The Dos and Don’ts of Using Minoxidil for Hair Regrowth

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Minoxidil is a highly effective treatment for hair loss in people with male pattern baldness. It’s a non-invasive, topical foam or liquid solution you simply rub into your scalp. But in order to get the best results, you need to use minoxidil correctly. Here are some dos and don’ts for making the most out of your minoxidil regimen.

Do Order It Online

In order for minoxidil to be effective, most people need to apply it twice a day, indefinitely. And the costs can add up if you’re paying pharmacy prices, not to mention the chore of picking it up. Ordering minoxidil online can save you money and time so you can move on with your life. It also ensures you always have it when you need it, so you never miss a dose.  

If you struggle with organization or time management, getting your hair loss treatments online can be a huge win. Getting minoxidil online is also nice if you have privacy concerns about buying it at the pharmacy. While hair loss is nothing to be ashamed of, some people prefer to keep their minoxidil decision to themselves. 

Do Follow the Instructions

Unless you’ve been given other instructions by a healthcare professional, apply minoxidil twice a day to your scalp. Most people apply minoxidil once in the morning and again in the evening or at night. Read the instructions on the package or leaflet closely and make sure you’re using minoxidil consistently and correctly. For example, minoxidil shouldn’t be used on the same skin area as other skin products.

Before using minoxidil, check for medications or medical conditions that could be contraindicated. For instance, minoxidil can interact with some drugs taken for high blood pressure. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding typically shouldn’t use minoxidil. Check the instructions or consult with your healthcare professional if you have any doubts. 

Do Have Patience

Minoxidil is up to 60% effective, or works in about two thirds of men, according to clinical studies. But it can take some time to start showing all of its hair restoration benefits. Most people don’t see any results for the first 4-8 weeks of minoxidil use. Have patience, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see any signs that it’s working at first. 

Continue applying minoxidil twice daily until it does start to work, and trust that it’s likely working its magic. If, after some time, you’re still not getting the results you want, you could consider additional treatments. Many people see success with a regimen that combines both minoxidil and topical or oral finasteride. You may also be able to use minoxidil in conjunction with platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections for better results.

Do Consider the Type of Hair Loss You Have

Minoxidil is extremely effective for androgenetic alopecia, aka male (or female) pattern baldness. Minoxidil both prevents hair loss and encourages hair regrowth in this type of hair loss pattern. It stimulates the follicles and improves blood flow, delivering necessary nutrients for growth.

Minoxidil has also shown some potentially good results, off-label, for other types of hair loss. For instance, it may show some benefits for people with alopecia areata, a type of hair loss that’s usually triggered by autoimmune issues or stress. Minoxidil could also help treat scarring alopecia, a type of hair loss that can be caused by chemicals, burns, or infections. But minoxidil isn’t proven or approved to treat any of these conditions.

Don’t Be Alarmed if You Experience Some Shedding

About 2-8 weeks after starting minoxidil treatment, some people experience some sudden hair loss. This loss is referred to in the hair restoration community as “shedding.” This is said to happen because minoxidil shortens the telogen or “resting” phase of the hair loss cycle. Shedding is a normal part of minoxidil treatment, and can actually be an indication that it’s working.

While shedding can be concerning for some people, in most cases it will only last a few weeks. Once the shedding stops, that means you’re probably on your way to more hair growth! But in some cases, shedding can be a sign that minoxidil isn’t working for you. If your shedding continues for more than a few months, it’s a good idea to speak to a healthcare provider.

Don’t Skip Treatments Even After Seeing Results

No matter what happens (unless you’re experiencing side effects) it’s important to keep using minoxidil. To see results, you need to continue using minoxidil even if you’re experiencing shedding. And, once you start seeing results, you’ll need to keep using minoxidil twice a day every day. Minoxidil can continue working for a very long time, but only if you keep applying it.

Minoxidil isn’t a permanent treatment for hair loss. In fact, it typically stops working without continuous application. In other words, if you just stop using it after a year, you could start losing hair again. Also, if you miss treatments, or aren’t consistent with your application, you could see worse results. Always keep a supply on hand and consider setting a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget to apply minoxidil.

Definitely Don’t Ignore Side Effects

If you notice any side effects with minoxidil, speak to a healthcare provider or stop using it. Watch out for symptoms like swelling, redness, inflammation, and irritation at the site of application. Swelling in the face is also a concern, and cause to speak with a healthcare provider. If you experience more serious symptoms, like a racing heartbeat, seek medical attention immediately.