as an additional means to improve and consolidate the result after surgical techniques for hair restoration.
Video: Trichologist doctor on alopecia and the use of minoxidil
Before using minoxidil for hair, you need to be examined by a trichologist and find out the cause of their loss. Only a doctor can give a real assessment of the effectiveness and appropriateness of using it depending on the problems identified.
Contraindications for the use of minoxidil include:
- age to 18 years;
- infection and disruption of the integrity of the scalp (scratches, wounds, cuts, ulcers, burns);
- an allergic reaction to any of the components in the formulation.
In most cases, the drug, when used strictly according to the instructions, is transferred quite well. However, when applied to the scalp, the drug is slightly absorbed into the bloodstream, which causes not only local, but also systemic accompanying negative phenomena. Side effects appear, as a rule, only when using funds with high concentrations (10 and 15%). Among them are possible:
- irritation and redness of the treated area;
- hair growth in unwanted areas of the body (more often on the face and hands due to inaccurate use of the drug);
- dryness and scaling of the scalp, the appearance of dandruff ;
- burning and irritation of the eyes (when the product gets on the mucous membrane of the eye);
- allergic reactions (itching, rash, hyperemia);
- lowering of blood pressure;
- swelling of the hands and feet.
To prevent the occurrence of severe allergic reactions before starting treatment, you should perform an allergy test on the remedy that is supposed to be used.
If any side effects or worsening occur, tell your doctor. Perhaps it will reduce the dosage or replace it with another remedy.
Some people after starting the use of minoxidil note an even greater increase in hair loss. This is considered a normal reaction of the body, since weak and sick hairs fall out, instead of which later will grow strong and healthy.
Men sometimes use the drug at their discretion to increase the thickness or size of the beard. However, in the instructions to the drug, despite the positive results, the possibility of such appointment is not described, and clinical trials in this regard are currently not available.