Minoxidil Response Test

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Minoxidil Response Test

See if Minoxidil Works for You

Experience the first & only, at-home pharmacogenetics test that will alter how you treat your hair
loss. Take the guesswork out of finding a solution that is effective for you.

Evolution of Minoxidil

In 1988, the FDA approved 2% topical Minoxidil  as an effective treatment to combat androgenetic alopecia-induced hair loss in men and in 1992 for women.

The discovery of Minoxidil’s effectiveness as a hair loss therapy was accidental; it was originally an oral treatment used to treat high blood pressure by effectively dilating blood vessels. In treatments, some patients reported hypertrichosis, or hair growth, as a side effect. This side effect lead researchers to formulate a topical solution for targeted treatment of scalp hair loss, avoiding systemic impacts on blood pressure and bodily hair growth.
Since then, more iterations of the topical solution have been created, including a 5% solution. Despite its impressive ability in stabilizing and improving the appearance of hair density in some patients, response rates to topical Minoxidil therapy remain in the 50-60% range. Though some responders had more success with higher concentrations of the treatment, others remained unresponsive.

How Does Minoxidil Work?

What Is the Minoxidil Mechanism of Action for Hair Growth?

Minoxidil is one of the most commonly used medications for men and women who are experiencing hair loss. You may be familiar with Minoxidil as the active ingredient inside of the brand-name medication, Rogaine. But, whether you opt for the brand name or a generic Minoxidil, you should experience the same results.
People using Minoxidil topically on the scalp may notice their hair growing in faster, thicker, and denser. It normally takes a few months to start noticing the positive effects of treatment. Also, there may be a shedding period at the beginning of treatment due to the hairs in the resting (telogen) hair phase being shifted over in bulk to the growing (anagen) hair phase. Ultimately, this is a good thing for hair growth.

Minoxidil was originally used as an oral medication to help with high blood pressure. And, we know that it helps with high blood pressure by dilating vessels by activating the potassium channels in the vasculature when used for this indication.

But, when it comes to using Minoxidil for your hair, how does it provide the benefits that it does to your scalp and hair follicles?
Below, we will cover what we know so far about how Minoxidil helps to provide its well-studied hair growth benefits.

What we know about the mechanism behind Minoxidil for hair growth

Even though Minoxidil has been used since the 1980s for its potential to improve hair growth, we still don’t know fully what is happening to achieve this outcome.

However, we do know a few things that may be part of the story behind how Minoxidil works for hair growth.:

  1. Minoxidil may help increase the length of the anagen (growth phase) of the hair cycle by acting directly on the hair follicles as a growth factor. This may delay the aging of some of the matrix cells of the hair follicles.
  2. Minoxidil may help limit some of the negative androgen effects on androgen-sensitive hair. This is important when it comes to pattern hair loss, as the androgen DHT is the known culprit for the hair follicle damage that drives the shrinking and eventual loss of hairs.
  3. Minoxidil applied topically to the scalp can help turn on a pathway called the endoperoxide-synthase one pathway which is known to stimulate hair growth.
  4. Minoxidil is known to induce the expression of growth factors that cause the development of more vessels around the hair follicle area. This is beneficial for hair growth as more vessels mean more nutrients and oxygen being easily available to the hair follicles.
  5. Minoxidil can stimulate the dilation of the existing microvessels surrounding the hair follicles, potentially leading to improved hair growth.
  6. Minoxidil has been found to increase intracellular calcium levels which leads to the expression of more ATP synthase. This ATP synthase increase promotes stem cell differentiation which may be part of the reason behind Minoxidil’s hair growth functionality.

Discovery of SULT1A1 Enzyme

Over time, researchers discovered that Minoxidil must undergo a chemical reaction in the body to produce Minoxidil Sulfate, an active ingredient that stimulates hair growth. The key enzyme in this physiological reaction is Minoxidil Sulfotransferase.

Everyone has many types of sulfotransferase enzymes in various body tissues that work to add a Sulfate molecule to hormones, drugs, or other chemical compounds, through a process through sulfation. These enzymes can activate or deactivate the sulfated compound.
Varying levels of the sulfotransferase enzyme in the scalp correlate with the effectiveness of Minoxidil as a hair growth stimulant. (Citation) The amount of sulfotransferase enzymes is determined through genetics and it is believed that the genetic differences in sulfation capacity are likely the determinant of Minoxidil activation (citation). Non-responders appear to have little of this enzyme available to convert the Minoxidil into the active ingredient, Minoxidil Sulfate.

Research & Studies

With years of research backed by peer-reviewed, published clinical studies, the Minoxidil Response Test is a proven method of identifying Minoxidil responders & non-responders.

Clinical Research References

  1. McCoy J, Goren A, Naccarato T, Kovacevic M, Situm M, Skudar VL, et al. Identification of thesulfotransferase iso-enzyme primarily responsible for the bio-activation of topical minoxidil. J BiolRegulHomeost Agents. 2019;33(3):817-9.
  2. Anderson RJ, Kudlacek PE, Clemens DL. Sulfation of minoxidil by multiple human cytosolicsulfotransferases. Chem Biol Interact. 1998;109(1-3):53-67.
  3. van Zuuren EJ, Fedorowicz Z. Interventions for Female Pattern Hair Loss. JAMA Dermatol.2017;153(3):329-30.
  4. Goren A, Shapiro J, Roberts J, McCoy J, Desai N, Zarrab Z, et al. Clinical utility and validity ofminoxidil response testing in androgenetic alopecia. Dermatol Ther. 2015;28(1):13-6
  5. Ramos PM, Sinclair RD, Kasprzak M, Miot HA. Minoxidil 1 mg oral versus minoxidil 5% topicalsolution for the treatment of female-pattern hair loss: A randomized clinical trial. J Am Acad Dermatol.2020;82(1):252-3.
  6. Jimenez-Cauhe J, Saceda-Corralo D, Rodrigues-Barata R, Hermosa-Gelbard A, Moreno-ArronesOM, Fernandez-Nieto D, et al. Effectiveness and safety of low-dose oral minoxidil in male androgenetic alopecia. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019;81(2):648-9.
  7. Ramos PM, Goren A, Sinclair R, Miot HA. Oral minoxidil bio-activation by hair follicle outer rootsheath cell sulfotransferase enzymes predicts clinical efficacy in female pattern hair loss. J EurAcadDermatol Venereol. 2020;34(1):e40-e1.
  8. Raftogianis RB, Wood TC, Otterness DM, Van Loon JA, Weinshilboum RM. Phenol sulfotransferasepharmacogenetics in humans: association of common SULT1A1 alleles with TS PST phenotype. BiochemBiophys Res Commun. 1997;239(1):298-304.
  9. Ozawa S, Tang YM, Yamazoe Y, Kato R, Lang NP, Kadlubar FF. Genetic polymorphisms in humanliver phenol sulfotransferases involved in the bioactivation of N-hydroxy derivatives of carcinogenicarylamines and heterocyclic amines. Chem Biol Interact. 1998;109(1-3):237-48.
  10. Raghad N, Al-Gazally ME, Ewahd W. A” Assessment the Effect of Different Genotypes ofSulfotransferase 1A1 Gene on the Response to Monoxide in Patients with Androgenic Alopecia. Journal of Global Pharma Technology. 2017;10(9):31-6.