If you’re experiencing hair loss, the good news is that you’re not alone, and there is treatment. But amidst the sea of options, it’s challenging to know which ones are right for you.
About one-third of US women experience hair loss at least once throughout their lives, and two-thirds of women experience balding and hair thinning. Often paired with emotional distress, hair loss has a disproportionate effect on women due to societal expectations of beauty.
On a personal level, you may feel stripped of your identity and confidence. Whether you’re thinking about trying Minoxidil or have been using the treatment with little results, you came here for answers, and we’re here to help.
Many treatments for hair loss are available, including Minoxidil. But you might wonder, “how do I know if Minoxidil is working,” or “how do I know if it’s not?” Let’s dive into how Minoxidil works and how you can use the only Minoxidil Response Test on the market to see if it will work for you.
You may have heard of Rogaine®, a famous, FDA-approved topical hair loss treatment for both men and women. Developed in the 1980s, Rogaine® is a vasodilator, which means that its mechanism of action is to enlarge hair follicles to promote hair growth. However, it only works for some people. Why? Our research team discovered the breakthrough SULT1A1 enzyme required for a person to respond to Minoxidil treatments. Meaning, for the follicles to enlarge, you must have the right scalp ecosystem to respond to Minoxidil or any brand name of Minoxidil.
Rogaine® is the brand name for the product’s generic name, which is Minoxidil.
If Minoxidil is working for you, you might notice some positive signs like initial shedding, increased hair length, and the feeling of thicker hair. If your hair responds to Minoxidil, you should see signs of progress within 3-9 months. On the higher end, nine months is certainly a long time to wait, especially if your body doesn’t respond to treatments.
Does everyone respond well to Minoxidil, though? Contrary to the widespread marketing claims noting Minoxidil as “80% effective,” it doesn’t actually work for everyone.
Here at Daniel Alain, we’re not interested in wasting your time or money. We value transparency and efficiency. We know how distressing it is to battle hair loss, try treatments that don’t work, and end up defeated by the emotional toll it takes. That’s precisely why we developed the world’s first and only Minoxidil Response Test to help you learn if Minoxidil is a viable solution for your hair loss before you start treatment.
Getting tested first is the best option, as it will save you money and time instead of starting an ineffective treatment. So, we know it doesn’t work for everyone, but how does it work for those who respond?
How Minoxidil Works
To use topical Minoxidil, you apply it directly to your scalp with a dropper or foam solution. As a vasodilator, the product dilates your scalp’s blood vessels to open them up to yummy nutrients and oxygen, stimulating hair growth. On a biological level, Minoxidil tackles one of the four phases of your hair growth cycle — anagen, or growth.
Your hair goes through four phases: Anagen (growth), catagen (transitional), telogen (resting, and exogen (shedding). The cycle repeats if your hair is healthy, and your cells re-enter the anagen phase to produce new hairs.
People experiencing genetic hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia) have a shortened anagen phase, which causes their hair follicles to shrink.
Minoxidil is thought to alter the biological course of hair loss by increasing intracellular Ca2+ and up-regulating the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) enzyme synthase.
The bottom line? Minoxidil works to prolong the Anagen phase to minimize hair loss. If it’s working, you should see results between 3-9 months. But unfortunately for many women, they don’t know if Minoxidil is working because results can take up to nine months, or worse, never occur.
How to Tell if Minoxidil is Not Working
Minoxidil doesn’t work for everyone. Countless studies deem it an effective, FDA-approved treatment for hair loss, but it doesn’t always show positive results. And even more unsettling, the studies often show a skewed perception of the product’s efficacy.
One recent study showed that topical Minoxidil at any concentration had more positive results than the placebo. That same study also showed an additional 6.79 hairs/cm2 in the 5% concentration of Minoxidil treatment versus the 2% treatment.
You must have Androgenetic Alopecia (genetic hair loss); and
You must have the SULT1A1 enzyme
One study showed a link between daily aspirin use and lowered Minoxidil efficacy. So, if you’re taking aspirin daily, you might want to speak to your doctor to learn more and consider an alternative pain killer if you’re interested in taking Minoxidil.
Overall, Minoxidil's efficacy is relatively low for women, at 30-40%. Usually, you’ll see results within 6-9 months if you apply Minoxidil consistently. If there’s no progress in that time, your hair follicles might not have the enzyme necessary to activate the product. To know if Minoxidil is working, you should notice the following signs within 3-9 months, but ideally, you should see results immediately:
increased hair length; and
greater hair thickness or density
Say you don’t want to bet on a hunch that Minoxidil may work; that’s entirely reasonable. In this case, the wisest thing to do is get tested first. If the test determines you’re a responder, you can feel confident in proceeding with Minoxidil treatments.
Can I Be Tested to See if Minoxidil Will Work for Me?
Yes, you can take a test to see if Minoxidil will work for you. Daniel Alain's Minoxidil Response Test is the first on the market to test your response to Minoxidil. How does it work?
Minoxidil only works if your scalp has the SULT1A1 enzyme. This enzyme helps you respond to the treatment. The response test tells you if you have this necessary enzyme within ten days or less. This is a game changer for your time and wallet, considering many people don’t know if Minoxidil works until after three months or more. Meanwhile, the stress incurred during the waiting game is burdensome.
You can bypass this emotional rollercoaster by relying on trusted data. The clinically proven test assesses a few strands of your hair to see if you have the SULT1A1 enzyme.
Frequently Asked Questions About Minoxidil
What Causes Hair Loss?
Hair loss is more common in men, but it’s also prevalent among women as well. Medically known as alopecia, hair loss occurs for dozens of reasons, notably genetics, hormones, aging, or other medical illnesses, like cancer, scalp infection, or syphilis. Sometimes hair mistreatment could result in hair loss, such as excessive perms or color treatments, or traction alopecia caused by pulling or tugging at the hair or from wearing extensions.
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved topical hair loss treatment. It’s the generic name for the brand product, Rogaine®, first developed in the 1980s. Minoxidil is a vasodilator, which enlarges hair follicles to promote hair growth and only works for people with genetic hair loss and the SULT1A1 scalp enzymes.
How Long Does it Take for Minoxidil to Work?
If you respond to Minoxidil, you may see results immediately, but on average, it takes between 3-9 months of twice daily application to see results.
Should I Use Minoxidil?
If your hair is thinning, shedding, or balding, you might be a good candidate for Minoxidil. When applied to a responder, Minoxidil shows increased hair thickness, decreased shedding, and increased growth within 3-9 months. However, only people with the SULT1A1 enzyme will respond to Minoxidil. That’s why taking the Minoxidil Response Test is the crucial first step in your hair regrowth journey, to find out within 7-10 days if Minoxidil is right for you.
What are the Side Effects of Using Minoxidil?
Most medical products have side effects, including Minoxidil. Experts recommend that you consult with a physician if you experience any of these side effects from taking Minoxidil, as they indicate the body is absorbing too much of it:
blurred vision or other vision issues
numbness, tingling or swelling in the extremities and legs
rapid weight gain
Other side effects include:
itching or skin rash
scalp burning, inflammation, and soreness
facial hair growth
increased hair loss
reddened or swollen face
inflammation and soreness
Does Minoxidil Really Work?
Minoxidil has undergone many studies that show efficacy in many people. However, the effectiveness is varied, at only a 30-40% success rate, which means that many people don’t respond to treatments. To know if Minoxidil will work for you, take the Minoxidil Response Test.
Does Minoxidil Thicken Hair?
Yes, Minoxidil thickens hair. If you respond to Minoxidil, increased hair strand density or hair thickness is a sign that it is working.
Do You Have to Use Minoxidil Forever?
Generally, yes, but it depends on your current situation. If you stop applying the treatments, your hair will revert to the state it was in when you began treatments. The length of time you’ll take Minoxidil depends on your unique situation and conditions for taking the medication. Although you should see results within 3-9 months, consult with a doctor if you have questions about your dosage length of time.
Will Minoxidil Ruin My Hair?
If you respond well to Minoxidil, it shouldn’t ruin your hair. However, some side effects include hair shedding at first, so don’t be alarmed if that happens. If it doesn’t subside after two weeks, however, you might consider consulting with a doctor. If you experience any hair damage, it might be caused by other irritants, like over-the-counter hair dye or other chemical products.
Who Should Not Use Minoxidil?
Minoxidil only works for people that have the SULT1A1 enzyme. To find out if you have it, take the Daniel Alain Minoxidil Response Test. Studies haven’t indicated any problems in children or people over 65 that use Minoxidil. That said, it’s better to consult with a doctor if you have any specific concerns. Minoxidil might be unsafe for pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant, as its effects on the fetus are unrecorded.
Does Minoxidil Work for Everyone?
No, Minoxidil only has a 30-40% efficacy rate for women and a 60% for men. Luckily, other hair loss solutions for people who don’t mesh well with Minoxidil, including wigs, hair toppers, and anti-shedding treatments.
Why Isn't Minoxidil Working for Me?
If Minoxidil isn’t working for you, you likely don’t have the SULT1A1 enzyme that the product needs to show improvement. It’s best to take the Minoxidil Response Test to save time and money before you purchase the treatment.
How Do I Know if Minoxidil Will Work for Me?
Minoxidil only works for people that have the SULT1A1 enzyme. Take the Minoxidil Response Test to know within 7-10 days if Minoxidil will work for you! The test is the only way to know with complete confidence that Minoxidil will work for you and is validated with 95.9% accuracy.
How Does Minoxidil Testing Work?
The Minoxidil Response Test analyzes a few strands of your hair for the SULT1A1 enzyme in a CLIA-certified lab. Within ten days, you’ll receive lab results that will let you know whether or not you have the enzyme. The test is fast, discreet, and effective.