Minoxidil: Is it safe?
Minoxidil is a topical medication that’s used to treat hair loss. Along with finasteride, it’s one of the most widely used and effective treatment options for increasing hair growth and dealing with the effects of male pattern baldness.
Like all medications, minoxidil has both primary effects and side effects. For most people, the side effects of minoxidil are relatively minor. However, it’s important that you’re aware of all of minoxidil’s potential effects before you begin treatment.
Below, we’ve listed all of the known side effects of minoxidil, as well as detailed information on how common side effects are from minoxidil use.
Side Effects of Minoxidil
It’s as that easy to find information on the negative side effects of Minoxidil. For the most part medical websites state the side effects as low-risk. However, if you investigate further, you’ll find that the harmful chemical can actually do some significant damage.
Side effects include hives, itching, rashes, dry skin, and skin redness. More severe side effects include abnormal heartbeats, low blood pressure, chest pain, a decrease of vision, hair loss, head pain, inflammation of hair follicles, nerve pains, low libido, sexual issues, and more.
It makes you wonder why a hair growth company would ever put something with so many negatives into their serums.
Men across the United States have tried these popular serums with the hopes of reclaiming their hair.
Instead, what they received are temporary follicle growth spurts and low sex drives. Some individuals even report depression, anxieties, and more.
The FDA states that they are unsure of how topological minoxidil can be for the body. Minoxidil isn’t the best for your body, your hair, or your overall health.
Many users find that during the first week or two of application, some further loss of hair will be seen. There is a good reason for this.
This can be a particularly disturbing side effect, especially as you’re taking the medication to grow new hair. However, most hair experts agree you really have nothing to worry about.
There are two primary factors that lead to what is called Minoxidil Shedding:
- Those trying Minoxidil for the first time do not give it enough time! As we discuss on various pages on this site, Male Pattern Baldness happens slowly — and so does treatment to reverse it. Some men have seen favorable results in as little as two months, but for most, the optimum effectiveness — and most visible results — is/are not seen until around four months in to treatment.
- Minoxidil users panic when experiencing what seems like even further hair loss! Put simply, the effect of Minoxidil on the hair follicles can, in early stages on application, cause the existing hairs to fall out, as new hair growth begins. Think of it like baby teeth… the little ones drop out to make way for the bigger ones. We’ll go into more detail below, but initial shedding is a sign that the Minoxidil is working! In fact, many of those who experience worse shedding tend to have better results in new hair growth, in the long term.
What Causes Minoxidil Shedding?
Shedding of head hair is a normal part of the hair growth cycle. It happens to everyone — even those with full and healthy heads of hair — every day. Anything up to 100 hairs each day will be naturally shed by the follicles in your scalp. This happens as you hair leaves the “telogen phase” (the ‘resting phase’) and begins the “anagen phase” (or ‘growing phase’). We’ll go into those terms in more detail lower down.
When you use Minoxidil, your hair follicles are ‘forced’ (for want of a better word) from the resting phase in to the growing phase. A sudden rush of blood to the follicles can cause the existing, weakened hairs to fall out, but will only be replaced with thicker, healthier strands of hair.
In hair regrowth there are three primary phases. Anagen Phase, Catagen Phase, Telogen Phase – Think of it like baby teeth, dropping out to make way for healthy regrowth.
It is not uncommon to see a temporary increase in hair loss during the first two to three weeks of treatment.
This shedding does not happen in everyone, though. In fact, those who have the more intense — and worrying — shedding will tend to have better regrowth with continuous use of Minoxidil.
Please note, however, if increased shedding continues for longer than 4 weeks, you should consult your own physician to rule out other possible medical conditions.
The apparent increased hair loss is just a normal part of the hair growth cycle. Minoxidil can suddenly speed up some of this cycle and the result is temporary and, as mentioned above, shedding is most often a sign that the Minoxidil is working and will continue to work.
Natural Minoxidil Alternatives
Rogaine or Minoxidil has a lot of side effects, although known to work on some people, its not a flawless medication (like most pharma medications) — there are actual natural alternatives to Minoxidil which you can stop use, after you get results, unlike Minoxidil, which you have to keep taking for life.
It is important to understand how minoxidil works. Minoxidil works by expanding the blood vessels so that more blood flow can occur. The blood vessels expand, and cause more nutrients and lowers inflammation — but when used over the long term, the effect of it reduces, and blood vessels get crippled, hence after years of use, you don’t get further results, but start getting an itchy scalp.
Many medical sites state that they don’t know why minoxidil can help hair growth — this is because if they tell you the reason, you won’t buy it — as the natural alternatives are so obvious when you know what it does — but minoxidil was originally a heart medicine, and it was designed to expand vessels so that it prevents a heart attack — and the medical industry know this very clearly!
- Taoist soap: Used to directly stop inflammation, and allow more blood circulation in the scalp and halt inflammation that causes hair thinning and progression of hair loss. Used to apply directly on the scalp
- Peach Seed powder: Tao Ren (in Chinese herbs) is known to break down mucus that causes blockages in blood vessels as we age — and this, taken internally, combined with the Taoist soap (applied externally) work in a powerful way to help stay looking younger, better hair growth and much more.