Minoxidil was first released in the 80’s and, used alone, never proved to be the miracle cure that people anticipated. However, over the years, the use of minoxidil has been shown to slow or stop the progression of hair loss for people suffering from “androgenic alopecia,” which basically is male pattern baldness. The exact mechanism of action in the body is not completely understood. It was initially developed to treat hypertension and, in an early study, hair regrowth was noted in some patients. It tends to work best on younger men who have been experiencing progressive hair loss for fewer than 5 years. In fact, the earlier the better. Minoxidil and finasteride, whether used alone or together, work best when started early. However, even if started early, hair regrowth is more of a secondary gain with stopping hair loss  being more likely. Hair regrowth occurs but not in as many men as those for whom it stops or slows hair loss. Interestingly, in the first few months of using minoxidil, loss of fine hairs can occur before they are replaced by thicker, more mature hairs. For some men, it can seem like it is getting a little worse before it improves.

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