Although Minoxidil is well known as a medication for successfully treating hair loss, not so many people are aware of its history. Previously marketed as ‘Loniten’, Minoxidil is a medication that was originally prescribed to treat high blood pressure conditions.
However, after doctors had begun dispensing Loniten, they noticed a very interesting side-effect – hair began growing naturally on the heads of men and women who had experienced hair loss as a result of Androgenic Alopecia (pattern baldness). It was also discovered that fine hairs became darker after use of Minoxidil, giving the impression of additional hair growth.
After extended drugs trials, Minoxidil received official approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US and the MHRA (Medicines and Health Regulatory Authority) in the UK, for treating hair loss in men and women. Minoxidil also remains the only hair regrowth medication approved for use by women.
To understand how Minoxidil works, it also helps to know how pattern baldness occurs. Men and women affected by Androgenic Alopecia are genetically predisposed to a condition whereby the male hormone testosterone is converted into a secondary substance called ‘DHT’ (or dihydrotestosterone). DHT then attacks the hair follicles, causing them to shrink and prevent further growth. Eventually the attached hairs fall out and are not replaced, leading to a receding hair line and/or thinning crown.
Unlike Propecia, the other main medication for treating Androgenic Alopecia, Minoxidil does not target the production of DHT, which is responsible for the hair loss. Instead, Minoxidil stimulates the hair follicles themselves, encouraging natural hair regrowth.
High strength minoxidil
Minoxidil is known to be a dose-dependent drug – so the stronger it is, the more effective it should be. Whilst over the counter solutions tend to come in 2% and 5% strengths, higher strengths can be found generally via private prescription. Cases of a receding hairline and other particularly stubborn areas of hair loss in men can often benefit from this approach as finasteride 1mg, the only MHRA licensed and FDA approved oral male pattern hair loss treatment, is known to be a DHT blocker and can therefore help to stabilise shedding, but its effects on the hairline and temporal regions of the scalp are unconfirmed.
More than Minoxidil
A balanced hair loss treatment plan should cover more than just the use of medications. Here at The Belgravia Centre, patients receive a fully-customised treatment plan tailored to their specific circumstances to offer the best chance of promoting natural hair regrowth.
These treatment plans may or may not involve the use of Minoxidil and will also potentially include the use of additional hair growth supporting products, which Belgravia’s hair specialists often refer to as ‘Hair Growth Boosters‘, and lifestyle advice. The use of our highly-targeted premium nutritional supplement Hair Vitalics containing key ingredients including biotin, zinc and selenium can help on your journey to strong, healthy hair, whilst the FDA-cleared Laser Comb will further stimulate your scalp and hair follicles.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. 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 UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.