Going bald and want to do something to stop it? The Upjohn Corporation first developed minoxidil as Rogaine after scientific studies showed that minoxidil could reverse certain types of male pattern baldness. Since then, other companies have produced minoxidil-based topical ointments designed to restore lost hair. A number of vitamin and nutritional manufacturers sell saw palmetto for the same purpose, which according to Stop Hair Loss Now mimics the actions of the prescription hair-loss remedy Propecia. You can find both of these products available in over-the-counter forms.
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Consult a physician about the possible cause of your hair loss. According to the Rogaine website, male pattern baldness accounts for 95 per cent of all hair loss. However, the Mayo Clinic points out that stress and a number of illnesses, such as high blood pressure and syphilis, can also cause hair loss.
Begin taking minoxidil and saw palmetto at the first signs of hair loss. Most male pattern baldness, also referred to as androgenetic alopecia, occurs on the crown of the head or in a receding hairline in the front.
Take saw palmetto with a glass of water. The Rx List website recommends a dosage of 160 mg twice a day or 320 mg once a day. You can take saw palmetto with food or on an empty stomach.
Wash and dry your hair before applying minoxidil to your scalp.
Apply minoxidil twice a day, once in the morning, and once at night, about an hour before you go to sleep. Squeeze 1ml of minoxidil from the tube or spray 1ml of minoxidil onto the balding areas of your scalp. Massage the solution or cream into your head with your fingers.
Allow the minoxidil to soak into the scalp. Don't lie down on your pillow or rest the back of your head against a couch or cushion for at least one-half hour after application.
Wash your hands and do not let the minoxidil get into your eyes, nose or mouth.
Continue using minoxidil and saw palmetto unless your doctor tells you to stop. Male pattern baldness is a genetic-based form of hair loss and will continue to cause you to lose hair without treatment. Don't apply minoxidil to your head if your scalp is sunburned or cut.
Tips and warnings
- You can use a specially designed minoxidil applicator to apply the ointment to your scalp. Using this device will help it permeate the scalp while avoiding a messy application.
- Pharmaceutical companies first developed minoxidil as a vasodilator designed to help reduce blood pressure. According to the Rx List website, some patients have suffered pericardial effusions (a build-up of fluid around the heart) and chest pains. This site recommends that those taking minoxidil visit a doctor or emergency room immediately if they experience chest pain or difficult breathing.
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