One of the best options for hair loss treatment is the use of minoxidil hair products. Minoxidil is a powerful chemical known for its powerful stimulation of hair regrowth. But unlike other hair treatments, minoxidil doesn’t come in a shampoo form. This is because of how minoxidil works.
What Is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is a popular item in hair loss treatment. Minoxidil has been approved for use by the FDA as both a vasodilator and a hair treatment product. In the 1950s, minoxidil was invented to treat hypertension. It did this by dilating blood vessels in the area where it was applied. This increased circulation of blood flow was meant to lower blood pressure. Its use as medicine for high blood pressure was a success. But people who used Minoxidil began complaining of unwanted hair growth. Even today, scientists aren’t sure why Minoxidil causes this side effect.
Minoxidil has undergone a lot of testing since it first came out. After it was approved by the FDA as a hair regrowth product in 1988, countless people began testing it. Their tests yielded two conclusions. First, that minoxidil is very effective. A study in 2011 where over 11,000 men and women used minoxidil for hair loss returned a staggering 92% success rate. Second, that minoxidil worked best when applied to the vertex. The vertex is a part of the scalp also known as the crown and is located at roughly the back part of the top of your head. Today, minoxidil is available in both 2% and 5% mixtures, sprays, and foams.
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How Does Minoxidil Work?
Minoxidil is most often applied as a topical ointment. When applied to the scalp, its vasodilator properties kick into action. Blood vessels in the area expand, allowing for better blood circulation in the area. The increased blood circulation delivers more resources to your scalp. For hair follicles, this means that they are stimulated to grow hair. This also means that topical minoxidil products need to be used carefully. This is because applying the chemical to other parts of your body may result in unwanted hair growth.
It’s theorized that dilating your vessels via minoxidil extends your hair’s anagen phase. The anagen phase is the initial growth period of hair. During this time, hair is pushed out from its roots. By prolonging the anagen period, your hair may become stronger and thicker.
Minoxidil products work for both men and women. Male and female minoxidil products rarely differ in active ingredients and non-minoxidil components. The biggest difference here is the amount of minoxidil present in each solution. Men’s products usually have 5% minoxidil for treating male pattern baldness. Women’s products have a 2% minoxidil content for better control over hair growth.
A lot of people that use minoxidil products complain that it makes their hair fall out. This is a natural part of your hair’s anagen phase. Minoxidil stimulates your hair follicles to get rid of old, weak hair so that it can grow new, stronger hair. For best results, minoxidil products should be used continuously.
With minoxidil, less is more. Lower concentrations of minoxidil in a product can yield better results. In spite of this, minoxidil isn’t an instant cure for hair loss. Most minoxidil products will start showing results after around 12 weeks of use.
Does Minoxidil in Shampoo works?
Minoxidil products needs time to be absorbed bu your skin. Most minoxidil products need to sit for 4 to 5 hours to be absorbed. Massaging your scalp to help your scalp minoxidil is also highly advised. Because of the long application period, minoxidil shampoos would be very impractical. If left to sit for only a few minutes and then be washed away afterwards, minoxidil wouldn’t be able to work its magic.
The best minoxidil products are meant for direct application to the skin. Minoxidil most often comes in the form of foams, liquids, or sprays. These products allow you to target specific areas in your scalp for hair regrowth. Most of these products also need to be massaged into your scalp for optimal use. There are also minoxidil pills for people who are allergic to topical products.
If Minoxidil shampoo doesn’t work, what can you buy instead? We’ve found 7 of the best minoxidil shampoo alternatives that work for hair loss. Check out our individual review below.
Best Minoxidil Shampoo Alternatives
Shapiro MD Regrowth Kit
This complete regrowth kit by Shapiro MD comes with shampoo, conditioner, and a minoxidil leave-in foam. The foam revitalizes your scalp and encourages hair growth. It’s been clinically proven to be effective in stopping hair loss and thinning in both men and women. All-natural ingredients ensure that your skin remains smooth and clean after use. Among these ingredients are green tea, saw palmetto berry, and caffeine extract.
These substances block dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. DHT is a hormone produced by your body that shrinks hair follicles and stops hair growth. The male version of the product comes with a 5% minoxidil foam. The women’s version comes with a 2% minoxidil solution. Aside from this, there are no differences between either of these products. But while both of these foams have been proven to work, be sure to get the version that’s suited for your own personal use.
Rogaine Topical Solution
This unscented topical solution is ideal for people on the go. The package comes with a dropper for easy application minoxidil mixture. After application, simply massage the mixture into your scalp and go about your day. This mixture has been clinically proven to promote hair growth. It’s also safe for dyed or permed hair.
The male and female versions of the product are not interchangeable. The men’s version is also specially made to combat thinning hair. The two versions of the mixtures contain different amounts of minoxidil. There’s a 5% minoxidil mixture for men and a 2% one for women. Ensure that you follow the correct dosage to reduce the risk of side effects.
This rogaine foam is meant to be massaged into your scalp, where thinning is most visible. A 5% minoxidil solution ensures results for both men and women. The white foam is mess free, which is great for people on the go. This product is also safe for dyed or permed hair.
However, this product is noted to be a fire hazard. Its heat activation means that you should stay away from fires or similar heat sources after use. Smoking is also a no-no after using the foam. The high concentration of minoxidil may also lead to you developing an allergy to it. If in doubt, consult with your doctor.
Spectral.UHP Extra Strength Hair Regrowth Treatment
The Spectral.UHP Extra Strength Hair Regrowth Treatment is a 5% minoxidil solution. It’s been tested and approved by dermatologists all over the world. Spectral.UHP has a clinically proven 85% success rate for hair loss treatment.
Its unique nanosome encapsulation means that the product lasts longer when applied. Spectral.UHP stimulates potassium flow in skin for better hair regrowth. Spectral.UHP has been specially formulated to combat male pattern baldness. Spectral.UHP isn’t meant to treat receding hairlines or frontal baldness. If you’re looking to treat those conditions, Spectral.UHP isn’t for you.
Basic Care Minoxidil Topical Solution
This 2% minoxidil topical solution is designed with women in mind. The Basic Care Minoxidil Topical Solution comes with a dropper for easy application. It’s very easy to use too – just drop a little on to your scalp and massage it in. While not as fancy as other products, this minoxidil product has a very high efficiency rate.
The liquid is noted to be quite watery, however. It’s highly advised to not lie down after using this product. This is because the medicine can trickle down and lead to unwanted hair growth.
Keranique Hair Regrowth Extended Nozzle Sprayer
The Keranique Hair Regrowth Extended Nozzle Sprayer comes in a small spray. A 2% minoxidil mixture leads to better hair growth for women. The solution encourages blood flow in target areas. This leads to energized hair follicles and better hair growth.
Best of all, it’s free of other substances that can irritate your scalp. On the other hand, users have noted that it doesn’t dry up or get absorbed as well as other minoxidil products. This leaves hair looking wet and greasy looking. It doesn’t help that you have to leave the solution on for at least 4 hours. The spray bottle has also been observed to be quite flimsy.
Now that you know the best minoxidil shampoo alternatives you can buy, here are the side effects you should be aware of before buying one.
What Are The Side Effects of Minoxidil?
When using minoxidil, it’s very important to follow the correct dosage. Minoxidil is a very powerful chemical that can cause harm if used incorrectely.
Both topical and oral minoxidil have their own side effects. Their side effects are described as being similar to the symptoms of heart failure. Dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath are among these symptoms. Topical minoxidil can cause redness and irritation where it’s applied. Minoxidil pills can also cause hair growth everywhere on your body.
Constant use of topical minoxidil products can lead to you developing an allergy. If you begin exhibiting side effects after minoxidil use, consult your doctor.
FAQs about Minoxidil Shampoo
Can I put minoxidil in my shampoo?
Because it takes around 5 hours for Minoxidil to be absorbed by the skin, adding minoxidil to your shampoo or washing your hair after application is a waste of money. If you don’t like the feeling or smell, you can apply minoxidil products on your scalp before sleep, and rinse it off when you wake up.
What products can you use instead of minoxidil shampoo?
The best Minoxidil topical products should stay on your skin for a long time to let Minoxidil be absorbed by the skin. Lotion, foams, oil serum infused with Minoxidil are some of the best products you should buy instead of a shampoo or conditioner.
Which shampoo is best with minoxidil?
The best shampoos to use along minoxidil depends on your medical issue, hair types or hair problems! There are ketoconazole shampoos for dandruff, clarifying shampoos for build-up and caffeinated shampoos that promote hair growth as well. Better consult your doctor or derma to find the best shampoos suitable for you.
Is Minoxidil safe to use?
Minoxidil has potential side effects like dizziness, allergies, swelling and more. Overuse and long-term use have irreversible damages. That’s why you should buy products recommended by your doctor and make sure to use it according to the specified directions.
Mel is a licensed Chemist in Auckland, NZ who has worked in several cosmetics companies and has years of experience formulating hair care and beauty products. She uses her knowledge in cosmetics to distinguish and find the best products to recommend to Union Of Barber’s readers. When Mel’s not writing, you can find her walking her dogs or cooking and baking at home!