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What Is Minoxidil Used For?

What to Expect While Using Minoxidil

It is important to have realistic expectations when starting minoxidil. Some people will not respond to the medication at all, while others will respond to varying degrees. It is unlikely that anyone will regrow all of his or her hair completely. Also, some people may notice that the medication stops working for them after three to four months of use.
 
Unfortunately, there is no way to know beforehand who will respond to minoxidil. However, people who are younger, who have little hair loss, and who have been losing their hair for only a short period of time are likely to have better results.
 
In clinical trials of minoxidil for women, 19 percent of women using minoxidil for eight months reported moderate hair growth, compared to only 7 percent using a placebo (a liquid solution that did not contain any active ingredient). Minimal hair growth was more common, occurring in 40 percent of women using minoxidil, compared to 33 percent using a placebo.
 
In clinical trials with men, 26 percent reported moderate-to-dense hair growth after using minoxidil for four months, compared to 11 percent using a placebo for four months. Minimal hair growth was reported by 33 percent of men in the minoxidil group, compared to 31 percent in the placebo group.
 
When you first start using minoxidil, you may experience a temporary increase in hair loss. This should subside after a couple of weeks. It may take up to four months for men to notice hair growth with this product. Hair growth may occur more slowly in women, taking up to eight months to notice an improvement.
 
This medication is not a cure for baldness. If you stop using minoxidil, hair loss will recur within three to four months.
 

How Does This Medication Work?

It is not exactly known how minoxidil works to cause hair growth. It is thought that the medication stimulates resting hair follicles to enter into an active growth phase and, therefore, grow hair. Minoxidil may open the blood vessels around the hair follicles, allowing more blood to flow to the follicles. It may also directly stimulate and enlarge the hair follicles.
 
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Minoxidil Drug Information

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