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How exactly does Minoxidil work?

Minoxidil was first used as a blood pressure pill nearly 30 years ago. It worked to lower blood pressure, but doctors soon noticed that it also caused hair growth. After further study, it was found that minoxidil could be used as a topical solution or foam to help grow hair on the scalp, but without the side effects of lowering your blood pressure. In the medical literature, it is thought that minoxidil works to stimulate hair growth by helping hair stay in the growth cycle longer, reduce the time a hair is in its rest cycle, and help to increase the size of the hair follicles. Bigger follicles mean thicker hair.

But the truth is that we just don’t know exactly how it works to stimulate hair growth. It is likely a combination of the effects on the natural hair growth cycles, but the medication may also stimulate other growth and healing factors in the scalp that help to grow hair.

The bottom line is that it works. Use of minoxidil once or twice per day will help to improve the number of hairs and the thickness of the scalp hair. It can work for men or women, and it is available without prescription in most pharmacies.

Stay tuned for our next blog post on understanding the good and bad of minoxidil.