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Minoxidil frequently asked questions

Q. Why does your 15% minoxidil have yellow color? 
A. The 15% minoxidil has retinol that is yellow. That is why our Minoxidil Laboratory's 15% minoxidil solution is yellowish. The yellow color is very light. It is not noticeable once it is applied to the scalp.

Q. Why do the other brands of minoxidil solutions feel so oily? 
A. Rogaine and the generic OTC 5% minoxidil solutions contain a 50% concentration of propylene glycol in their liquid base, which leaves a long-lasting greasy film on the scalp.  Minoxidill Laboratory uses significantly less propylene glycol to help reduce the  the greasy feeling.   It is estimated that more than 10% of users have an untoward allergic reaction to propylene glycol. We are offering minoxidil solution free of propylene glycol at 5% and 15%.

Q. Is there a difference between Rogaine active ingredient (i.e. minoxidil) and that of Minoxidil Laboratory? 
A. No. Minoxidil is minoxidil. They have the same structure and molecular weight. Our minoxidil is UPS grade, the highest purity you can get on the market. The product is manufactured by an FDA registered cGMP complied facility.

Q.  Does glycerin make minoxidil formulas less effective? 
A. No.  Both glycerin and propylene glycol are pharmacologically inactive ingredients in the minoxidil products. They are used in minoxidil solutions because (1) they are humectants, i.e. they help to moisturize the skin and help protect from the drying effect of the alcohol; (2) they increase and stabilize the solubility of minoxidil; and (3) they keep a small quantity of minoxidil on the surface of the scalp to allow for continued absorption after the alcohol necessary to the base solution has penetrated.    

Q. Does minoxidil harm healthy hair? 
A. Not at all.  Although the exact pharmacodynamics of minoxidil are not well understood, the effect of minoxidil is to safely promote growth and to maintain maturity of the hair follicles.  These effects are most observable in hair follicles affected by Male Pattern Baldness.

Q. Why use a 5% or higher minoxidil solution or lotion when 2% - 5% minoxidil solutions are readily available over the counter in many countries?  
A. Minoxidil displays a dose-dependent effect with higher concentrations, improving the responsiveness and greater regrowth of hair. The higher the effective dose of minoxidil, the better the results, albeit there is not a directly proportional response.

Q. Are minoxidil solutions higher than 5% more effective in promoting hair growth? A. Clinic data show that minoxidil displays a dose-dependent effect with higher concentrations improving the responsiveness and greater regrowth of hair. That is why clinical data show 5% works far better than 2%, and 15% minoxidil works better than 5% minoxidil in promoting hair growth.

Q. How can I know that using a high concentration minoxidil solution and/or lotion isn’t an overdose and/or won’t be counterproductive to hair growth? 
A. Minoxidil has to have a serum concentration of 20 ng/mL to have any hemodynamic or other systemic effect in the human body.  Allowing for 1.7% absorption of minoxidil from topical application, a 2% minoxidil solution will result in 0.6 ng/ mL and a 5% minoxidil solution will result in 1.2 ng / mL of minoxidil in the serum.  So, there is more than a 16-fold safety margin from the use of 5% topical minoxidil and a 5-fold safety margin with the use of a 15% topical minoxidil solution.

Q. Can I expect improved results with the higher concentrations of minoxidil? 
A. The 5% and higher minoxidil solutions and lotions have the potential to promote  regrowth of more hair and thicker hair, but they do not change the genetic properties of the hair follicles.  Although the growth (anagen) phase may be lengthened, the dormant (telogen) phase of approximately 100 days is unchanged. In order to see results, the existing thin hair shafts need to be replaced with thicker ones. This is why it usually takes between 3 and 6 months to appreciate significant hair regrowth with any concentration of minoxidil solution of 2% or greater.  

Q. What are the possible side effects of which I should I be aware? 
A. In the vast majority of patients there are no side effects.  If side effects do occur, patients who have a known adverse reaction to minoxidil, should avoid using any of our products. Although rare, patients who are sensitive to minoxidil can experience a rapid heart rate, a drop in blood pressure and water retention. As a result, they may experience headaches, dizziness, chest pain and/or edema of the ankles. If such side effects occur, these patients should discontinue any formulas containing minoxidil. 

Q. What are 'direct dermatological events'? 
A. These are skin reactions in the areas to which the minoxidil solution is directly applied. These reactions may include soreness, redness, irritation, drying or flaking, etc. It is unusual for minoxidil to cause any of these events. Any untoward reactions are almost always due to the propylene glycol.

Q. Do I have to continue to use topical minoxidil solutions even after my hair has grown back?  
A. Yes. Topical minoxidil solutions are still treatments and are not cures for MPB. If you discontinue using minoxidil solutions, the scalp will revert to its baseline (before-use) condition in three to four months. However, some patients can achieve acceptable maintenance with once/day applications of 1 mL our 5% minoxidil.

Q. What applicator is the most effective and convenient? 
A. Since topical minoxidil preparations are absorbed most effectively when they are applied directly to the scalp, use whatever applicator would accomplish this task most efficiently for you. For most patients, the calibrated dropper works well to apply the solution directly onto the scalp.

Q. Will the solutions be as effective if I just spray them on my hair? 
A. Not really. It’s important that the maximum amount of the medicated solutions be deposited on the scalp, so they can be absorbed into the dermis to the level of the hair follicle. There is essentially no effective delivery of medications through the hair shaft.

Q. Should the scalp be wet or dry when I apply the minoxidil solutions? 
A. As a general rule, medications are more readily absorbed when the skin is hydrated.  But minoxidil solutions can be applied to a dry scalp as well.  Our recommendation is to apply the minoxidil solutions to a dry scalp or to the scalp that is at least towel dried in order to avoid dilution.

Q. Will it help to apply the minoxidil solutions more than twice / day? 
A. It may, however the additional benefits will probably be minimal, especially with the Minoxidil Laboratory solutions, because the azelaic acid also promotes maximum absorption of minoxidil.

Q. Will minoxidil as an ingredient in shampoos and conditioners work for me? 
A. No. Minoxidil must penetrate the scalp to work effectively at the level of the hair follicles. Shampoos and conditioners would have to contain very large amounts of alcohol and/or remain on the scalp for hours in order to transfer minoxidil through the scalp.