Minoxidil + Medroxyprogesterone or Azelaic Acid
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil was first used in tablet form as a medicine to treat high blood pressure, but it was noticed that some patients being treated with minoxidil, experienced excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis) as a side-effect. Further research showed that by applying minoxidil in solution form directly to the scalp, it could prove to be beneficial to those experiencing topical hair thinning.
Clinical Results of Minoxidil for Women
In controlled clinical studies of women aged 18-45, 2 out of 3 women with moderate degrees of hereditary hair loss reported re-growth after using 2% minoxidil. Initial results occur at 4 months with maximum results occurring at 8 months. The good news for women is that in general, minoxidil has been found to benefit women to a higher degree than men.
For women, the Belgravia Centre usually recommends minoxidil at a strength of 4%, 5% or 8% in liquid form, or in an extra-strength 10% or extra-strength 12.5% minoxidil cream. Our minoxidil products also contain the booster additives MPG, Azelaic Acid or Caffeine. Our female patients are carefully monitored during treatment and their progress on these strengths is very encouraging.
How Minoxidil Helps Reduce Hair Loss and Increase Hair Growth
Whilst minoxidil encourages hair growth and hair loss stabilisation, the exact molecular mechanism operating in the cells that result in hair growth is not known. Some experts believe that minoxidil dilates the blood vessels around hair follicles, increasing the nutrient supply and encouraging increased hair growth, however, this is still an unproven theory, as other vasodilator drugs do not appear to promote hair growth.
Another theory is that topical Minoxidil induces a significant increase in DNA synthesis in hair follicle cells. Minoxidil is a stable and inactive drug, when applied to the scalp and absorbed into the skin it is converted to an active, unstable product called ‘Minoxidil Sulphite’. Our body produces a catalyst called sulfonyl transferase that converts the inactive minoxidil into the unstable active minoxidil sulphite. Minoxidil sulphite activates potassium channels in cells and this is thought to lead to hair growth.
Whilst there is no conclusive evidence as to why minoxidil encourages hair growth, the fact is that it does, be it to varying degrees depending on the person’s particular case of hair loss.
What is Medroxyprogesterone (MPG)?
Medroxyprogesterone (MPG) can be found in our Minoxidil 4%, 5% and 8% liquid solutions depending on the recommendations of the Belgravia hair specialist for each individual. The aim of MPG is to help to prevent dihydrotestosterone (or ‘DHT’ – which is the product in the body that causes genetic hair loss) from destroying hair follicles. This complements Minoxidil’s reaction with the follicles, and may add to the response that is achieved. When MPG is added to Minoxidil it becomes a prescription-only treatment but in many cases Minoxidil will be provided without MPG contained.
What is Azelaic Acid (AA)?
Azelaic Acid (AA) is added to Belgravia’s minoxidil creams and can in some cases be used as a substitute to MPG in our liquid minoxidil formulations for patients that are not suited to MPG. Azelaic Acid is added to minoxidil with the aim of reducing the amount of DHT reaching the hair follicles by inhibiting the formation of 5-alpha reductase. 5-alpha reductase is the enzyme that combines with testosterone to form dihydrotestosterone, which in turn causes genetic hair loss.
Why Might Caffeine Help Prevent Hair Loss?
Studies have shown that caffeine could be an effective blocker of the DHT hormone locally around hair follicles. In one particular lab study, hair follicles were removed from balding men and exposed to testosterone. Some were also exposed to caffeine. The hair growth from follicles exposed to testosterone was significantly reduced (as is the case with follicles affected by Male Pattern Hair Loss) whereas not only did caffeine seem to prevent testosterone from negatively affecting hair growth, but it also stimulated growth of the hair.
For females, MPG, AA and Caffeine are especially important as they act as a substitute for Propecia. Propecia is the best known medically proven medication to combat genetic hair loss in men and takes effect by preventing DHT from reaching the hair follicles. Belgravia’s daily hair growth supplement Hair Vitalics also contains a component that may help to block DHT – Saw Palmetto. However, like MPG and AA, Hair Vitalics is not a clinically proven product.
Getting the Best From Minoxidil
Belgravia trichologists have found that whilst Minoxidil can help reduce hair loss and boost hair growth, the degree of success will often depend on the Minoxidil’s strength. The Minoxidil formulations that we provide vary from a mild 4% lotion to a stronger 5% Regain lotion or in some cases an extra-strength 8% liquid. Alternatively our extra-strength 10% cream might be recommended, which is used to treat more stubborn cases of thinning hair or hair loss.
A Belgravia treatment course consists of more than just minoxidil, we find that ‘treatment courses boosters’ are just as important. You can find out about hair growth boosters and how a Belgravia treatment course ensures the highest likelihood of hair re-growth by clicking here.
Like most other drugs there can be side effects from the use of Minoxidil. Side effects from Minoxidil are unlikely and are usually mild. Some of the possible side effects are increased facial hair growth, headaches, rashes and palpitations. Side effects should diminish in a short time during use of Minoxidil or shortly after stopping Minoxidil. Higher doses of minoxidil will increase the chances of side effects. For full details of minoxidil side effects please click here.