my hair beauty

    How Can We Use Topical Minoxidil for Hair Loss? Why Has the Topical Minoxidil Been Approved By FDA?

    Feb 20, 2022

    Minoxidil is a popular OTC product indicated for hair thinning. In 1998, The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) approved minoxidil for promoting hair growth[1].

    Minoxidil was first indicated for high blood pressure[2]. But later further research on the minoxidil-associated hypertrichosis, it was marketed as a hair growth product.

    After the first use of minoxidil, you may experience more hair loss (minoxidil-related shedding) than hair growth. Minoxidil takes almost 2 months[3] for visible results. It is available in solution or foam and is meant to be applied on the scalp daily. 

    In this article, we will tell you how minoxidil works and how to use it.

    How Does Minoxidil Works?


    Minoxidil was used as an anti-hypertensive agent due to its vasodilator effect. It means it dilates the blood vessels and increases the blood flow to the applied area. An increase in blood circulation results in increased delivery of nutrients causing hair growth. Minoxidil shortens the resting phase (telogen) and increases the length of the growing phase (anagen)[4].


    How Can We Use Topical Minoxidil for Hair Loss?

    Minoxidil is available in two dosage forms, i.e., solution and foam. If you are using a minoxidil solution, apply through the following method

    1. Clean the scalp before applying minoxidil.
    2. Either dry your scalp or apply the medication to damp hairs.
    3. Fill the applicator with 1 millimeter or 20 drops of the product.
    4. Part your hairs and apply the medicine (especially areas of hair thinning) to the affected area of your scalp.
    5. Gently rub the solution onto the scalp. Allow it to dry.
    6. After this, you can apply any hair styling product such as mousse, hair gel, or spray.
    7. If you are applying minoxidil foam onto your scalp, then
    8. First, wash your hands with cold water and dry them completely.
    9. Gently rub almost half a cap of foam on the scalp.
    10. After complete drying, you can apply hair styling products or sleep.


    Tips For Using Minoxidil:

    If minoxidil causes skin irritation, avoid applying the product on the same day as hair dye or other chemicals.

    Avoid application on red, itchy, infected, or broken scalp skin.

    Minoxidil solution or foam is only used for the scalp unless directed by your physician.

    Wash your hands well after the application of the product.

    In case of direct contact with eyes, rinse them off with water.

    Use it as directed by the doctor.


    Side Effects of Minoxidil:

    Like any other drug, the use of minoxidil is also associated with side effects.

    Minoxidil-related shedding (intensity increase with higher doses[1])

    Skin irritation and itching (pruritis)

    Hypertrichosis (excessive growth of hair anywhere on the body other than hair growing parts)

    Scalp folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles in the scalp)


    Final words:

    Minoxidil is an effective drug for hair growth. But it does not work for all. If minoxidil-related shedding is not stopped within four months of use[3], stop the product and speak with your doctor about other products.


    1. Suchonwanit, P., S. Thammarucha, and K. Leerunyakul, Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a
    review. Drug Des Devel Ther, 2019. 13: p. 2777-2786.
    2. Campese, V.M., Minoxidil: a review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic use. Drugs, 1981.
    22(4): p. 257-78.
    3. Badri, T., T.A. Nessel, and D.J.S. Kumar, Minoxidil. 2020.
    4. Messenger, A. and J.J.B.j.o.d. Rundegren, Minoxidil: mechanisms of action on hair growth. 2004.
    150(2): p. 186-194.