Combatting Hair Loss With Minoxidil Shampoo

How does minoxidil shampoo retard or even reverse the gradual hair loss that seems to affect so many men and women?

To answer this question, it’s necessary to understand the causes of hair loss and how hair loss occurs most of the time.

Certain people are genetically predisposed to hair loss when exposed to a testosterone by-product called dihydro-testosterone (DHT).  DHT is created in the body of both men and women, by the enzyme 5 Alpha-Reductase.  During puberty, high levels of DHT in the body are normal and aid in the development of secondary sexual characteristics.

New research has proven that later in life, high levels of DHT are responsible for the progressive miniaturization of the hair follicle.  DHT attaches itself to the hair follicles.  This deprives them of nutrition and causing them to atrophy.   The hair follicles become thinner and finer until the hair is permanently lost.  Hair recedes from the forehead area.  Hair in the crown generally begins to thin also.  This hair loss condition is known as Male/Female Pattern Hair Loss or Androgenetic Alopecia.

So, what can be done about hair loss?

According to Wikipedia, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only two medications as a hair loss treatment for male pattern baldness.  One is minoxidil , a product sold as minoxidil shampoo or topical dressings under the name Rogaine and other brands.  The other is finasteride, a prescription medication sold under the brand name Propecia.

Minoxidil is applied topically for treatment of male-pattern hair loss in both the frontal and the crown areas of the scalp.  It has been shown to be effective.  Based on a 48-week study, improvements were noted as follows:

  • vertex area regions of 51% of men using 5% minoxidil, 42% of men using 2% minoxidil, and 13% of placebo users; and
  • frontal scalp regions of 19% of men using 5% minoxidil, 10% of men using 2% minoxidil, and 3% of placebo users.

How does minoxidil work?

The actual “mechanisms” of minoxidil are still not clear.  It is thought to promote blood flow in the areas attacked by the increased levels of DHT.  The increased blood flow is believed to create an environment advantageous for hair loss prevention and eventually future hair density increases.  Minoxidil can be used as a shampoo ingredient or applied alone.

How long does it take to work?

Usually, it takes about four to six months to determine if minoxidil shampoo will help at all.  If between four and six months, you start seeing peach fuzz, you will know the medicine is working for you. However, you will not know how well it is going to work for you until you have been using the medicine for 12 to 18 months.

How much should be used?

Minoxidil shampoo comes in concentrations ranging from 2 percent to 5 percent.   The FDA has approved up to a 5 percent strength for males and a 2 percent strength for women.   Men may prefer the 5 percent concentration to experience quicker results.  However, it is best for women to avoid shampoos with an extra strength 5 percent concentration.  Women should go for the 2 percent solution instead.

How much does it cost?

Minoxidil is available alone or as a component of shampoo.  It is also available in a package of three products to be used together as a system – minoxidil shampoo, a conditioner and a topical spray containing the minoxidil ingredient.  Some hair and scalp treatment systems using minoxidil can cost upward of $100.  Therefore, it can be more cost-effective to purchase a topical solution of minoxidil on its own. A three-month supply generally costs about $20.

What do I look for in the store?

Minoxidil shampoo can be purchased over the counter at drugstores or online at websites such as Amazon. Some examples of minoxidil shampoo and topical treatments are Rogaine for Men, Rogaine for Women, Kirkland Minoxidil 5% Regrowth for Men, and Kirkland Minoxidil 2% Regrowth for Women.

If you have a hair loss problem that you want to address, you should consider minoxidil shampoo as a possible solution. There are several effective minoxidil products that are currently available and which could work for you.  Check out these hair loss products here.  Or just click on one of the hair loss product images below to order directly from Amazon.