Hair loss is one of the physical changes that come with aging that we might not be happy with. It impacts our feelings about ourselves – which can cause anxiety and depression.
There are so many factors that contribute to hair loss. Hormonal imbalance, thyroid problems, pregnancy, alopecia areata, stress, and physical trauma, are the most common.
Because of this, experts suggest all-natural ways to prevent hair loss, including exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding stress, and not smoking.
We can also buy a popular hair loss solution over the counter called minoxidil. How long does minoxidil take to work? As soon as it is applied.
Let us learn more about this hair loss product and what it does to our hair.
What Is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a topical treatment for hair loss that comes in a foam or solution that can be applied with a dropper bottle.
What’s good about minoxidil? It’s over-the-counter but users should seek medical advice for safety.
Understanding the minoxidil timeline gives you more patience for results.
In a nutshell:
Minoxidil results after 1 month: not significant.
Minoxidil results after 4 months: you can see visible results.
To learn how minoxidil functions, we must first understand the hair growth cycle and the different types of hair loss.
Hair Growth Cycle
The hair growth cycle has three stages: the anagen phase (beginning), the catagen phase (transitional), and the telogen phase (ending).
Hair fibers that gradually get longer are produced during the anagen phase. Also, the length of the anagen phase is different for all hairs of the body – depending on where they’re located.
For the record, the scalp hair will remain in the anagen phase for years before becoming dormant.
The catagen, also called the transitional phase is where the hair stops growing, decreases in diameter, and forms a club hair. Also, in this phase, hair follicles are separated from the bloodstream and the cells that generate new hairs.
And lastly, the telogen phase is where hairs stop growing, become dormant, and shed, only to be replaced by new strands from the anagen phase.
To understand the role of minoxidil in the hair growth cycle, let’s learn about the different causes of hair loss, particularly pattern baldness.
Pattern Baldness for Male and Female
There are so many types of hair loss. But the most common is pattern baldness, both for males and females.
Is pattern baldness for males and females the same? The quick answer is NO.
According to MedlinePlus, the pattern of hair loss in women is different from the baldness in men. Women’s hair thins out all over their heads, but the hairline does not recede – unlike men’s.
Despite a slight difference between pattern baldness in males and females, learning how to prevent pattern baldness is essential for both genders – this time, using minoxidil.
What Does Minoxidil Do?
Minoxidil shortens the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle, allowing the hair follicle to spend more time growing to its full length rather than resting.
In addition, minoxidil causes more hairs to begin their growth cycle early by entering the anagen phase, also called the “growth phase.”
Another thing that minoxidil does is stimulate blood vessels all over the scalp, which results in a steady blood flow to the hair follicles and encourages growth. And this is possible because the hair follicles have enough nutrients to function correctly.
If you are 40 years old or younger, minoxidil works for you.
According to a study, minoxidil is effective for 2 out of 3 men when applied twice daily. While it does not cure baldness, it helps slow and prevent it.
When you stop using minoxidil, new hair growth will also stop.
How Long Does Minoxidil Take to Work?
Minoxidil can start working as soon as it’s applied. But how quickly it delivers results varies for every individual.
It works, and you will undoubtedly see results. However, the length of the transition of the hair from the telogen phase to the anagen phase is one factor that affects the outcome.
So anticipate seeing results in two to four months, with a more noticeable one in a year – that’s the minoxidil timeline.
Remember that there are no shortcuts to seeing results but consistency in product use.
Are you curious about what minoxidil brand to buy? Then let me introduce Rogaine to you.
How Long Does Rogaine Take to Work?
Hair loss products are in-demand nowadays. That said, so many manufacturers delved into the business of selling products of this type that many people are interested in buying.
So why choose Rogaine from so many available brands?
As mentioned earlier, Rogaine is a type of minoxidil already approved by the FDA, which is a decision-making factor in purchasing a hair loss product.
Many medical professionals favor this brand because it will produce results quicker and promote 45% more hair growth.
Healthline says Rogaine can be purchased over the counter in various strengths and works best when used as prescribed.
At four to eight weeks, Rogaine begins to produce imperceptible results. Despite this, continue using the product after that until you see results, which should take four to eight months.
Understand also that it’s normal to experience hair shedding when using minoxidil, so don’t be alarmed. The idea is that hairs will fall out and be replaced by stronger and thicker ones.
Again, don’t stop using Rogaine just because you notice shedding.
Things to Consider Before Using Minoxidil
Just like using any medicine for a specific health condition, there are things to consider before using minoxidil. Note that minoxidil has been in the market for over three decades and has become a popular hair loss treatment.
And despite that is mentioned that this product can be bought over the counter, it’s advisable for someone who intends to use it to talk to his doctor first if he experiences any of the following:
- Allergy to any ingredients of minoxidil.
- Taking blood pressure drugs.
- Taking vitamins.
- Have heart, kidney, liver, or scalp disease.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding.
These are just some common health conditions you must consult with your doctor. You may open those with your doctor if you have other severe health conditions not on the list.
After knowing the things to consider before using minoxidil, let’s learn how to use it properly, which is essential to the success rate of your hair loss treatment.
How to Use Minoxidil Properly
After knowing about minoxidil and its uses, we must learn how to use it properly for better results.
Below are the things you need to consider when using minoxidil.
Start Using as Early as You Can
The sooner you use minoxidil, the faster you will see the result. Look at yourself in the mirror and catch early signs of hair loss.
Once you notice any indication, you can start using minoxidil instantly, but you should see your doctor, going back to our list of selected medical conditions.
Don’t delay using as you may notice your hair loss worsen.
Correctly applying minoxidil is another factor to consider. It includes application to the correct location and with the right amount.
Keep in mind that if you don’t follow directions, you could experience adverse effects. Hence, it’s important to read instructions or ask a specialist how to use it to be safe.
Avoid Habits That Contribute to Hair Loss
Several habits contribute to hair loss, and they fall into the category of extreme hair care. To name some, frequently shampooing or blowdrying, pulling on the hair, excessive brushing, smoking, and UV exposure.
Remember that no matter how effective the medicine is for hair loss, you might not see a good result if you don’t care for your hair. It pays to be well-disciplined.
When you practice this, you will prevent shedding, hence promoting healthier hair.
Eat Fruits That Are Hair-Friendly
Although diet won’t prevent hair loss, the foods we eat and our essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrient intake can impact our overall hair condition.”
And there’s truth in that. Don’t just focus on your hair loss; consider your hair in general. You need to take care of several aspects of your crowing glory.
Foods that are good for the hair include eggs, berries, spinach, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, etc.
Good eating habits are essential!
Proper knowledge and understanding of minoxidil can lead to the potential prevention of hair loss. It does not cure baldness, but it can be a way to prevent such a thing from happening to your crowning glory.
Just remember to use it properly and consult a doctor if you are in doubt or experiencing a medical condition. Being patient when using minoxidil is also essential, as you can see results after months of religiously using the product.