If you’re taking a course of minoxidil 5%, you may eager to see results. In fact, many people switch to higher doses (such as 15% minoxidil) for this very reason. While you may notice improved results with this course of action, you’ll also be at an increased risk of side effects.
In this article, I’ll be discussing the various concentrations of minoxidil, including minoxidil 15%. I’ll introduce you to the data surrounding higher doses of minoxidil and what this can mean for you.
I’ll also show you the natural, minoxidil-free method I successfully used to reverse my hair loss.
What is Minoxidil?
Originally developed as an oral medication for the treatment of hypertension, minoxidil is a vasodilator. As such, it widens the walls of the blood vessels and allows blood to circulate more freely throughout the body.
A side effect noticed by scientists, however, was that minoxidil also promoted hair growth, leading those taking it to have thicker heads of hair.
And thus, minoxidil as a hair loss treatment was born!
The most common brand name of Minoxidil is Rogaine, and many stores (including Costco and Walmart) now have their own brands of the product, too.
Minoxidil Solutions: 2% vs. 5% vs. 10% vs. 15%
Minoxidil is a product that comes in various solutions (though, only 2% and 5% are FDA approved for use in hair growth). But, what exactly are the differences? Does solution strength really have an effect on results?
While 10% and 15% minoxidil have never been compared to the lower solutions (or to each other, for that matter), there have been studies performed which compare 2% minoxidil to 5% minoxidil.
These studies give us a bit of insight into how minoxidil works, and whether higher solutions mean better results.
A 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology compared the results of 2% and 5% solutions on men with varying degrees of hair loss.
The study lasted for 48 weeks, and the 393 men were split into three groups (2%, 5%, and placebo).
At the beginning of the study, baseline measurements were taken. As the study progressed, measurements were then taken every 4 weeks up until week 32, and then every 8 weeks thereafter. These were the results:
Throughout the duration of the study, 5% minoxidil performed better than 2% minoxidil for each measurement taken, including the total change in hair count from baseline:
As no studies have been performed on either 10% or 15% minoxidil, there’s no way to definitively state that either solutions would be more effective than 5%. However, it’s possible to look at the results of the study outlined above and make assumptions.
Some cream versions have become popular because they are believed to penetrate deeper into the skin whilst still being at low concentrations.
Is the Use of Minoxidil 15% Recommended?
As mentioned above, only minoxidil 2% and 5% solutions are FDA approved for use as a hair loss treatment. This means you’ll be unable to find such products over the counter, and a prescription will need to be obtained from a physician.
However, does this mean that the use of minoxidil 15% is recommended?
As stated by Dr. Jae Pak, “more is not always better.”
Is it possible to see increased results? Sure, but such results usually come at a price.
Is There Increased Risk of Side Effects?
As with any medication, minoxidil is not risk free. And, preliminary studies show that as dosage increases, so too does the risk of side effects.
A 2004 study that consisted of 381 women compared the side effects associated with 2% minoxidil use and 5% minoxidil use.
While the results of the study showed that 5% minoxidil use was more effective, it also showed that side effects were more common.
A total of 13.7% of participants in the 5% group experienced side effects, while 10.3% in the 2% group experienced side effects.
Now, while no studies have been performed specifically on 15% minoxidil, it’s safe to assume that an increase in dosage means an increase in side effects.
Some of these side effects (including itching, burning, and flaking) may not seem that bothersome. However, as minoxidil is a vasodilator, you can also experience more dangerous side effects. These include dizziness, headaches, a drop in blood pressure, and heart palpitations.
Where to Buy Minoxidil 15%
If you’re interested in giving minoxidil 15% a try, it is possible to get a prescription from a physician. However, many may be wary of prescribing such a high strength.
And, while you may see advertisements for minoxidil 10% and 15% online, it’s best to steer clear of such products. These products aren’t regulated, meaning there’s no guarantee that you’ll even be getting minoxidil. This is a waste of money, but it can also be dangerous.
What If the Results of Minoxidil 5% Aren’t Enough?
If you’re looking into a 15% minoxidil solution, you may have had poor results with the commonly available over-the-counter dosage of 5%. So, if 15% minoxidil isn’t recommended, what can you do?
Keep in mind that minoxidil only masks the symptoms of hair loss. Once you stop taking it – no matter what solution you used – your symptoms will return.
This is why I recommend a natural course of action. Not only will this provide you with hair growth results similar to that of minoxidil, but it will also treat the cause.
Find out about Kirkland minoxidil here.
If you’re looking for short-term results, I recommend you begin by making your own minoxidil treatment at home. The ingredients work by cleansing and moisturizing the scalp, and also blocking DHT.
However, there is a method you can use that will stop hair loss in its tracks. How do I know this? Because it’s a major component of my own hair growth success.
Male-pattern baldness is caused by a sensitivity to DHT, a hormone present in all men. The hormone is produced when 5-alpha-reductase (an enzyme) attaches to testosterone.
While the production of DHT is necessary for sexual development, sensitivity to the hormone can mean that even normal levels can trigger hair thinning and balding. So, while we don’t want to block DHT completely, we do want to ensure that production stays in check.
Unfortunately, the modern Western diet plays a large role in the increased production of DHT. This is because 5-alpha-reductase works best in an acidic environment, and modern foods (such as dairy, red meat, and alcohol), contribute to it.
So, what can be done?
Well, the opposite of acidic is alkaline. We can alkalise our diets, and this will make our bodies less hospitable for 5-alpha-reductase.
Adding alkaline foods to your diet (and removing acidic foods) isn’t as difficult as it seems. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods that contribute to your body’s alkalisation and, with a few adjustments, you can add them into your regular routine with ease.
While a giant diet overhaul would be most effective (this means removing all acidic foods from your diet), I know it’s not always possible. However, just a few small changes here and there, and you can be on your way to a healthier body and a fuller head of hair.
To get started, I recommend homemade juices and smoothies as good first steps. They can be so easily tailored to fit your needs, and they’re great for a quick morning breakfast or evening snack.
I’ve been working on one particular smoothie recipe for years now. I’ve finally tweaked it for maximum results, as well as maximum flavor. Take a look:
- Mixed frozen berries (a cupful)
- 1 banana (the more ripe the sweeter)
- Hemp protein + pea protein (2 heaped tablespoons)
- Coconut oil (a heaped teaspoon chunk)
- Almond butter (a heaped teaspoon)
- Fo-ti (one powdered capsule)
- Niacin (one powdered capsule)
- Probiotic (one powdered capsule)
- Mixed essential oils (3 teaspoons)
- Green tea powder (half a teaspoon)
- Mixed greens powder (a tablespoon)
- Coconut water or almond milk (to desired consistency)
It’s a lot of ingredients, yes. But, this just means it’s full of vitamins and minerals, as well as those foods that will help to alkalize your blood stream.
Minoxidil is a popular hair loss treatment used by thousands of men worldwide. However, sometimes the results from using minoxidil 2% or 5% don’t come as quickly as you would like, and this may lead you to consider higher dosage options.
I urge you – before beginning a higher dose treatment – to give the natural method outlined above a try.
I strongly believe that what you feed your body will play a larger role in hair loss prevention and hair regrowth than any other treatment on the market.