Can Minoxidil reverse hair loss and hair miniaturisation?

Doctor's Answers 1

Thank you for your question.

How Does Minoxidil Help With Hair Loss?

Minoxidil is a topical treatment that is used in individuals with male and female pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia.

In males, Minoxidil is best used in conjunction with Finasteride.

How Does Minoxidil Help With Androgenetic Alopecia?

In androgenetic alopecia, hair miniaturisation occurs, whereby matured hair that is thick and pigmented turns into finer and less pigmented ones called vellus hair.

Miniaturisation may progress to a point where hair follicles shrink and no more hair grows from it, leading to a reduction in hair numbers and hair loss.

Minoxidil has been shown to reverse the miniaturisation of hair follicles in the crown area and frontal scalp of patients with androgenetic alopecia [1]. This is done by increasing blood circulation to the area and lengthening the growth phase of each hair follicle.

Limitations of Minoxidil

However, Minoxidil does not work on areas of the scalp that has grown completely bald, as this suggests that the opening of the hair follicles have closed completely.

In such cases, the only treatment that allows for hair growth would be a hair transplant, also known as follicular unit extraction.

Should you have any concerns regarding the use of Minoxidil or the type of hair loss you may be experiencing, do consult a trusted doctor to carry out a proper assessment and diagnosis of your condition. Hope this helps!

Read this article for the complete guide to hair loss treatment in Singapore.


[1] Mirmirani P, Consolo M, Oyetakin-White P, Baron E, Leahy P, Karnik P. Similar response patterns to topical minoxidil foam 5% in frontal and vertex scalp of men with androgenetic alopecia: a microarray analysis. Br J Dermatol. 2015;172(6):1555-1561. doi:10.1111/bjd.13399

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Cohort studies done on patients taking isotretinoin (accutane) have shown may develop hair abnormalities. This is attributed to Vitamin A toxicitiy, of which, accutane is a potent derivative of. The types of hair disorders that are associated with isotretinoin use are as follows: 1. Telogen effluvium - This is a condition whereby increased shedding of hairs across the entire scalp occurs. A sufferer of this affliction would notice increased amounts of hair in the shower floor trap, on the floor or on the pillow.

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What are the causes and treatment for genetic hair loss in Singapore?

Thanks for your question. I see two issues at hand: You are now having red patches on your scalp that are itchy You have noticed hair loss for some time, for which minoxidil did not work. The problem is I don’t know the timeline of both, and whether the 2 issues are linked since it’s already been 1 year since you’ve visited the NSC. Eg. It may be that when you were seen at the NSC, the red patches were not present and you had a hair loss pattern typical of genetic hair loss (or male pattern hair loss). Therefore: Is it really genetic hair loss?

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