Is minoxidil effective for treating hair loss?

Minoxidil is one of the most commonly used treatments for hair loss in women and men, and it is widely available in various forms all over the world.

The drug was originally used to treat high blood pressure, but was found to have the side-effect of increasing hair growth and thickening hair in some of the people who took it. It is now available over the counter as a lotion, under brand names including Regaine, Rogaine, Mintop, Loniten and Avacor.

Unfortunately, the exact way in which minoxidil works to restore hair and promote re-growth is not definitively known. However, it has been shown to have visible effects in some patients.

How well does it work?

Studies have shown that minoxidil is effective at producing moderate regrowth in around 20 per cent of women aged between 18 and 45. A further 40 per cent of this age and gender group reported minimal regrowth.

Will the effects of minoxidil last?

Whilst minoxidil has proven to be effective for some people, its visible results tend to disappear within months of stopping treatment. Therefore, it needs to be used indefinitely until the hair can grow back by itself.

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