10 Dangerous Side Effects of Minoxidil

If you have heard about, intend to use or using Minoxidil, you should be wary of its side effects. Minoxidil is a medication that treats hair loss. It works by topical application to the scalp.

It  works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, which in turn stimulates hair growth.

Minoxidil is most effective for people with androgenetic alopecia.

This is form of hair loss is due to the presence of the androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body.

Minoxidil is available as an over-the-counter medication in most countries.


Minoxidil ingredients 

The active ingredient in minoxidil solutions and foam products is minoxidil. Inactive ingredients may vary depending on the specific product. Examples of inactive ingredients include:

  • Propylene glycol – It helps to dissolve the active ingredient, minoxidil, and keep the solution stable.
  • It also increases the penetration of minoxidil into the skin, which helps to improve its effectiveness. Additionally, propylene glycol is a humectant, which means it helps to keep the skin moisturized.
  • Alcohol (ethanol) – Alcohol allows minoxidil to be evenly distributed on the scalp. The alcohol also helps to increase the penetration of the minoxidil into the skin. Some studies suggest that the use of alcohol in minoxidil may also enhance its effectiveness.
  • Purified water – It serves as a solvent to dissolve minoxidil it its preparation. Secondly, purified water is considered hypoallergenic, which makes it less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene – It functions as a preservative thereby increasing the stability and shelf life of the product by preventing oxidation of the product
  • Polysorbate 60 – Helps to reduce the surface tension between two liquids, allowing them to mix more easily. In this case, polysorbate 60 helps helps to mix and emulsify  minoxidil with the other ingredients in the formulation. 
  • Sodium chloride – The use of sodium is to to increase the viscosity or thickness of the minoxidil solution thereby making its application easy. Sodium also works as a preservative.
  • Carboxymethylcellulose sodium – CMC is used as a lubricant, it can help to make the minoxidil solution feel smooth and silky during application.
  • Citric acid – Citric acid helps to regulate the pH of minoxidil solution and it also helps to remove unwanted minerals and metals from the solution.

Minoxidil Side Effects

Minoxidil is a medication that is applied topically to the scalp to stimulate hair growth and treat hair loss. Here are some minoxidil side effects associated with topical application :

  • It causes scalp irritation or redness.
  • You may experience Itching of the scalp.
  • It is possible to grow unwanted hair on other parts of the body.
  • Minoxidil may cause tingling or burning sensation of the scalp.
  • Can lead to allergic reactions.
  • It can cause chest pain or irregular heartbeat.
  • Can lead to fainting in rare cases.
  • Swelling of the face, hands, feet, or lower legs.
  • It can cause dizziness.
  • Has a possibility to cause contact dermatitis.


Benefits of Using Minoxidil

Despite the minoxidil side effects mentioned in the previous section, there also a ton of benefits that are worthy to mention.

Here are some potential benefits of using minoxidil as a treatment for hair loss:

  • Menoxidil can stimulate hair growth: Minoxidil has been shown to increase blood flow to the hair follicles, which can help to stimulate hair growth and improve the density of existing hair.
  • It is easy to use: Minoxidil is available as a topical solution, which is easy to apply directly to the scalp.
  • Accessible: Minoxidil is available over the counter, so it does not require a prescription.
  • It helps both men and women:  It cures male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness
  • Minoxidil is safe: It is okay to use minoxidil alongside other hair loss treatments like finasteride.
  • Improves self-esteem: This is true when you initially suffered a lowered self -esteem due to hair loss.
  • Generally, minoxidil side effects are not usually adverse.

How Should You Use Minoxidil?

Apply a total amount of 1 ml, 7 presses, to the entire balding area.

You should apply minoxidil twice a day and you should apply it on dry hair or skin. 

 See that you do not exceed the amount of 2 ml per day unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

If you want to experience the magic of Minoxidil, apply it continuously for 4 months.

There are two spray forms in menoxidil can be of great use.

Firstly, in its origimal packaging, spray the bald spots which don’t have hair at all.

Secondly, you can use an elongated spray to treat hair-covered bald spots.

Types of Minoxidil

There are two types of minoxidil: topical and oral.

Topical minoxidil is applied directly to the scalp to stimulate hair growth. 

It is available in various concentrations (such as 2% and 5%) and forms (such as solutions and foam).

Oral minoxidil, on the other hand, works by dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow to the hair follicles.


Is it Safe to Use Minoxidil?

Generally, minoxidil is quite safe when you use it as directed by your physician. 

However, like all medications, minoxidil side effects may come in the picture.

Rarely, does  serious minoxidil side effects occur like changes in heart rate or chest pain.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to stop using minoxidil immediately.


When Should I Stop Using Minoxidil

It is recommended to stop using minoxidil if you experience any serious side effects, such as chest pain, fainting, or rapid weight gain. 

Moreover, if it’s not effective in treating your hair loss, yo can back out and consider other options. 

What Happens After You Stop Using Minoxidil


According to the studies and reports of patients who’d been using minoxidil, the regrown hair starts falling off when you stop using minoxidil. 

If you are a man trying to contend with baldness, you can already guess what will happen.

This is to mean, it is only safe to continually use minoxidil otherwise your bald is bound to resurface.



Despite the common minoxidil side effects of itching and skin irritation, minoxidil is rather safe when used appropriately.

You can reduce the side effects by reducing the frequency of application or the concentration of the solution.

But again, you should take caution not to use oral minoxidil instead of topical minoxidil for hair growth,

Nonetheless, due to the diverse human genetic compositions, reactions to medications are inevitable.

Therefore, in case of weird minoxidil side effects, suspend the medication and seek medical advice.

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