I have used Minoxidil 5% with good results for 2 years. In the first year I used a solution with ethanol and retinoic acid but switched to ethanol retinoic-free minoxidil 5% after a year.
1. Are these agents vitally important to the work of minoxidil?
2. My hair seems to go in cycles from quite thick to quite thin and back again over 6 months or so.
3. is this normal with minoxidil use?
- Retinoic acid produces a mild burn to the skin which increases blood supply and the absorption of minoxidil. That is why, I believe, some doctors use retinoic acid, though it isn’t necessary for minoxidil to show benefits. Ethanol (alcohol) is an ingredient in Rogaine and I’d assume most topical minoxidil products.
- Some patients have reported hair cycling by time of year. It seems to be rarely talked about, so I really do not know the answer to question #2.
- Cycling occurs with or without minoxidil use, but this is the normal hair cycle — anagen, catagen, and telogen. I’ve previously written about hair cycles.