Minoxidil is FDA approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men and women. The medication has several mechanisms of action including affecting potassium channels inside cells.
The main side effects are headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, hair shedding and excessive hair growth. Another "side effect" that is not often discussed is the change in hair texture that some users notice. Such changes are varied but include mentions of hair becoming curlier, coarser, more wavy, drier, and straw-like. Sometimes this is attributable to the propylene glycol in the minoxidil lotion formulation but some of these changes also occur with minoxidil foam (which lacks propylene glycol). One needs to be aware of the possibility of hair texture changes when using minoxidil.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299