Minoxidil which is also known under its brand name as Kirkland Minoxidil is still the only hair-loss treatment that is topically applied which has FDA approval. There have been a number of trials that have proven that this treatment is effective for re-growing hair and preventing hair loss.
What Is Minoxidil?
First approved in the year 1988 to treat “male pattern hair loss” known as androgenetic alopecia, this drug was first prescribed in an oral form for the purpose of treating high blood pressure. When patients and doctors started to notice “unexpected” hair growth, the drug went under trials for treating hair loss. As soon as these trails were proven successful, Rogaine received its approval from the FDA.
Since this time, the patent for the drug Rogaine expired and the manufacturers have been freed up to produce the generic formulations of this drug. In most cases, this medication comes in a 5% concentration, even though there are also 2% solutions available.
This medication comes in a spray, foam or liquid form which is applied to the affected areas on the scalp once or twice a day. For optimal results, the solution should stay on the individuals scalp for a minimum of 4 hours before washing it out. Similar to many of the other types of hair-loss treatments, this drug only works while you are using it. When you stop the use of this treatment, your hair loss will continue from where it left off.
Even though minoxidil is FDA approved for treating hair loss, it is still unclear how this product really works. To date, science has stated that the hormone known as DHT (dihydrotestosterone) binds to the hair follicles which make them shrink. This is the reason that the DHT-reducing medications like finasteride have been proven as effective against reversing and slowing down hair loss.
However, minoxidil does not have an effect on the DHT levels but is rather a vasodilator which works on increasing blood flow to the area that the product is applied to.