In this article, we’ll be familiarising ourselves with minoxidil, and its alternatives, quickly touching upon what it is and how it works, and then focusing on the best ways in which the same results can be achieved more safely.
What are the best (and safest) alternatives to minoxidil?
As you can see, the list of side effects is quite extensive and quite worrying to anyone considering taking Minoxidil to help hair regrowth.
In the past years, Biotin has risen to the top of the most well-known ingredients to support hair regrowth. Also known as Vitamin B7, or Vitamin H, Biotin’s main function is helping your body convert food into energy. Alongside this primary role, it also helps the health of your hair, skin, and nails.
A biotin deficiency is very rare (only comes as a result of very poor diets, certain medications, or even biotinidase deficiency amongst others), and most people can get the appropriate levels they need by eating foods high in it such as eggs yolks, legumes, nuts and seeds, liver, amongst others.
It’s not been proven that taking biotin supplements does anything to improve hair regrowth for people not struggling with a deficiency.
However, biotin can have a very positive effect when applied directly to the scalp. It helps to repair damaged hair naturally. It can be easily and successfully absorbed through the skin and rehydrate it as well as unclog its pores.
Another hugely popular Minoxidil alternative is often used to boost hair growth. While it’s by no means an easy course of treatment, as it needs to be taken in pill form once a day and discontinuing its use will equate to all the progress being lost, a lot of people struggling with hair loss, specifically female pattern hair loss, and male pattern baldness are opting for it.
Finasteride can only be prescribed by a doctor and takes anywhere from six months to a year to show its full results. The before and after of Finasteride is what persuades so many people to opt for this option: in only a few months, and with minimal effort, men and women alike see steady and robust hair restoration.
However, do note that you will experience hair fall when starting to use Finasteride and that it’s completely normal before you can see any new hair growth.
Like any medication, Finasteride can have less desirable side effects – but many people take it without having any major issues long term.
You have probably heard about DHT, the harmful androgen that makes it more difficult to grow new hairs. There are a lot of ‘ DHT Blocker’ products on the market already.
They are formulated to stop the process of testosterone converting into DHT, which in turn helps alleviate hair loss.
In a recent study, caffeine has been proven to help block the effects of DHT on hair – which is why you’ll find it as a prime ingredient in many hair growth products. Try introducing caffeine into your hair care routine.
Increase blood flow to your scalp with scalp massage
A lot of the time, we think that to achieve great hair we need to use various medicines, chemical substances, and complex procedures.
But the truth is that, once we understand the mechanics of hair growth, it becomes clear that what we need to do to help our hair grow healthy is to support the natural processes of the body.
One of the essential ways in which the body supports healthy hair growth is by supplying hair follicles with the nutrients and oxygen it needs through vascularisation.
Every single one of your hair follicles is supplied with everything it needs to grow by a small vessel – and a lot of the time, this system just needs a little boost to get there.
How to perform scalp massage?
First, you’ll need a scalp massager, we recommend the Scalp Stimulating Massager.
To increase blood to your scalp, try the inversion method. This is a recently popularised, supercharged way of massaging your scalp for hair growth.
To follow the method, you need to bend so that your hair is lower down than your heart and massage your scalp gently yet firmly for 10-15 minutes.
By doing so, you are helping blood reach your scalp (which gravity makes rather difficult), and supplying your hair follicles with that much-needed nutrition and oxygen.
For best results, do this with a bit of oil (argan oil will do wonders), and try to follow this method 3-4 times a week. If you’re not keen on bending for so long or it makes you dizzy, a simple massage will also work.
Adjust your diet
Your hair is made from dead skin cells surrounded by a tough protein called keratin. To support your hair in its growth phase (also called the anagen phase), it’s important to provide it with as many of the building blocks that it needs as possible.
We’ve already mentioned Biotin as one of the best vitamins that support hair growth, but of course, there are many others. The industry is filled with all sorts of supplements for the health of hair, scalp, skin, and nails – ranging from collagen to multivitamin pills.
But within all of the buzz and pseudoscience masked by good marketing, it can be very difficult to know which ingredients work and which are a waste of time and money.
Our general rule of thumb is that no matter how good supplements are, it’s more effective to look at improving your overall lifestyle.
Making sure that you have a balanced diet and an active lifestyle comes along with side perks that may help your hair without even realizing it.
Working out more will increase blood flow to the scalp, eating better foods will provide your hair with better nutrients, sleeping better and stressing less will undoubtedly improve your oxygen levels and also improve the condition of your hair.
Before considering supplements, consider improving your diet and overall lifestyle. It’s more sustainable, more natural, and – dare we say – more effective in the long run.
These alternatives are also great against alopecia areata (hair loss), it’s just not as effective.
- Rosemary essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Saw palmetto
- DHT blockers
- Eyelash growth serums
Growing healthy hair is as complex as our bodies are. It depends on many elements concurring and working together to achieve what we perceive as a healthy, full head of hair.
It’s up to every person to find the solution that works best for them. It’s important to be aware of all of the side effects and consider if it’s worth taking the risk before using Minoxidil.
Considering the abundance of options at hand to improve the condition of your hair and alleviate hair loss, there is no reason to introduce into your routine a product that may be harmful to you.
We recommend more natural ingredients and a holistic approach to your health. It will undoubtedly show effects on the condition of your hair.
Lastly, it’s important to note that minoxidil cannot solve androgenetic alopecia or hereditary hair loss. You’d need hair transplants for that.