Hair loss treatment: Medication to increase hair growth

Royal family has been ‘hit by male pattern baldness’ says expert

The most common cause of hair loss is genetic, a condition known as androgenetic alopecia. This hereditary condition is progressive and causes hair follicles to shrink, producing thinner, finer hairs over time. Eventually, the follicle stops producing hair altogether. Hereditary hair loss occurs because of an inherited hormonal sensitivity passed down from either or both biological parents. For men, it’s often called male pattern baldness because it follows a pattern of loss at the temples and/or crown. For women, hair loss doesn’t always follow a recognizable pattern. It may present as a widening part, patchy hair loss or thinning all over. According to studies and leading health experts, using Minoxidil is one of the best treatments to help increase hair growth. How?

Originally tested in the 1960s as an oral medication to treat high blood pressure, Minoxidil was found to increase hair growth in some patients.

Minoxidil has been used for hair loss treatment for several decades.

The medication affects follicular cells by enhancing hair growth and reducing hair loss.

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, minoxidil and its use in hair disorders was investigated.

The study noted: “Despite its widespread application, the exact mechanism of action of minoxidil is still not fully understood.

“In this article, we aim to review and update current information on the pharmacology, mechanism of action, clinical efficacy, and adverse events of topical minoxidil.

“Physicians observed hair regrowth and generalized hypertrichosis in balding patients, which led to the development of a topical minoxidil formulation for treating androgenetic alopecia (AGA) first in male and then in female individuals.

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“Minoxidil solution (MS) contains inactive ingredients, including water, as well as ethanol and propylene glycol (PG), which are used as vehicles to enhance the solubility of minoxidil.

“PG facilitates efficient drug delivery into the hair follicles and the positive effect of minoxidil on hair growth is mainly due to its metabolite, minoxidil sulphate, and the enzyme responsible for this conversion is sulfotransferase, which is located in hair follicles and varies in production among individuals.

“Minoxidil is a common medication prescribed for treating hair loss-related problems.

“It provides remarkable benefits to patients with hair disorders.”

Used in a lotion or foam, topical Minoxidil promotes hair growth in both men and women who have gradual hair loss (thinning hair) at the top of the head, said Dr Zenon Andreou.

He continued: “It is not used to treat receding hairlines.

“It is a vasodilator, which means that it dilates blood vessels.

“Minoxidil is not recommended for sudden, unexplained or patchy hair loss.

“It is also not suitable for women who have lost hair after having a baby.”

According to Regaine, minoxidil can help the hair in the following ways:

  • Reverses the miniaturisation of follicles
  • Increases blood flow around follicles
  • Stimulates follicle movement to growth phase
  • Extends each follicle growth phase

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