In this article we will be covering the various causes of hair loss, what minoxidil is and how it can help treat hair loss, and the various alternative hair loss treatments in Singapore.
The average cost of a month's supply of Minoxidil in Singapore can range from SGD 41 to SGD 158.
These prices vary based on brand variations as well as concentration levels which range from 2% to 5%)
Here are some of the different forms Minoxidil is available in:
Originally formulated in the 1970s as a treatment for high blood pressure, researchers discovered that patients experienced a common side effect known as hypertrichosis, or excessive hair growth. This observation led to the development of topical minoxidil for use in hair loss treatments.
In 2016, Australian dermatologist Rod Sinclair found that Oral Minoxidil with dosages as low as 0.625 and 1.25mg were successful at regrowing hair and eliminating hair shedding while causing fewer side effects.
However as it was not originally intended by the manufacturer as a treatment for hair loss, obtaining low-dose Minoxidil for this purpose requires an off-label prescription by a licensed doctor.
This might be the version of Minoxidil you might be more familiar with. Widely known by its brand-name Rogaine, this version of Minoxidil is applied directly to the scalp using a dropper tool. It currently available in 2 different strengths: 2% and 5%
Due to its inclusion of propylene glycol, a water-soluble alcohol, the Minoxidil Solution might cause skin irritation, redness and allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to consider Minoxidil Foam instead as it is gentler on the skin and is less likely to cause irritation or allergies.
Some users find Minoxidil Solution makes their hair look and feel greasy, and may opt for the Minoxidil Foam for faster absorption and a less greasy appearance.
Minoxidil Foam first entered the market in the early 2000s and is currently available in 2 different strengths: 2% and 5%. Minoxidil Foam is considered to be the gentler topical Minoxidil version as it does not contain propylene glycol, a water-soluble alcohol, which can cause redness, skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Some users find Minoxidil Foam to be the most convenient topical option compared to the solution, as it can be applied with your hand rather than a dropper tool. This allows for easier application over larger areas with significant thinning or balding hair.
Some researchers have theorized that because Minoxidil Solution causes more redness and skin irritation than the foam version, the increased blood flow to the scalp might speed up hair growth. However, this is all theoretical and further research is needed.
Ultimately, the best form of Minoxidil for you boils down to personal preference and your hair loss situation. If you have more sensitive skin, you might find that the Minoxidil Foam is the better option for you due to its exclusion of propylene glycol.
As long as you use these Minoxidil treatments as instructed and regularly, they will all have roughly the same efficacy and show the same results.
Good things come for those who wait, and this holds especially true for Minoxidil.
On average, users may begin to notice changes to their hair after 2 - 4 months of consistent application. Results may vary depending on the individual as some might experience faster results while others may need more time.
The key to success with Minoxidil is with consistent use as instructed, beyond the initial 4 months.
While using Minoxidil is generally safe, here is a list of common side effects that could occur:
- Scalp irritation
- Hair shedding
It is important that you contact your doctor immediately if you begin to experience the following serious side effects:
- Chest pain
- Increased heart rate
When you initially start using Minoxidil, you might experience more hair fall rather than less. Don't worry, this is normal! While it might seem counterintuitive, this is often a sign that the Minoxidil treatment is working as it should.
This is because Minoxidil triggers and lengthens the initial stage of hair growth called the Anagen Phase. It is during the Anagen Phase that your hair actively grows to its fullest length.
In order to get your hair to the Anagen Phase quicker, Minoxidil shortens the next stage of hair growth called the Telogen Phase - the resting phase. During this stage which lasts about 3 months, your hair is dormant and doesn’t grow.
As the Telogen Phase is shortened, your hair goes through the Exogen phase, the shedding phase, much more quickly. So while you might experience hair shedding more rapidly, new hair growth will soon replace the hair lost when it re-enters the Anagen Phase.
You might experience possible hair shedding in the first 4 - 6 weeks of Minoxidil usage. With consistent Minoxidil usage, you will begin to notice hair shedding slow down and begin to stabilise after 3 months.
You should continue to use Minoxidil to see improvements in your hair, as it grows and thickens in the affected areas.
Here are some things you should take note of before running out the stores to pick up Minoxidil for your hair:
Topical forms of Minoxidil (Minoxidil Solution & Foam) are available for purchases over-the-counter and do not require a doctor's prescription.
However, it is recommended that you speak to a healthcare professional or dermatologist before incorporating Minoxidil into your daily routine. This is so that they can ascertain whether Minoxidil is the best option for your hair loss situation, what potential side effects you might experience and whether you are suited to using Minoxidil. They can also help you determine what concentration of Minoxidil is best for you.
It is also important to know that Oral Minoxidil is not available for over-the-counter purchase. You will need a licensed doctor to prescribe that to you for off-label use.
As mentioned earlier, topical Minoxidil is available in various concentrations - 2% and 5%.
While there is scientific evidence1 suggesting that higher concentration of Minoxidil can lead to increased effectiveness and more noticeable results, it is important to note that this may also increase your likelihood of experiencing side effects.
If you have sensitive skin and are considering using a topical form of Minoxidil, it is advised that you consult a medical professional first to discuss which concentration and topical form is best suited for your skin to minimize the risk of skin irritation.
You might have come across listings on e-commerce sites claiming that their hair loss treatment contains Minoxidil and that you can see hair regrowth within 3 days.
However if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't.
Authentic Minoxidil products require months and months of regular usage to see results. If you see any Minoxidil product or listings claiming near-instant results, they are likely to be counterfeit and should be avoided for safety reasons.
To ensure that you are buying authentic and HSA-approved hair loss treatment products, it is recommended to buy Minoxidil from well-established and reputable retailers, clinics or licensed telemedicine platforms.
Buying counterfeit Minoxidil products from dubious sites can be dangerous, as they have not undergone rigorous testing for safety and efficacy.
As mentioned earlier, topical Minoxidil is available for purchase over-the-counter and does not require a doctor's prescription.
You will be able to find topical Minoxidil for purchase at your local pharmacies like Guardian, Watsons and Unity.
You will also be able to purchase Minoxidil from your local family doctor. This has an added benefit of consulting a doctor on the most suitable concentration and type of Minoxidil for your hair loss situation.
If you prefer Oral Minoxidil, you might be able to get it prescribed to you for off-label use by your doctor, if they find you suitable.
While you can purchase Topical Minoxidil from pharmacies and local GP clinics, they require you to physically head down, search for the product, wait in line to pay for it, and then travel all the way back home.
With Noah, a zero-judgement digital health clinic for men in Singapore, you'll be able to get the hair loss treatment you need from the comfort and privacy of your home.
Getting started with Noah couldn't be simpler - all you have to do is answer an online medication evaluation. Once complete, you will be able to book a teleconsultation session with a licensed doctor at your convenience. If prescribed, your hair loss treatment will be delivered discreetly within 4 hours, at no additional cost.
You don't have to worry about the legitimacy and safety of the medication provided as Noah is recognized by the Ministry Of Health (MOH) as a direct telemedicine service provider.
Noah has recently formulated the Grow Foam, Singapore's first 3-in-1 prescription hair loss foam spray that includes Finasteride (0.1%), Minoxidil (5%) and a clinically proven Follicle Booster to improve receding hairlines and bald spots.
With Grow Foam's easy-to-use application used twice daily, see your old hair replaced by new, thicker hair in an early as 3 months*.
*Results may vary from person to person. Most users see improvements to their hair after 2 - 4 months of daily use.
If you are experiencing hair loss, it is advisable that you consult a doctor. Here at Noah, our doctors are best equipped with the knowledge to help you ascertain the root cause of your hair loss and can determine whether Minoxidil is right for you. They will be able to advise you on the best treatment suited for you, and can also prescribe you the right medication should you need it.
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Articles featured on Noah are for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. If you're looking for a healthcare provider, click here.