Studies show that as many as two thirds of men will experience some degree of hair loss by the age of 35.
Hair loss and receding hairlines (or androgenetic alopecia), are much more common than you think. If you are starting to worry about thinning hair or a receding hairline – don’t stress! You’re not alone and there are things you can do today to stop your hair loss from progressing.
There are a tons of questionable and unproven miracle cures for hair loss advertised online. Only two treatments have been scientifically proven and medically approved for hair loss. These are minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil works in a different way to Finasteride and the combination of the two can be an effective solution for hair loss. In this article, we will cover the basics of minoxidil.
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a solution which is applied directly to the scalp in order to combat hair loss. It is sold under many different trade names around the world including Rogaine ®.
Minoxidil works by increasing the blood flow to hair follicles. This makes the hair follicles stronger and stimulates them to grow healthier hairs that live for longer. This increases the overall volume of hair and helps prevent further hair loss.
Freshman’s unique extra-strength Minoxidil formulation is free from alcohol and propylene glycol. These additives have been known to cause irritation and dandruff. The Freshman formulation was specifically developed for guys with sensitive skin on their scalp.
What makes minoxidil so effective and why should you be taking it as a hair loss treatment?
You can buy minoxidil as a topical solution or a foam. This should be applied to the scalp twice a day. Minoxidil often also increases hair density and can sometimes regrow hair where it has been lost. For the best chance of success, you need to start using it as early as possible. There’s no reason to delay – as soon as you start to notice hair starting to thin out or your hairline receding, it is advisable to start using minoxidil consistently to stop the hair loss in its tracks.
As with many things in life, minoxidil has its advantages and disadvantages. Some men occasionally experience skin irritation when they start using it and sometimes the scalp can dry out causing dandruff. Luckily these instances are rare and the treatment is very effective for the majority of men.
But how does minoxidil work?
Minoxidil was first developed as a pill for blood pressure. However, over time, doctors discovered that when people took the drug they started to see increased hair growth on certain parts of the body. After a whole load of testing and trials, it was shown that minoxidil could induce hair growth when applied to the scalp.
Like all living cells, hair has its own life cycle. The average hair grows for 1000 days before it falls out. With androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness, your hair follicles start to shrink and the hair inside the hair follicle starts to weaken and becomes more delicate.
“Minoxidil works by increasing the blood flow to hair follicles. This makes the hair follicles stronger and stimulates them to grow healthier hairs that live for longer.”
When starting to use minoxidil, it is normal to experience increased hair shedding for a couple of weeks. The old and weak hairs fall out as they are replaced by new, stronger ones. So, don’t worry if you see some more hairs falling out after starting a minoxidil treatment. The key is applying minoxidil consistently (twice a day) and being patient.
How well does Minoxidil work?
Minoxidil is particularly effective in younger men and men in the early stages of male pattern baldness or hair thinning. So, if you have recently noticed your hair starting to recede or getting thin on top, then you should definitely consider Minoxidil as your primary treatment. If you’re a guy in your twenties or thirties and your father or uncle suffer from male pattern baldness, the hair loss odds are stacked against you. In this case, minoxidil is a great preventative treatment. The sooner you act, the better!
Minoxidil 5% solution is the most common treatment for men. Scientific studies have shown that solutions stronger than 5% are not any more effective. We always recommend chatting to a hair loss specialist first to ensure the best possible diagnosis and the optimal treatment for your specific needs.
How do I know if I should be taking Minoxidil?
If you are experiencing an above-average amount of hair loss, then it could be a sign that you could benefit from an effective hair loss treatment such as Minoxidil.
However, it’s important not to rush into anything, as everyday hair loss is quite normal, and it may not be a cause for concern or require treatment – most men will naturally experience a higher level of hair loss as they get older, for example.
Find out more about the different causes of hair loss in our Hair Loss 101 guide.
Have you spotted any tell-tale signs such as a receding hairline, or thinning hair on your crown? If so, you may be in the early stages of male pattern baldness (MPB). MPB is the most common form of hair loss, and Minoxidil is the most effective known preventative treatment for hair loss.
To get the best possible results from minoxidil, you should apply it to your scalp twice a day.
We recommend building it into your daily routine. Once you get into a habit of applying minoxidil, it only takes a few seconds to do and becomes second nature – like brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day, would you?
Some men can get away with just once a day, however, if you start to notice your hair thinning out then it is best to apply it as recommended by doctors. To stay on top of receding hairlines and ultimately male baldness, it is best to get into a steady routine.
It is important to note that if you stop using minoxidil, your hair will start to thin out again within 3-4 months. Therefore, if you’re serious about keeping your hair, you’ve got to stay consistent with your minoxidil. At Freshman, we’re committed to helping you keep your hair. That’s why we’re here to support you in your journey, every step of the way.