What is minoxidil?

Minoxidil was initially researched as an anti-hypertensive drug until researchers found out that the drug would grow hair in balding patients. This interesting side effect then prompted researchers to delve into minoxidil as a hair loss medication, and thus today’s minoxidil ever-growing presence.

What is minoxidil useful for?

Minoxidil is most useful for male pattern baldness, an irreversible balding condition that affects males. Minoxidil typically slows down the balding process and, in some cases, can also regrow some of the hair lost. Minoxidil works best on the vertex area (i.e. crown or top of the back of the head), which is a common problem area for men with male pattern baldness.

How long does it take to see first results?

Generally, you will start seeing noticeable, exciting results after 8-10 weeks. After this period, you will most likely encounter phases of shedding and stagnation, and then spikes in growth. Sometimes growth is continuously steady, while sometimes it’s up and down. Every person is different.

How long for vellus hairs, or “baby hairs” to become thick, terminal hairs?

The vellus hairs will shed and be replaced with a terminal hair and there is no timescale for how long this takes. It could take 6 weeks, or 6 months even.

Can I use minoxidil if I’m under the age of 18?

I cannot advice you on this; you must consult your doctor. All I can tell you is that there are reported cases of minoxidil use in men who are younger than 18 years of age. Unlike finasteride (another hair loss medication), minoxidil has no impact on DHT, thus its side effect profile is benign.

Having said the above, it is very rare for a male younger than 18 years of age to be anything higher than a Norwood III; ergo, minoxidil use tends to be most commonly started at age 25 and above.

Is minoxidil sold over the counter and can I get it without a doctor’s prescription?

Minoxidil is sold over the counter and, in most jurisdictions (including USA), you do not need a doctor’s prescription to buy minoxidil.