Question: I have been advised to wash out my second application of minoxidil 30 minutes after application by a hair loss specialist, but have seen elsewhere this isn’t advisable. Which is correct?
Answer: Hi, Junaid. Whether you are applying minoxidil once or twice per day, it is extremely important that you leave the solution on and do not wash it off.
This is something Belgravia hair loss specialists advise all our clients. The reason is that, in order for high strength minoxidil to work as effectively as possible, it needs to be fully absorbed into the scalp.
The absolute minimum time you should allow for absorption is 30 minutes, but in order to achieve the best possible results, the longer you can leave it on, the better.
Based on a 1990 study, it is believed that 50% of a minoxidil application is absorbed into the scalp after 1 hour, and 75% is absorbed after 4 hours.
As such, leaving your solution on for only half an hour before washing it off suggests only a quarter is likely to be absorbed. Therefore, you could be making your hair loss treatment around 75% less effective than it could be if it you allowed to absorb properly.
Therefore, to make the most out of your treatment it should ideally be left on for as long as possible – there is no need to wash it off. Rather, apply it after washing and drying your hair; if your scalp is still wet it can dilute the minoxidil, again reducing its efficacy.
This applies to both your twice-daily applications; always use on a dry scalp and do not wash off in order to maximise the drug’s efficacy. If you want to go swimming or shower after applying minoxidil, you are best advised to wear a swim or shower cap to protect the hair and allow the product to absorb.
You should find all this information on the patient information leaflet that accompanied your hair loss solution. You may also want to double-check with your advisor to ensure you have fully understood their instructions and discuss any concerns you may have about your treatment, to make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure this hair growth product works as well as possible for you.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.