GENERAL INFORMATION ON HAIR GROWTH
Hair stems from pilous follicles which can vary between 90 000 to 140 000 follicles depending on hair color. The number of follicles never increases during ones lifetime. Follicles develop into growth phases of two to six years and later enter in rest phases of two to three months. At the end of the rest phase, hair falls and the follicle replaces it with a new hair. With age, the growth of new hair diminishes and a gradual reduction process takes place. Ninety percent of follicles are in growth phase while ten percent are in rest phase. Some factors (see below) may modify this ratio and cause an excessive temporary loss of hair. Losing approximately 50 to 100 hairs per day is considered normal. Hair grows approximately one centimeter per month.
FREQUENT CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS (non cicatricial alopecia)
- Infections: hair loss occurs between six and twelve weeks after infection. Influenza, typhoid, pneumonia and exanthema. Mycosis. Surgery, especially under general anesthesia.
- Diets: low calorie diets causing a lack of proteins
- Giving birth: a loss of hair may occur two to three months after delivery and may last from one to six months. This loss is usually reversible.
- Anemia: caused by a lack of iron.
- Endocrinopathy: hyperthiroidia and hypothyroidia, hypopituitarism, as well as hyperparathiroidia and hypoparathiroidia.
- Thallium, oral contraceptives, anticoagulants such as heparine, medications against gout, anti-arthritics, beta blockers, antidepressants
- Antitumorals: methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, as well as high doses of vitamin A.
- Hair loss caused by these medications is reversible
When hair falls out with one or many well demarcated plates in the pilous regions: scalp, beard, lashes, eyebrows, etc… Stress could be a trigger factor in these illnesses. A fresh growth of hair is often anticipated after a few weeks or months with or without treatment. It starts with a white or blond layer after a few weeks or months. In the case of extensive universal alopecia, treatment becomes increasingly difficult.
Baldness is a genetic condition to which there is no cure. Only Minoxidil 2-5% (Rogaine), when applied locally and regularly twice a day may help hair preservation for 65% of patients. The probability of obtaining a dense hair regrowth is only 4%, while the chance of obtaining an esthetically acceptable result for the patient is 33%. When the patients stop the medication, their hair returns to their pre- treatment condition. To determine whether a person responds favorably or not to the product, a 4 to 6 months therapeutic trial is requested. Typically, younger patients have greater success with treatment as does and the vertex region (top of head) responds better than the frontal region.
Inappropriate use of cosmetic products for scalp care may provoke hair loss.
Minoxidil should be avoided by all persons under 18 years of age. It is also to be avoided if you have experienced an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in Minoxidil or if you apply other prescribed topical preparations on your scalp.
Minoxidil should also be avoided if you observe :
- A redness or inflammation of your scalp;
- A scalp infection or irritation, a sensitivity of the scalp when touching
- When your scalp has a rosaceous color or skin lesions, burn or sunburn.
Stop using Minoxidil and consult your doctor in the presence of thoracic pains or acceleration of your cardiac rhythm. These symptoms may predict a severe reaction to the medication. Other warning signs: vanishing or dizziness. Sudden weight increase of more than 5 pounds or 2.5 kg. Hand or foot oedema. Redness or irritation of the scalp treated zones. Apparition of unusual injuries or wounds.
What are the factors that may increase the risk of undesired side effects after applying Minoxidil?
Minoxidil should only be applied to the scalp as there is an increased risk of undesired side effects whenever applied to other parts of the body.
Hair growth is a slow process, therefore patience is needed as Minoxidil is not a miraculous cure. Two to six weeks after starting the treatment, you may actually observe some hairfall. This is normal and due to the passage of your follicles from a rest to a growth stage: when your new hair starts growing in, it replaces those fallen follicles.
When starting Minoxidil application, the alcohol in it may irritate your scalp. This side effect is usually short-lived and should disappear within a few days. However, if the irritation persists, stop using the product and consult your pharmacist.
POSITIVE EFFECTS OF USING MINOXIDIL
After using Minoxidil twice a day for at least four months, you may start seeing positive results. However it may take some people up to 12 months before you see results as every person reacts differently. What is Minoxidil, precisely?
Minoxidil is the first pharmaceutical treatment which has produced clinical proof of its therapeutic action on hereditary hairfall. Throughout the world, over five million adults have used Minoxidil. After a trial made up of 7000 participants, 80% declared having stimulated hair growth. How does the product work? Minoxidil revives the pilous follicles and brings them from a rest stage to a growth stage. Researchers consider it stimulates blood circulation toward the scalp cells responsible for hair growth, and that it may also increase the number of these cells. Daily use of Minoxidil, after four months, prevents hereditary hair loss in four of five men. After 12 months of use, 50% of users may observe moderate to strong hair re-growth.
DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO APPLY MINOXIDIL
You should apply a (1ml) dose twice a day directly on the target zone of the scalp. Consistent application, day and night, is the best way to integrate this as part of your daily routine. When applying the product at night, it should be done so at least two hours before bed to allow the solution to dry. With this dosage and frequency, a bottle should last approximately one month. Each applicator contains one solution dose. You can apply Minoxidil with the tip of your fingers. However, carefully wash your hands after each application. If using the spray, make sure Minoxidil covers the scalp and not only the hair. In order to measure treatment efficiency, take photos of your hair every three months.
WHO SHOULD BE USING MINOXIDIL?
Minoxidil is a suitable treatment for hereditary hair loss or thinning on the top of the head for men over the age of 18. Clinical trials could not demonstrate Minoxidil being efficient to bring fresh growth near the frontal skirt. Minoxidil is not indicated for women.
Minoxidil is not suitable for you if:
You do not have hereditary hair loss
Hair loss appears suddenly
Hair loss occurs on plates
You do not know the cause of your hair loss