Minoxidil is a medication. It is an antihypertensive vasodilator medication and is used to treat hair loss. It is available as a generic medication and over the counter. Minoxidil was discovered during clinical trials for high blood pressure treatment. During trials, minoxidil showed signs of being able to regrow hair.
Minoxidil works by helping the blood flow to the hair follicles and increasing follicular size and hair shaft diameter, stimulating and prolonging hair growth. Increases blood flow around follicles. It stimulates follicle movement from resting to hair growth phase.
Over-the-counter Minoxidil solution and/or foam are sold to be used to help hair growth in the treatment of male pattern baldness. It is not used for baldness at the front of the scalp or receding hairline in men. The foam and 2 percent minoxidil solution is also used to help hair growth in women with thinning hair. It is important to follow all instructions when using this medication.
Although topical use of minoxidil is generally safe, as with all medications, there may be side effects. You should check with your doctor if any of these occur.
- Acne at site of application
- burning of scalp
- facial hair growth
- increased hair loss
- inflammation or soreness at root of hair
- reddened skin
- swelling of face