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How long will it take for Minoxidil to work?

Generally speaking, it takes about 4 months to start noticing some results of consistent minoxidil use, and about 6-12 months for you to see new hair growth. Why so long? Remember, hair loss is the result of weakened and shrunken hair follicles. Minoxidil needs some time in order to bring your hair back to health. So while results may vary from one person to another, it’s important to remain patient and continue using minoxidil. Even if you don’t notice an initial difference in your day-to-day hair loss – believe us, it’s working. 

How does Minoxidil Work?

Male pattern baldness is a result of the shrinkage of your hair follicles on your scalp – Minoxidil primarily works by reversing this process. Minoxidil, when used as a vasodilator on the scalp, expands the blood vessels and improves blood flow to the hair follicles. With this process, your hair follicles receive the oxygen and vital nutrients they need. It’s mechanism of action focuses on shortening the resting phase of hair growth which ultimately kick-starts, and lengthens, the growth phase in hair follicles. Although the results of using minoxidil are thicker and longer hair, you may experience initial hair loss while it works to produce newer, healthier hair. 

Studies have shown that minoxidil has been very effective in treating men who experience male pattern baldness, but if you are looking to treat a receding hairline, you may want to consider other options such as finasteride or a hair transplant. 

Is Minoxidil Effective?

The short answer is: yes. Minoxidil improves blood flow to the scalp which allows more nutrients to reach your hair follicle. So, if you have fallen victim to the pitfalls of male aging, i.e. baldness, this might be the right product for you. There have been countless studies that demonstrate the positive results minoxidil has on male pattern baldness. 

The American Academy of Dermatology even boasts about Minoxidil effectiveness with several published articles describing efficacy and overall patient satisfaction. One article highlighted that 84.3% of the men in the study had some level of effectiveness with their use of Minoxidil. Another article showed a statistically significant improvement between Minoxidil and Placebo after 16 weeks of use. So if you don’t believe us, you can check out the thicker head of hair that the majority of men in these studies lucked out with after their regular use of Minoxidil. 

What’s the link between Minoxidil and Hair Shedding?

When Minoxidil shortens the Telogen phase, the hair follicle starts growing new hair at a faster rate. It may not be all glorious right off the bat; things will get worse before they get better but this only lasts for the first few weeks of using minoxidil. Hair loss will become more prominent and you might find your hair on more pillowcases than you’re used to – this is a natural step before your new hair’s regrowth. Minoxidil will eventually have the opposite effect and you’ll notice a positive change within 3-4 months months of consistent use.

What are Minoxidil side effects?

We know that all medications have possible side effects, but Minoxidil is a treatment that is typically well tolerated. Some people may experience side effects from Minoxidil; these include scalp irritation, dryness, scaling and itching. These side effects are usually rare, temporary and mild. But how common are these side effects? Not very. According to an article that was published in 2013 and observed 100 men who were using Minoxidil for three months, not a single side effect was reported. So it’s safe to say that, generally, the benefits of minoxidil far outway the risks. 

There are more serious but more uncommon side effects which include chest pain, hypotension, dizziness, sudden unexplained weight gain and rapid heart beat. Consult a healthcare provider if side effects that are experienced become bothersome or don’t subside over time.

How long until you see results?

It won’t be a quick journey, but good things don’t usually happen overnight. Since Minoxidil regenerates your existing hair follicles, the process can take up to four months for you to start seeing improvements. But the good news is, if you start at the beginning of the NBA season, you won’t need a hat for the playoffs. Remember, it might get worse before it gets better, but you should expect to see significant improvement after a full year of treatment. If treatment is combined with Finasteride, chances of success are even higher. Learn more about Finasteride.


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Aba Anton, MPharm

Aba Anton, MPharm

Aba graduated with a Master’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Manchester. His entrepreneurial background helped his vision for advancements in the outdated healthcare space. His focus is centred around bridging the gap between patient needs and accessibility.

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