Larissa asks…Is it true that Minoxidil can make hair thicker in people who do not suffer from hair loss? If you have thin, fine hair, can it make the individual hair thicker and coarser? Or should Minoxidil be left to those who suffer from male/female pattern baldness?
The Left Brain responds:
As Msgotrox accurately pointed out in our Forum, Minoxidil works by altering the growth cycle of hair. Hair has three phases of growth: an active growing phase called anagen, a resting phase called telegen, and a dormant phase. Minoxidil delays the phase where the hair falls out. It does not help by making existing hairs thicker/coarser/stronger.
The kind of baldness is key
It’s important to remember that Minoxidil only works on a certain type of baldness, the hereditary kind which is technically known as androgenic alopecia or AGA. If you do have this kind of baldness, Minoxidil can increase growth of news hairs (to a modest degree) and those new hairs may be thicker. But if you don’t have this condition, applying Minoxidil won’t have any effect.
Proven to work
The good news is, for those women suffering from AGA, Minoxidil can really help. Here’s an excerpt from one clinical study:
Two studies in healthy females aged 18 to 50 years with adrogenetic alopecia showed statistically significant differences favouring 5% over placebo, but not over 2% TMS with regard to non-vellus hair counts. Compared to mean baseline counts of 178-185 /cm2, at the end of 36 weeks treatment mean increases in non-vellus hair counts were 18/cm2 in subjects who received 5% TMS (N=64), 15/cm2 in subjects who received 2% TMS (N=74) and 3/cm2 in subjects who received placebo (N=40). In the other study, compared to mean baseline counts of 138-150/cm2, at the end of 48 weeks treatment mean increases in non-vellus hair counts were 25/cm2 in subjects who received 5% TMS (N=97), 21/cm2 in subjects who received 2% TMS (N=106), and 9/cm2 in subjects who received placebo (N=50). Examination of efficacy data based on hair weight measurements demonstrated an overall clinical benefit of 5% TMS and 2% TMS in stimulating hair growth. Additionally, this study strongly demonstrated the stabilisation of hair loss over the 2 year treatment period. Source: http://www.pharmcom.com/rogaine_data.html.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
Minoxidil has been proven to help many women with female pattern baldness but it wont help thicken hairs for everyone else. Check with your doctor if you want to find out if you might might benefit from this treatment.