7 Reasons To STOP Using Minoxidil For Hair Loss (And What To Do Instead)

Minoxidil is one of the most widely used non-prescription hair loss drugs in the world.

Projected to exceed $162 million per year in sales since 1999, the global market for this medication alone is forecasted to be worth $1.2 billion USD by 2024.

Unfortunately, all of the money being spent on this drug and its ongoing popularity has nothing whatsoever to do with how effective it is.

This article will show you the seven reasons why using Minoxidil won’t give you the hair follicle restoration results you’re looking for… and what you should be doing instead for hair regrowth.

What Is Minoxidil And How Does It Work?

Minoxidil (also known by its trade name Rogaine) may be well-known as a hair loss drug, but it was originally developed as a vasodilator in the early 1960s.

The drug was synthesized among many others to create a viable solution for patients suffering from hypertension and the high blood pressure that followed it.

But once scientists figured out Minoxidil had a “side effect” of growing unwanted hair in select parts of their bodies, efforts were re-directed to formulate the compound as a solution for hair loss.

Although Minoxidil was initially approved by the FDA in 1979 as an oral tablet for treating high blood pressure, it later received another approval in 1988 as a topical solution for treating androgenic alopecia (i.e genetic hair loss) in men and women.

It wasn’t until 1998 where Minoxidil was released upon the world as an over-the-counter formulation. For the first time in history, patients could use Minoxidil without requiring a doctor’s prescription.

The mechanism of action for Minoxidil inducing hair growth isn’t exactly clear, but several factors are believed to be at play:

“Minoxidil is thought to promote the survival of human dermal papillary cells (DPCs) or hair cells by activating both extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt and by preventing cell death by increasing the ratio of BCl2/Bax.

Minoxidil may stimulate the growth of human hairs by prolonging anagen through these proliferative and anti-apoptotic effects on DPCs.

Minoxidil, when used as a vasodilator, acts by opening adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channels in vascular smooth muscle cells. This vasodilation may also improve the viability of hair cells or hair follicles.”

The latter effect is likely the most causative factor behind why Minoxidil works, as poor blood flow is believed to be connected to hair loss.

7 Reasons Minoxidil Is Bad For Hair Loss (And Your Health)

Every hair loss practitioner you meet will be extremely familiar with Minoxidil and may even suggest using it alongside other forms of hair growth treatments.

But a deep dive into the available scientific evidence — along with some common sense — reveals it might be time to put the cream down.

Reason #1: It Doesn’t Work On Everyone

As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news, Minoxidil is not the magic solution you think it is.

Even Healthline, one of the most authoritative health websites on the Internet, has to start their article on Minoxidil’s clinical effectiveness with the following introduction:

“Rogaine does work to some extent as evidenced by clinical studies, but only for certain types of baldness and only if you keep up with its application. But it won’t work for everyone.

If it does work, you probably won’t grow back all of the hair you’ve lost, and it can take up to four months to see results. You’ll have to use Rogaine indefinitely to maintain any regrowth”

And when you read the studies done on men and women using Minoxidil to grow new hair, the results are disappointing:

“In the large clinical study that led to the drug’s approval in 1987, 40 percent of men had moderate to dense hair growth on the crown of their head.

“In a one-year observational study, 62 percent of the 984 men using 5 percent minoxidil reported a reduction in hair loss.”

“In one double-blind study, 19 percent of women ages 18 to 45 using Rogaine for eight months reported moderate hair regrowth, while 40 percent had minimal growth (compared to 7 percent and 33 percent for placebo, respectively).”

Let’s showcase those numbers in a different way:

  • 60% of men in the first study did not experience hair growth
  • 38% of men in the second study did not report hair growth
  • 81% of women in the third study did not report significant hair growth

I don’t know about you, but those odds don’t look promising to someone who’s at risk of losing all your hair.

You might decide the benefits outweigh the risks and ask for a Minoxidil prescription, but don’t be so quick to make a final decision…

Reason #2: Not Everyone SHOULD Be Using Minoxidil

As with any other drug or medication, it turns out that Minoxidil is NOT the optimal choice for select individuals.

For instance, dermatologist Dr. Jeff Donovan specifically avoids prescribing Minoxidil in five different scenarios:

“an individual has some other hair loss condition besides androgenetic hair loss, such as dissecting cellulitis or menopause

the patient has heart problems, especially ischemic type heart disease or certain types of heart failure

the patient has heart rhythm issues (like atrial fibrillation)

the patient has certain internal conditions (like pheochromocytoma)

the individual has allergies to any of the components of minoxidil, such as propylene glycol in minoxidil solution or allergy to the minoxidil itself”

Other not-suitable individuals for Minoxidil may include:

  • Teens under the age of 18
  • Breastfeeding mothers
  • People with pre-existing kidney disease
  • Cancer patients who lost hair due to chemotherapy

In other words, the eligibility for Minoxidil isn’t as great as advertised.

Reason #3: The Actual Hair “Growth” Isn’t Great

If you’re the impatient type who likes seeing immediate results, you’re going to be very disappointed with how quickly Minoxidil works on your scalp.

According to comments left on by qualified physicians, get ready to spend MONTHS consistently applying the drug before any visible hair growth is apparent:

“Evidence of hair growth may take 2 months or more of twice daily applications.

If hair regrowth occurs, use must be continued for continued hair growth; re-grown hair may disappear within 3 to 4 months of stopping and the balding process will continue.

Discontinue if no improvement after 1 year of use.”

Some people go as far to say hair growth will be obvious at the 4-month mark and warn of ADDITIONAL hair loss during the entire process:

“Some people may experience some additional hair loss when they first start using minoxidil.

This might make some people feel like their baldness is getting worse before it improves.

In actuality, this can be normal and is a result of the hair follicles shifting the phase of growth they are in.”

So what we have so far is a medication that does not treat the root cause of hair loss or slow it down. Rather we have a drug where hair growth occurs at a rate that (hopefully) outpaces the ongoing hair loss.

Reason #4: Lifelong Dependancy On Minoxidil

Ok, so let’s recap: You quality for Minoxidil, you’re willing to take your chances, and you are able to delay gratification in exchange for long-term hair regrowth.

But are you ready to spend the rest of your life using Minoxidil 1-2 times per day in order to maintain a decent head of hair?

You’d better be… but you already knew that if you carefully read the quotations from the sources we cited thus far.

If you missed it, no worries — let us emphasize the point again:

“Once you stop using the minoxidil, it will take a maximum of 6 months to lose all of the hair that was regrown in the first place. Likewise, your balding will speed up or resume if the minoxidil had slowed down or altogether stopped your balding.”

And as an indefinite user of Minoxidil, your wallet should be fat enough to shell out $30-40/month for a constant supply of the hair loss medication.

Someone’s obviously making a lot of money from this drug, and it isn’t you.

Reason #5: Minoxidil Use Is Somewhat Impractical

As you’ll quickly find out — or as you’ve already discovered — you have to plan your life AROUND Minoxidil use, rather than have the drug fit into your busy lifestyle.

There are a number of conditions you have to watch out for when applying Minoxidil to your scalp, both before and after:

“Make sure your hair and scalp are completely dry before applying this medicine (i.e. shower first, Minoxidil after).

Do not shampoo your hair for 4 hours after applying minoxidil.

Immediately after using this medicine, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.

Allow the minoxidil to completely dry for 2 to 4 hours after applying it, including before going to bed. Minoxidil can stain clothing, hats, or bed linen if your hair or scalp is not fully dry after using the medicine.”

And good luck if you want to go swimming soon after taking Minoxidil. To avoid getting your hair wet, you’ll likely have to wear a swim cap in order to take full advantage of Minoxidil’s effect on your scalp.

So far the trade-off doesn’t appear to be worth it!

Reason #6: You Need High-Strength Minoxidil, NOT The Low-Strength Stuff

When buying Minoxidil over-the-counter, you will be able to purchase a 5% Minoxidil solution or a 2% Minoxidil solution.

The obvious answer would be to go for the higher-strength solution as it will lead to faster and more effective hair growth.

(Unless you want to get an even higher concentration solution via a doctor’s prescription… but you’ll see why that may not be such a good idea)

A 2004 randomized-controlled trial comparing 5% Minoxidil and 2% Minoxidil in women already has the answer for us:

While you will see more hair growth and scalp coverage of new hair with the 5% solution, you should expect greater frequency of serious and non-serious side effects. 

You could choose to opt for the 2% solution and experience a lower chance of side effects (and severity of said side effects), but please understand it will take much longer for visible hair growth to take place.

Reason #7: Nasty and Frequent Side Effects

Last but certainly not least, let’s briefly discuss the side effects to expect when using Minoxidil.

The most common Minoxodil side effects include:

  • Unusual reactions from your scalpular skin – scaling, flaking, itching, burning, dryness, and general irritation
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Possible allergic reaction to any of the ingredients
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Potentially unwanted hair growth in other parts of your body

These range from mild to serious, and in the latter case you should immediately seek your physician for emergency assistance.

Yet it also appears there are some side effects of Minoxidil which specifically present in women, such as:

  • Potential fetal development impairment
  • Temporary hair shedding
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Changes in hair texture/color

Not a great look for one of the most universally used hair loss drugs in the world.

Vantis Follicle Replication: The BEST Alternative To Minoxidil For Hair Growth

So what should you be doing instead of using Minoxidil? You would obviously want the alternative to either:

  1. provide faster / longer-lasting hair growth, and/or
  2. lead to fewer side effects, both in occurrence and severity

We have a solution just for you and it’s called Vantis Follicle Replication. 

If hair restoration is a top priority for you, you’ll definitely want to check out Vantis Institute in Newport Beach..

You spend ONE fee for 4-6 treatments that will add up to much less than the $2,000/year you will spend on constantly re-filling your supply of Minoxidil.

You can heal and hide the scars left from hair transplants post-surgery, something you can’t do with Minoxidil.

You’ll also notice a 10x boost in hair density and thickness with each treatment, which would take an entire lifetime with Minoxidil.

Not to mention it’s extremely safe and does not leave you with any of the short-term or long-term side effects associated with using Minoxidil.

So if you’re ready to FINALLY stop relying on Minoxidil to fix all your hair loss problems and try something that actually works, here are 3 easy ways we can help you…

  • Call or text (949) 577-6531 to talk to one of our VFR expert practitioners now
  • Receive a virtual consultation via Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp, GoogleMeet or Skype to answer all of your questions and develop a personalized treatment plan to achieve your desired results. Schedule your FREE consultation here