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 regrowth 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. Belgravia offers a number of minoxidil products that are suitable for use by women. If you would like further information on our minoxidil products please contact us to ask a question or arrange a free consultation.
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)?
The aim of MPG within hair loss treatments is to help prevent dihydrotestosterone (or ‘DHT’ – which is the product in the body that causes genetic hair loss) from destroying the hair follicles.
What is Azelaic Acid (AA)?
The aim of Azelaic Acid is similar to that of MPG – to help reduce the amount of DHT that reaches 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.
What is BioComplex?
BioComplex was exclusively developed by Belgravia hair loss specialists and features optimal doses of three key nutrients known to help maintain normal healthy hair growth. These are biotin (also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H), zinc and selenium.
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 Finasteride 1mg. Finasteride 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 for Women also contains specially-chosen components which may help to block DHT. However, like MPG and AA, Hair Vitalics is not a clinically proven product.
Getting the Best From Minoxidil
Belgravia hair loss specialists have found that whilst Minoxidil can help reduce hair loss and boost hair growth, the degree of success will often depend on the appropriate solution being used. Belgravia offers a number of high strength minoxidil formulations. Please contact the centre for more information on the range of minoxidil products available or to arrange a free consultation.
A Belgravia treatment course consists of more than just medication; we find that hair growth supporting products are an important part of any treatment course. You can find out more about the various options and how a Belgravia treatment course is tailored to each women’s hair loss and medical profile in order to maximise the likelihood of hair regrowth, by viewing our female hair loss treatments page.
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.