What is minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a hair loss treatment that is available for over-the-counter purchase and through prescription, depending on the product. The drug was originally developed to treat health conditions related to high blood pressure, such as hypertension, but was discovered to be an effective treatment for certain types of hair loss. Studies have found that it’s effective in treating androgenetic alopecia, and other hair loss conditions.
How does minoxidil work?
Further research is needed to understand how exactly minoxidil stimulates hair growth, but it’s said to help reverse the hair loss process by increasing the size of the hair follicles, improving blood flow around the follicles. Minoxidil also works by influencing certain phases of the hair strand’s life cycle to either shorten or advance its onset. Our hair follicle’s life cycle comes in three stages: anagen (growth), catagen (maturity), and telogen (rest). When using topical treatments like minoxidil lotion, the drug encourages the telogen phase to shorten, thereby allowing the anagen phase to progress and grow new hair.
Because of minoxidil’s effect on the life cycle of hair, some shedding may be expected. However, it’s not a universal side effect, and it’s possible to use minoxidil without ever experiencing any hair shedding.
How much does minoxidil cost?
If you are wanting a pharmacy grade treatment, the price of a 180 mL 5% minoxidil solution can be around $79, worth three months of use. If however you would like a doctor prescribed treatment, personalised to your hair loss situation, this can cost from $29 a month.
What are the minoxidil lotion side effects?
There are some known side effects when using topical minoxidil for hair loss, though the risks are typically low based on extensive research. However, to be safe, it’s good to be informed of such adverse reactions so that we can immediately inform our Mosh doctor should they occur.
The possible side effects of topical minoxidil include:
- Reddened/irritated skin
- Scalp itchiness
- Dry skin, mild dermatitis, and more rarely allergic contact dermatitis (either from propylene glycol in liquid product or minoxidil)
Stop your minoxidil treatment immediately and call your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or any other unexpected reactions not included in the list above.
How fast does minoxidil lotion get absorbed?
A study revealed that for topical minoxidil applications specifically, 50% absorption within the first hour and around 75% over the course of four hours. Ultimately, when using minoxidil treatments, such as sprays or lotions, for treating certain types of hair loss, it’s best to follow the product instructions or doctor’s prescriptions.
To know if topical minoxidil is the right treatment for you, talk to one of our Mosh doctors. If necessary for your situation, your doctor may prescribe a treatment, which can be discreetly delivered to your doorstep and regularly refilled as needed.
How is minoxidil lotion typically used?
The most common application of minoxidil lotion is on the scalp, though there are instances where it’s been used to encourage growth in other areas of facial hair, such as the eyebrows or the beard.
When using topical minoxidil, it’s always best to apply the solution or formulation strictly as instructed. This is especially important if you’re switching to a different type of topical solution other than minoxidil lotion, such as foam or spray. This is because each type has a specific indication; for the best possible results, always follow the instructions for application as indicated either by the OTC product packaging or upon the advice of your doctor.
It’s best to consult with a doctor first when considering a minoxidil solution for your hair growth treatment. It’s to make sure that your hair growth treatment does not interact with any current medications you’re taking or conditions you may have.
If you have any questions about a particular minoxidil lotion treatment, you may consider speaking with one of our doctors at Mosh.
Mosh is a men’s health platform that is entirely online, adding an additional level of discretion to your personal health care by giving you the freedom to consult at your convenience. Our doctors are also experienced and AHPRA-registered, so you can be assured that you’re in professional care.
Can I leave minoxidil on overnight?
If you’re using a minoxidil lotion treatment for a receding hairline, leaving it on overnight may be a good idea – but there are a couple of points to keep in mind before going ahead with doing so.
First, only do so at the advice of your doctor, or if the treatment specifically states that leaving the minoxidil treatment on your scalp or skin for prolonged periods is safe. This is especially important if you have known skin allergies or issues with eczema.
Second, always wash your hair or skin after the prescribed period of application. Apart from general hygienic practice, this is so the unabsorbed minoxidil solution is washed off.
In summary, follow the indications of your minoxidil lotion treatment, adjust the frequency or duration of your treatment only with your doctor’s advice, cease application and inform your doctor right away at the first sign of irritation.
If you have more questions about leaving minoxidil overnight or even about other hair loss solutions, speak to one of our Mosh doctors today. You may even ask your doctor about hair growth vitamins to support hair growth and thickening through nutrition.
Are there alternative treatments to minoxidil?
There are over-the-counter products products available here at Mosh that can complement minoxidil treatments, such as supplemental vitamins. By nourishing your body with essential nutrients, hair follicles may be encouraged to strengthen as they grow back. These vitamins also encourage healthier skin, including the scalp.
Other alternative treatments include hair transplants, laser treatments, or other pharmaceutical treatments such as DHT blockers. DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is an androgen involved in the development of hair, especially in males undergoing puberty. However, DHT can also interfere with the growth of hair follicles in adults.
Mosh’s advice is to consult your doctor first before switching from minoxidil to another treatment, whether or not it is a medical alternative. This is to minimise possible adverse reactions resulting from a sudden change in treatment.
Personal health made easier with Mosh
We’re not just all about loss of hair or male pattern baldness treatments. Here at Mosh, we aim to make personal health and self-care simpler and more convenient. It’s why we focus on online consultations – you may speak to your doctor at the scheduled times most preferable to you instead of the other way around.
Mosh advises on various personal health concerns, such as weight loss, hair loss, mental health, skincare, and even erectile dysfunction. We can also help you speak with someone for mental health counselling, as well as get you on track with a doctor for weight loss plans. If you have a personal health concern, speak with us about how we can help.
If you’re interested in one-on-one counselling or a prescription product (such as alternatives to minoxidil lotion), feel free to discuss it with us. Fill out our short online questionnaire, and we’ll arrange an online consultation for your health concerns with one of our doctors for the soonest available schedule.
Your health and fitness are essential for a well-rounded and happier perspective. Let us help you find the balance between the two – speak with a Mosh doctor today.