Minoxidil results alternative
Written by
Morgan German
Medically approved by
Amy Revene M.B.B.S

There are many recovery options for hair fall. It's common consensus that sustainable, safe and effective hair growth solutions take time to work.

Minoxidil is no different. Don't expect immediate minoxidil results - only hair transplants can do that.

Minoxidil results begin to appear within the first few weeks. After that, it begins to progress in different stages. In total, minoxidil results timeline ranges between three to six months.

Let's read on to find out what results should you expect when it comes to this FDA-approved drug - minoxidil.

While you're at it, read our epic 18 tips to grow your hair quick.

Minoxidil results after 3 months

Source: KVON

How does minoxidil work?

Minoxidil works quite differently than other hair treatment options.

With the minoxidil treatment, hair sheds first before the treatment process begins to take place. So don't worry if you actually see hair fall (pretty alarming when you're supposed to grow hair, we know).

According to this study, minoxidil results have been around 60% effective in men.

The minoxidil treatment takes place in two distinct phases.

The scientific hair growth cycle consists of anagen, telogen, catagen, and exogen.

Minoxidil does its work in the first two phases.

Anagen

This is the first stage at which hair growth takes place.

Telogen

This is the stage at which the hair is fully grown.

Minoxidil makes the anagen phase longer and the telogen phase shorter.

So you will see hair fall due to the shorter telogen phase. 

stages of hair growth by using minoxidil

Are there any side effects of minoxidil?

Minoxidil may cause side effects in some people.

Minoxidil can be used by both men and women. It is an FDA-approved, popular solution. Therefore, many may think that it comes with little to no side effects.

However, regardless of gender, minoxidil may cause many reactions and symptoms. Although minoxidil side effects are rare, here are some:

  • Chronic headaches
  • A burning sensation in the scalp
  • Excessive facial hair
  • Above-average hair loss
  • Swelling in any of the body parts
  • Slow or fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Acne
  • Vision issues
  • Weight loss or weight gain

It's important to consult with your dermatologist before starting the treatment. They will inform you about the possible side effects and, if you're lucky, will also present alternatives to minoxidil.

How to make minoxidil more effective?

You may unknowingly be taking steps to ruin your minoxidil results!

To get optimal minoxidil results, always apply it twice daily.

Be mindful of your daily hair care routine if you want minoxidil to be successful.

Find out whether your daily hair wash is causing your hair loss.

You can also use minoxidil along with other hair recovery products for improved results after consulting a medical professional.

Are you using minoxidil properly?

There are more chances of getting accurate and timely minoxidil results if it is applied properly.

There are two types of minoxidil treatments available: serum and foam. Here's how to apply minoxidil for the best results:

How to apply serum minoxidil?

  1. Your scalp and hair have to be dry before you could apply minoxidil.
  2. Rinsing with shampoo isn’t necessary, but your hair should be clean.
  3. Use a measuring cup to separate one dose of 1ml of minoxidil solution.
  4. Divide your hair into many parts to make it easier to apply at the crown.
  5. Gently massage minoxidil with your fingers, rubbing it into your scalp.
  6. Don’t shower or wet your hair immediately after applying minoxidil. Give it at least one hour to settle into the scalp.

You always need to apply minoxidil to your scalp’s crown!

How to apply foam minoxidil?

Foamy minoxidil usually comes in the form of a bottle.

  1. Make different sections on your hair scalp (as you would for minoxidil solution).
  2. Examine the area where the hair has become thinner.
  3. Take out some minoxidil foam onto your fingers.
  4. Spread the bit of foam to cover the entire area of hair loss.
  5. Never squeeze out minoxidil directly onto your scalp!

Whether you’re using the solution or the foam, always wash your hands thoroughly after every use!

Will minoxidil become more effective if combined with finasteride?

Yes, finasteride can be used along with minoxidil to accelerate hair regrowth.

It is used for people who suffer from high DHT issues and bad hair follicular health. Minoxidil is responsible for enriching hair follicles with nutrients, whereas finasteride is used to lower DHT levels.

If you are wondering what makes the two different, read our comparison between finasteride and minoxidil here.

As always, don't use these drugs without prior consulting.

Is it possible to decrease minoxidil hair shedding?

minoxidil applying on hair with pipette

It is impossible to completely skip the hair shedding part of minoxidil treatment. But it is possible to decrease the shedding.

If you have skin allergies or intense hair fall issues, your dermatologist might prescribe a 2% minoxidil solution.

The higher the minoxidil concentration, the greater the hair coverage. The pace at which minoxidil works will remain the same.

However, a recent study found that a 5% minoxidil solution turns out to induce hair growth faster than 2% minoxidil.

It's important to note that:

  1. The sample size consists of only men. It does not mean women will get the same results.
  2. One study is not conclusive enough to make it a medically accepted fact. Always talk with your dermatologist if you want to try 5% minoxidil.

What happens after you get the full minoxidil results?

What should you do after minoxidil results have been successful or unsuccessful?

Typically, the 48-week timeline sets the benchmark for minoxidil results to appear. You will see hair growth.

After this point, hair loss would begin to appear just like it did before taking minoxidil. This hair loss is natural because hair grown during minoxidil medication becomes dependent on it.

And although the regrown hair is healthy, they have become accustomed to the blood volume that was induced by minoxidil. So now, it all depends on how you make up for the blood flow provided by minoxidil.

Your dermatologist or doctor should be able to give you detailed instructions based on your results and examinations.

How can you reduce hair loss after stopping minoxidil treatment?

Minoxidil directly affects blood flow. When its usage is stopped, the blood flow needs to be stimulated using some other method.

There are many approaches to regulate the blood flow of your scalp after stopping minoxidil.

  • Take supplements. These could be vitamins, proteins, or any sort of formula that works to enhance follicle health.
  • Use naturally derived, effective serums like this and other hair treatment options.
  • Massage your scalp to improve the blood circulation for your hair

You could use just one of these methods, though it’s also a good idea to combine them with a doctor's advice. Because you never know whether the combination will work or produce side effects on your scalp.

Remember that it’s all about keeping the blood circulation as given by minoxidil.

What if you miss a single or a couple of minoxidil doses?

Minoxidil results remain unaffected if you accidentally skip the medication for a day or two or even into a few weeks.

If you forget to apply minoxidil for a day, it won’t affect the results. This also goes for several days. However, the entire scenario can turn around when you permanently stop using minoxidil or if it’s been a few months since you quit.

After stopping minoxidil, hair loss may return.

So, follow the minoxidil treatment if you are already on one and see it through - if possible.

Conclusion

So minoxidil results never appear suddenly. It is a progressive hair treatment medication that takes place along with two phases in the hair growth life cycle. You could also combine minoxidil with finasteride if you’re experiencing high-level DHT problems too.

The concentration of minoxidil will vary from person to person, depending on their health conditions and needs. A recent study suggests ideal concentration in minoxidil is 5%, which works for around 60% of people, especially men.

Are you considering minoxidil?

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