Does Rogaine work ? and what is Rogaine, actually ? Learn all about the topical hair loss drug Rogaine (also known as Minoxidil) here. Does it really work for hair loss and what are the side effects ?

If you have experienced hair loss in recent years and have researched the topical solutions, then you are bound to have come across the drug Rogaine, in your search for a miracle hair loss cure. This is one of the most famous and established drugs for the prevention of premature hair loss, on the market.

But does it work? We will come to that, but first a little introduction:

Does Rogaine work ? Rogaine does offer good Hair Growth Results for many. Here is a Rogaine before and after picture.
Does Rogaine work ? Rogaine does offer good Hair Growth Results for many. Here is a Rogaine before and after picture.

What is Rogaine?

Rogaine is also know as ‘Minoxidil’. It is a topical remedy premature hair loss, which is applied as a cream or a foam directly unto the scalp. It is an antihypertensive vasodilator medication which also happen to slow  hair loss and promote new  hair growth.  It is available over-the-counter for the treatment of androgenic alopecia, as the patent has now run out. Rogaine must be used indefinitely, otherwise the results dissappear again.  It is marketed under many trade names, such as Regaine, Vanarex, Mintop and Loniten (oral), and Avacor Physician’s Formulation. The generic dug name is ‘Minoxidil’.
Minoxidil was first used exclusively as an orally taken  drug to treat high blood pressure.  But an interesting side effect was soon discovered: Minoxidil/Rogaine was shown to increase the growth or darkening of fine body hairs in some subjects. Sometimes significant hair growth was also evident.

However, when the medication is discontinued, the hair loss will return to the normal hair loss rate within 30 to 60 days.  Hair loss Treatments usually include a 5% concentration solution that is designed for men. The 2% concentration solution is primarily designed for women.  In 2007, a new foam-based version of  5% minoxidil was introduced under the brand name Rogaine/Regaine Foam.

How does Rogaine work?

The exact way that Rogaine promotes hair growth is not fully understood. Rogaine may act as a nitric oxide agonist and also causes hyperpolarization of cell membranes. Rogaine is less effective when the hair loss is significant. Also, the most positive effects are seen in younger men, who have experienced hair loss for only a few years. Minoxidil is also a vasodilator and therefore it is suspected that the widening blood vessels and potassium channels, is the likely reason why it works in some people. This  allows more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the hair follicles.  And so, the hairs in telogen phase are then shed (hairs in the last, dormant, growth phase), allowing them to be replaced by thicker anagen phase hairs.

Rogaine Side effects:

Common side effects of Rogaine include: Irritation of the eye and redness and  itching of the treated area. And incredibly, hair loss is also a common side effect of Rogaine/Minoxidil treatment, which is described as as “shedding”.  This phenomenon demonstrates that minoxidil is at least affecting hair follicles, and manufacturers claim that hair rgrowth will in many cases follow the shedding process.


All this leaves us with the ever-present question: Does Rogaine really work or is it all hype?

Given the number ofpeople in the global market, who are concerned about hair loss or thinning hair, it is no surprise that a lot of people jumped on the rogaine band wagon, when the drug was first known to induce hair growth in some patients.However, the individual human body responds differently to drugs and medications. What works for some people might not work for others.

The truth is exactly that: It works only on some:

About 55% of the men who took part in clinical trials reported an improvement to their premature hair loss problem. In some men hair loss stopped. In other hair loss patients, there was an also increase in the density of hair on the scalp.

So 55 out of 100 men would say that Rogaine does work, atleaset to some degree.  It also seem to be that Rogaine works best on younger men.  And furthermore,  the bald patch should be smaller than 4 inches across with some hair growth in the middle, for Rogaine to be effective.

Rogaine seem to  improve hair growth or at least stop hair loss on the top of the scalp, which is also known as the vortex area. Hair loss on the temples, however, or a receding hairline does not seem to be helped effectively by Rogaine.

For hair loss in women Rogaine is preferred to Propecia, as Propecia is only used for men. This is because,  Propecia works through a DHT  neutralizing  process, which involves the male hormone testosterone.

Women are not advised to use the extra strength  5%  stronger Rogaine version, as it can result in increased facial hair growth, as well.

CONCLUSION: The hair loss industry is filled with wild claims of succes, so it pays to be a little sceptical and realistic. You could very well be among the 55% that see some benefit to hair growth with Rogaine, but it is almost as likely that you won’t see any benefit. Therefore, many people now use Rogaine as just a part of a larger anti hair loss program, that aims to attack many different pathways  of hair loss, at the same time. Patience and determination are needed and results may not be seen for  months. But don’t give up! Many new and interesting drugs for hair loss are in the pipeline and should be on the market within 3-5 years.


Please, leave a comment, if you have any experiences, positive and negative, with Rogaine / Minoxidil. Or you can ask a question, for other users to answer.


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