Minoxidil should be taken by men or women suffering from hair loss and considering having a hair transplant. It helps to prevent ongoing hair loss and it will help preserve a hair transplant result for longer.
Below, you can watch a video of one of our patients who took Minoxidil after having his hair transplant at The Treatment Rooms London.
Minoxidil, also known as Regaine, is a medication applied directly to your scalp to thicken your hair and prevent hair loss. As a hair transplant is permanent, you may continue to lose un-transplanted hair and be left with areas of transplanted hair only leaving no hair elsewhere. For this reason, patients who are looking to have a hair transplant, ought to consider taking hair loss treatment, to prevent further hair loss.
By using Minoxidil, you give yourself a good chance to prevent future hair loss and thicken your existing hair. If you have undergone an FUE hair transplant, this helps to prevent further hair loss, safeguarding your hair transplant result for the future.
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is a medication that was originally given as a pill to treat high blood pressure. As a side effect, the medication led to hair growth in patients suffering from hair loss. Now the medication is mainly used to treat hair loss in women and men. Minoxidil comes in 3 forms, a solution, a foam and an oral tablet.
Minoxidil Foam and Solution
As a solution or foam, Minoxidil is available in 2 main concentrations- 2% and 5%. Both concentrations have been shown to increase hair thickness.
5% Minoxidil has been shown to increase hair regrowth and thickness greater than the 2% dose (by 45%), (1). This result is primarily seen once patients have been using Minoxidil for 1 year.
Side effects of Minoxidil Foam and Solution
Minoxidil is a safe medication and can be bought from your local Pharmacy, without a Doctor’s prescription. At higher concentrations (> 5% and 10%) the side effects can be more common. The main side effects patients ought to know about are:
- Skin irritation and redness in the areas it is applied (mainly seen as dry skin and itching)*
- Hair growth on other parts of the body even when it is used only on the scalp (more common in female patients), (2)
*Skin irritation is seen less with the foam version compared to the solution version of Minoxidil. This is because the foam version contains less alcohol content in the bottle.
You can find Minoxidil as a tablet which tends to be preferred by patients who have a side effect from the foam or solution version like a skin rash.
The tablet has been shown to be effective in 66% of patients taking it for 6-12 months, with patients reporting a reduction in their shedding and a general thickening of their hair. Starting doses for the medication can be as low as 0.625mg and can go up to 5mg, with the average dose being 2.5mg.
Side effects of Oral Minoxidil
As the tablet is taken orally, it has some small extra side effects compared to the topical version. These can be:
- Lightheadedness (8% of patients)
- Excessive hair growth on other parts of the body (10-25% of patients)
- Leg swelling (3%)
- Headaches (9%)
- Palpitations (0.9%)
Using Minoxidil after having a hair transplant
You will need to pause using Minoxidil 1 week before your surgery and restarting Minoxidil 2 weeks after having your hair transplant. This will help preserve your existing hair and prevent ongoing hair loss whilst also promoting faster regrowth of your transplanted hair.
How long should you use Minoxidil after having your hair transplant?
You should aim to continue using Minoxidil for as long as you can tolerate following your transplant. It will help preserve your existing hair surrounding your transplant and therefore increase the longevity of your hair transplant result.
Are You Interested In Having A Hair Transplant?
If you are interested in booking in for a hair transplant, please feel free to contact us today. Our Surgeons would be happy to see you in clinic and discuss your hair loss, providing you with a treatment plan to treat your main concerns.