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    Information about Minoxidil

    Minoxidil uses

    Minoxidil is used in the treatment of Hair loss. It is most effective in treating hereditary hair loss or thinning at the top of the scalp, not in front. Rarely, it may be used to treat high blood pressure.

    How minoxidil works

    Minoxidil is a potassium channel opener. Its vasodilation action expands the blood vessels to promote blood flow, thereby decreasing blood pressure to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). The topical application of Minoxidil on your scalp helps in increasing blood flow through the vasodilation process. This increased blood flow provides more nutrition and oxygen to the hair follicle, which prevents hair cell death and also enhances new hair growth. This is how it works to treat your hair loss (alopecia).

    Common side effects of minoxidil

    Edema (swelling), Excessive hair growth on face, Fluid retention, Hair discolouration, Increased heart rate
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Betina Chandolia
    MDS, BDS
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Lalit Kanodia
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    27 Dec 2019 | 01:08 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Minoxidil

    • Wash your hands before and after application.
    • It should only be applied directly to the scalp area. If Minoxidil accidentally comes in contact with your eyes, nose or mouth, flush the area thoroughly with cool tap water.
    • Do not shampoo your hair for 4 hours after applying Minoxidil or use hairdryer as it can reduce the effectiveness of the medicine.
    • During the first 2 weeks of application, your hair fall may increase. This is normal and is a sign that Minoxidil is working.
    • Take care that Minoxidil does not trickle down onto your face as it may cause undesirable facial hair growth.

    Frequently asked questions for Minoxidil


    Q. Can Minoxidil cause hair loss?

    You may experience some hair shedding after 2-6 weeks of starting the Minoxidil treatment. The hair fall stops after a couple of weeks. But, if it persists for more than 2 weeks, you should stop using Minoxidil and contact your doctor.

    Q. Is Minoxidil safe to use?

    Yes, Minoxidil is safe if you use it as directed by your doctor. For best results, read all the directions before using it and follow them carefully.

    Q. Is the hair growth by Minoxidil treatment permanent?

    You have to continue applying Minoxidil for continued hair growth. If you stop using Minoxidil, the regrown hair may disappear after 3-4 months and balding or hair loss may restart.

    Q. Can Minoxidil cause weight gain?

    Yes, Minoxidil can cause your weight to increase.

    Q. How long does it take to see results with Minoxidil?

    Since hair growth is a slow process, it may take some time before you see new hair growth after starting the treatment with Minoxidil. You need to use Minoxidil for 4 months to see its effects.

    Q. Is Minoxidil safe to use on face?

    You should not apply Minoxidil to any other body areas other than the scalp. If you have accidentally applied it, rinse thoroughly with plenty of cold water.

    Q. Do I need to wash my hair every day when using Minoxidil?

    No, it is not required to shampoo your hair every day before applying Minoxidil. However, if you shampoo your hair, make sure your scalp is dry before using Minoxidil.

    Q. How often should Minoxidil be applied?

    The general recommendation is that Minoxidil should be used twice daily.

    Q. Can Minoxidil be used for beard growth?

    No, Minoxidil should not be used for beard growth. It is indicated only for growth of hair on scalp in patients with a family history of hair loss.

    Q. Is the hair that grows with Minoxidil thicker?

    The new hair that grows due to Minoxidil will be soft and downy. After further use, new hair will develop with the same color and thickness as your natural hair.

    Content on this page was last updated on 27 December, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)