Xandrox is one of the most popular generic topical applications for treating hair loss. It was the first commercial product to combine the benefits of the FDA-approved hair growth stimulant, minoxidil, with the assumed dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inhibitor, azelaic acid, in a single formula. There are dozens of other generic minoxidil applications that mimic this formula available on the market today. Some products are experimenting with additional ingredients, such as retinoic acid or liposomes, in order to enhance the penetration and effectiveness of their main active substances. It is also believed that increased concentrations of minoxidil in the formula can enhance and speed up its results. Hence, formulations with 12.5%, 15% and even 20% of minoxidil are now available. The difficulty is to ensure the stability of such lotions. Alcohol-based, minoxidil solutions, with a concentration of 5% or more minoxidil require propylene glycol or glycerin or other such vehicles in the base to remain stable. It results in the solution having a greasy feeling and it stiffens the hair when it dries. In addition, such vehicles often cause scalp irritation and resulting inflammation. The experience of the author of this review with Xandrox and Xandrox-like lotions is that the presence of azelaic acid in the mixture improves the scalp's tolerance of propylene glycol and glycerine, which are used as vehicles in minoxidil-containing products. Rogaine, which is a plain minoxidil dissolved in propylene glycol and ethanol, gave him an itchy scalp after only a few days' application.
Xandrox became the basis of further experimentation. Many generic producers of minoxidil lotions are now adding various other components to refine their concoctions. You can find mixtures containing minoxidil, azelaic acid, aminexil, finasteride, caffeine, flutamide, green tea extract and diverse herbal extracts, all contained in one formulation. It is impossible to draw a clear dividing line between the science and alchemy but the science seems to end here. Nevertheless, products rich in multiple components are promising fast and guaranteed results and have a bigger appeal to their potential buyers than plain minoxidil. Consumer reviews of such products are confusing and should not be used as guidance in your own quest for the most suitable hair loss product.