What are the AGA treatment effects of minoxidil?


When it comes to the treatment of AGA (male pattern baldness), minoxidil is the treatment of choice for many people because of its effectiveness and convenience.
However, it is very important to have a proper knowledge of minoxidil before starting treatment.

How minoxidil works, what to expect, precautions to take when using it, how to deal with side effects, this article will answer these questions about minoxidil and help those considering AGA treatment to make the right decision.

The key to hair loss treatment is early action. You can easily inquire on line at Osaka AGA Kato Clinic for a free consultation to find the best treatment for you.

What is minoxidil?

“Minoxidil” is an external drug originally developed for the treatment of hypertension . minoxidil, which began to be used in the 1970s to treat hypertension, has the effect of widening blood vessels and improving blood flow.

However, it was observed that some patients using the drug had thicker hair on their heads. This led scientists to focus on minoxidil’s “hair-growth-promoting” effect and to study it as a treatment for thinning hair.

Mechanism of hair growth with minoxidil

Minoxidil improves blood flow to the scalp by widening blood vessels . When the scalp is well nourished, the growth period of hair is lengthened, resulting in thicker and longer hair growth.

In other words, minoxidil does not act directly on the hair, but rather helps to create an environment that supports healthy hair growth.

What are the AGA treatment effects of minoxidil?

Let us look specifically at the effects of AGA (male pattern baldness) treatment using minoxidil.

AGA is a form of alopecia caused by male hormones and genetic factors, and is characterized by the recession of the hairline, especially on the top of the head and forehead.

Minoxidil has the following two major effects in the treatment of AGA.
1.Promotes the activity of hair matrix cells and prolongs the “growth phase”.
2.Improves blood flow to hair papilla

First, it promotes the activity of hair matrix cells and prolongs the “growth phase” during which hair grows . Hair matrix cells are the cells that produce hair. When hair matrix cells are active, hair grows thicker and longer.

Second, minoxidil improves blood flow to the hair papilla by dilating capillaries . The papilla is responsible for supporting hair matrix cells with nutrients.

Increased blood flow to the papilla provides an abundant supply of oxygen and nutrients necessary for hair growth. As a result, hair can grow healthier and stronger.

By normalizing the “hair growth cycle” and expanding the “nutrient supply route” to the scalp, minoxidil can be said to be a drug that slows the progression of hair loss caused by AGA and promotes new hair growth.

Performance in Clinical Trials

Clinical trials of AGA (male pattern baldness) treatment with minoxidil have shown an increase in hair density and a delay in the progression of thinning hair in many patients.

When a 5% minoxidil solution is used, a marked hair regrowth effect is often observed after several months of treatment. Clinical trials have reported that many patients experience this effect within 4 months to 1 year of starting treatment.

Because the effects of minoxidil are maintained with continued use, the hair-growth effect obtained may be lost gradually if treatment is discontinued. For this reason, continuous use is recommended.

Clinical trial results support the effectiveness of minoxidil in the treatment of AGA, but individual differences in efficacy exist.

Side effects should also be noted, and its use is recommended under the guidance of a physician.

What is the correct way to use minoxidil?

When using minoxidil for AGA treatment, it is very important to understand and practice its proper use.

Minoxidil is available primarily as a topical solution or form and is applied directly to the scalp in the specified amount once or twice a day .

Follow the steps below for usage.

Preparation before use: Make sure the scalp area to be treated is clean and dry. Lightly brush hair from the treatment area so that the drug is directly contacted with the scalp.
Drug application: Apply the recommended amount of minoxidil evenly to the scalp according to the directions on the bottle. For the form, dispense the form into a cool, dry palm and apply to the scalp using your fingers.
Massage the drug: Gently massage the drug into the scalp to spread it evenly. This process helps the drug to penetrate the scalp better.
Allow to dry: Allow to dry naturally after applying the medication. Avoid hasty drying with a hair dryer and wait for the drug to dry naturally.

Precautions for use

When using minoxidil, it is important to observe the following precautions. For more information on how to penetrate minoxidil for better therapeutic effect, please refer to this article.

observe the dosage

Using more than the specified dose does not improve therapeutic efficacy and may increase the risk of side effects.

Avoid internal use

Minoxidil is a topical medication. Please be careful not to accidentally take it internally. Oral minoxidil (minoxidil tablets) also exist, but they have not been approved as a treatment for AGA not only in Japan and the U.S. but also worldwide.

Keep out of eyes

Avoid rubbing your eyes with your hands during and after use. If it accidentally gets into your eyes, rinse them immediately with water or physiological saline solution.

Keep out of the reach of children and pets

Keep out of reach of children and pets, as accidental ingestion can cause serious side effects.

Hand washing before and after use

Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after applying the drug.

It is very important to follow these instructions and precautions to maximize the effectiveness of minoxidil and minimize the risk of side effects.

What are the side effects of minoxidil?

Use of minoxidil can cause side effects in some individuals. The most common side effects are itching, redness, or irritation of the scalp .

These are often limited to the scalp area where the drug directly acts and are often mild to moderate in severity.

Other, more serious side effects may be reported, such as unintended hair growth in areas other than the scalp, swelling of limbs, weight gain, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and increased heart rate, but these are relatively rare.

How to deal with side effects

If you experience side effects when using minoxidil, the following symptomatic measures may help.

Mild scalp symptoms

If itching or redness is mild, continued use often allows the body to adjust and symptoms may improve spontaneously. However, if symptoms worsen, stop using minoxidil and consult a physician.

Severe scalp irritation

If severe itching, redness, or irritation occurs, discontinue using minoxidil immediately and seek medical attention.

Unintended hair growth

If hair growth occurs on the face or other non-treatment areas, it may be improved by reviewing how minoxidil is applied. Wash hands after application, protect the application site, etc.

Serious side effects

If you experience any serious side effects, such as swelling of the hands or feet, rapid weight gain, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or abnormally increased heart rate, discontinue using minoxidil immediately and seek emergency medical help.

Lifestyle for minoxidil effectiveness

Maintaining proper lifestyle is essential to maximize the effectiveness of minoxidil. Below are some recommended lifestyle habits to enhance efficacy.

The characteristics of people for whom minoxidil is less effective are described in the following article.

Well-balanced diet

Healthy hair growth requires proper nutrition. A diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals should be maintained. Biotin, vitamin E, and zinc are especially good for hair health.

Adequate sleep

Good sleep is necessary for the body to repair and regenerate. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

Stress management

Excessive stress can promote hair loss. It is important to manage stress through relaxation techniques, hobbies, and exercise.

Quit smoking

Smoking can worsen blood flow and negatively affect hair health. Quitting smoking can have a positive impact on overall health as well as hair.

Moderate exercise

Regular exercise stimulates blood flow, making it easier for nutrients necessary for hair growth to reach the scalp.

Products and ingredients that should not be used in conjunction with minoxidil

To support the effectiveness of minoxidil treatment, it is useful to review the use of some products and ingredients.

  • Products containing alcohol
  • Styling products containing strong chemical ingredients

Alcohol can dry out the scalp and reduce the effectiveness of minoxidil. Products containing strong chemical ingredients, such as hair gels and sprays, can irritate the scalp.

Comparison of minoxidil and finasteride

Minoxidil and finasteride are the two most commonly used drugs in the treatment of AGA, but there are significant differences in their mechanisms of action, usage, and side effects.
Name of drugs Minoxidil Finasteride
How to use External medicine Internal medicine
Mechanism of effect Promotes hair growth by dilating capillaries, improving blood flow, and extending the growth period of hair Slows the progression of hair loss and promotes hair growth by inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a type of male hormone
Main side effects Itching or irritation of the scalp Decreased libido and erectile dysfunction

Minoxidil is a “defensive” hair growth treatment that creates an environment for hair growth and strengthens existing hair follicles, while finasteride is an “offensive” hair growth treatment that promotes hair growth.

Minoxidil and finasteride used separately? Combined?

For mild to moderate AGA with thinning hair only in specific scalp areas, minoxidil alone may be recommended.

On the other hand, if hair loss is extensive or strongly affected by DHT, internal finasteride may be appropriate.

Because the mechanisms of action of both drugs are different, they may be used in combination for the purpose of maximizing efficacy. Especially in the treatment of severe AGA, better results can be expected by combining the hair-growth-promoting effect of minoxidil with the hair loss progression-inhibiting effect of finasteride.

Incidentally, minoxidil and dutasteride are also an effective combination. Minoxidil and dutasteride have different mechanisms of action. Therefore, they are expected to synergistically prevent hair loss and promote hair regrowth.

However, dutasteride and finasteride cannot be used together because they have the same mechanism of action.

The decision as to which drug or combination of drugs to use should be made under the diagnosis and guidance of the treating physician.


AGA treatment with minoxidil offers an effective solution for many men. This article details basic information about minoxidil, its effectiveness in AGA treatment, correct usage, common side effects and how to deal with them.

Through a comparison of minoxidil and finasteride, we also discussed the characteristics and use of each drug, as well as their combined use.

In AGA treatment, it is important to choose a treatment that is tailored to your individual condition and needs. It may take some time to realize the benefits of treatment, so it is important to be patient.

Having the right knowledge, following proper usage, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will bring you one step closer to successful treatment.

Leave your thinning hair treatment to our specialists. Find the right treatment for your problem with a free consultation at Osaka AGA Kato Clinic. Please feel free to contact us on Line.