Big questions, asked by a lot of people who want to start minoxidil. If I have minimal to no growth, will I be able to grow anything substantial with the help of minoxidil? Will I be a responder or a non-responder? Well, there’s a good chance it will. But how can you know? That may be a bit more difficult to find out then you like without trying.

It’s been found that doctors would be able to tell if you will be a non-responder or a responder to it before hand without even using minoxidil. I personally cannot tell you what the price of this is, but it seems like it is currently only available to a few doctors (I could be wrong) and that you need to be a patient suffering from scalp hair loss and wanting to receive help from them to receive this test.

This is taken from a study from a few doctors who are in the hair-loss realm of medicine. Due to the significant time commitment and low response rate, a diagnostic test to identify non-responders prior to initiating therapy would be advantageous. Minoxidil is converted in the scalp to its active form, minoxidil sulfate, by the sulfotransferase enzyme SULT1A1. The enzyme expression is variable among individuals.

We have demonstrated in two prior feasibility studies that the SULT1A1 enzyme activity in plucked hair follicles correlates with minoxidil response in the treatment of AGA and thus can server as a predictive bio-marker. Consequently, we developed a minoxidil response in-vitro diagnostic kit intended to identify non-responders prior to initiating therapy with 5% topical minoxidil foam.

In more layman’s terms, if you lack an enzyme, particularly the SULT1A1 enzyme you will be a non-responder to minoxidil because you don’t have the one thing that converts minoxidil into it’s active form, minoxidil sulfate.

The process of how Sulfotransferase converts Minoxidil to Minoxidil Sulfate.
The process of how Sulfotransferase converts Minoxidil to Minoxidil Sulfate.

So what does this mean? Well, unfortunately without those tests you just have to see for yourself by getting minoxidil an applying it for 4-6 months an seeing if there is any growth. Not what you want to hear, I know.

Minoxidil Non Responder Carl
Sad Carl.

It’s been shown that some non-responders will respond to 10% minoxidil for some reason, I will touch on that in another article here soon. I must put this disclaimer though, if you are a responder, 10% minoxidil will not help you anymore than 5% will.

Good news though, if you are in the dreaded non responder group, there is hope for you. With the help of retinoids, there has been studies documenting that it has helped non-responders turn into responders in less than a week. You can check out an article I wrote about this in a little more detail, here.

Want to get started on your minoxidil beard journey? No fear, here we are.