December 29, 2020
The minoxidil is coupled with finasteride, the only treatment recommended to combat the early stages of androgenetic alopecia, when destruction of hair follicles is still not very high. Minoxidil is a vasodilator and has a very precise function: to stimulate the bloodstream so that nutrients reach a greater number and faster to the hair follicles.
The goal of minoxidil is to prolong the activity of hair follicles that have not yet been damaged. In this way, minoxidil not only interrupts the hair loss, but by reactivating hair follicles that were weak, it can happen that the hair regenerates, although it is usually thin and thin hair.
Minoxidil is administered in concentrations of 2% in the case of women, 5% in the case of men, topically normally. It has an effectiveness of between 15% and 60%, its first results are usually visible at 6 months and its main side effect is that interrupting the treatment, which is usually a double application a day or every two, usually involves the loss total hair conserved. That is, it returns to the starting situation, but with the trauma of seeing the hair that had remained. This problem in a treatment that is for life is a side effect that has to be noticed from the start.
Another side effect derived from the treatment is the so-called shedding effect, which consists in the partial loss of regenerated hair 2 or 3 months after starting the treatment. It is normal: the regenerated hair, which is weaker, falls to make way for another a little more robust, although never as the original in most cases. Although it is an inconvenience rather than annoying, the treatment should not be interrupted. This controlled fall is part of the treatment with minoxidil.
As for the other side effects, minoxidil has an advantage over other treatments, such as finasteride, as its negative consequences, if any, are usually limited to the hair or the area of application of the treatment. This makes it a non- aggressive treatment.
Almost all side effects consist of problems derived from the alcohol used in the treatment: itching, dehydration, irritation or burning.
It does not have to happen, because alcohol is present in almost all the products we use for hair, but it can be the case that alcohol contacts a more sensitive area of the scalp and produces discomfort, beyond the usual Desiccant property of alcohol.
The other side effect associated with minoxidil is a collateral damage to taking the treatment in pills: hirsutism. In the case of men, an increase in facial hair does not usually attract attention, and there will even be more than one beard who appreciates it, but for women it can be an inconvenience.
The vasodilator effect is usually quite controlled when the application is topical, either in gel or in sprays, but when minoxidil is taken as pills, the stimulating effect usually occurs globally, especially in those areas where hair follicles abound more productive, but also in other places, such as the face, arms or chest.
There are other adverse effects derived from treatment with minoxidil, but they have more to do with the characteristics of the alopecia -allergy, especially- than with the drug. For all these reasons, it is recommended that before starting a treatment with minoxidil, consult your dermatologist.