The Minoxidil Response Test is a patented and breakthrough at-home diagnostic that will forever change the way we approach treating hair loss – taking the guesswork out of finding reliable, efficacious solutions to hair loss that we know work for the individual based on their personal, Minoxidil Response Test results.
10 years of research and several peer-reviewed and published clinical studies demonstrate that the Minoxidil Response Test is able to identify non-responders to Minoxidil.
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In 1988 the FDA approved 2% topical minoxidil (Rogaine) as an effective treatment to combat hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) in men and in 1992, the FDA approved its use in women for treatment of female pattern hair loss.
The discovery of minoxidil’s effectiveness as a hair loss therapy was serendipitous, as it was first used orally as a treatment for high blood pressure because of its effectiveness in dilating blood vessels (vaso-dilator). However, it was quickly reported by some patients to have a hypertrichosis (hair growth stimulant) side effect, causing increased hair growth on numerous areas of the body. This side effect lead researchers to formulate a topical solution for targeted treatment of scalp hair loss, in order to avoid the systemic effects on blood pressure and hair growth.
Since then, further renditions of the topical solution have been created, including a 5% solution as well as a 5% foam.(1) Despite its impressive ability to stabilize and improve the appearance of hair density in some patients, the response to topical minoxidil therapy has not been universal, with variable response rates in the 50-60% range. Even though responders did better with higher concentrations of topical minoxidil, there were still some patients who did not respond at all.(2)
In the course of their investigation, researchers determined that in order to stimulate hair growth, minoxidil must undergo a chemical reaction in the body to produce minoxidil sulfate, identified as the active ingredient. The enzyme key to this physiologic reaction is called minoxidil sulfotransferase.(3)
All people have many types of sulfotransferase enzymes in various body tissues which work to add a sulfate molecule (a process known as sulfation) to hormones, drugs, or other chemical compounds, and has the effect of bioactivation or deactivation of the sulfated compound.
At least one study has shown that varying levels of the sulfotransferase enzyme in human scalp correlate with the effectiveness of minoxidil as a hair growth stimulant.(4) The amount of the sulfotransferase enzymes appears to be under genetic control (3 loci of the sulfotransferase genes have been mapped to chromosome 16p), and it is postulated that genetic differences in sulfation capacity are the likely determinant of minoxidil activation.(5) Non-responders appear to have little available enzyme to convert the minoxidil into the active ingredient, minoxidil sulfate.