Definitive Guide to Minoxidil (Rogaine)
Definitive Guide to Minoxidil (Rogaine)
Read Time: 9 Min
Hair loss affects both men and women with over 50% of men going bald by the age of 50 and less than 45% of women retaining their hair for a lifetime. With these odds, it's no secret that there is a growing number of medications, surgeries, and hair loss solutions available today, one of the most popular of which is Minoxidil. Let’s take a look at whether or not Minoxidil is a good fit for your hair loss situation.
What is Minoxidil?
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is an FDA-approved OTC medication created to improve hair loss. Minoxidil works for both men and women and is available in two forms: a topical solution (liquid) or a foam. Minoxidil also comes with two strength options, 2% and 5%.
How Does Minoxidil Work?
Minoxidil works by improving the blood flow to your scalp, causing improved density and hair growth. Originally developed to treat hypertension, Minoxidil was found to improve hair loss in clinical studies built around its effects on hypertension. When participants with androgenic alopecia saw improvements in hair growth, Minoxidil became one of the most popular hair loss treatments available over the counter. Rogaine (Minoxidil) works best for people under the age of 40 in the beginning stages of hair loss and does not work for a receding hairline or if you have gone completely bald.
Does Minoxidil Regrow Hair?
Yes, Minoxidil can regrow your hair, but for those who have gone completely bald, they will need to find a different solution. While researchers are still not fully sure how Minoxidil works for hair growth, studies do back up its effectiveness. In fact, one study of 11,000 participants showed a significant improvement in slowed hair loss for 92% of the participants. One possibility to explain these results is that Minoxidil acts as a vasodilator, meaning it opens up your blood vessels, which increases the oxygen and nutrients reaching your hair follicles. Vasodilation supports the slowing of hair loss and increases hair growth.
Minoxidil for Men
While not all hair loss treatments are effective for hair loss in women, Minoxidil is the first over-the-counter, FDA-approved treatment for female pattern hair loss. Now there is also a women's Rogaine (Minoxidil) formula available in both 2% and 5% strength.
Minoxidil for Women
Minoxidil can help as a treatment for male pattern baldness; however, it is not recommended for a receding hairline or progressive balding, as mentioned before.
Minoxidil Side Effects
As with any medication or treatment there can be some side effects when using Minoxidil. Let’s look at a few of the most common problems that can occur:
- Low Blood Pressure
- Worsening of Hair Loss
- Allergic Reaction
- Hair Shedding
Is Minoxidil Safe to Use?
Minoxidil can be safe for use, but it does have some potential side effects. While Minoxidil is considered safe, you should use some caution when using Minoxidil and report any side effects to your health care provider.
Does Minoxidil Cause Hair Shedding?
Minoxidil has been found to cause some hair shedding. Typically when you first begin using the product, you might experience hair loss before seeing any growth. The reason for this Minoxidil shedding side effect is that it can extend the amount of time your hair is in the growth phase, so some shedding should be expected, but it will be replaced by new growth.
How Long Does Minoxidil Shedding Last?
You might experience Minoxidil shedding in the first 4 months of use, but any hair shedding after 4 months might be caused by another factor like a medical or hormonal condition. If after 4 months you still see hair shedding, discontinue your use of minoxidil and reach out to your doctor.
Minoxidil Alternative to Regrow Hair
If you are looking for more holistic hair growth remedies or other treatments you can use in conjunction with minoxidil to enhance your results, there are plenty of options available.
Low-Level Laser Therapy
LLLT, or low-level laser therapy, is a popular at-home hair growth treatment option. Some laser therapy caps like illumiflow are also FDA cleared for safety and effectiveness. LLLT works by regenerating hair cells, energizing mitochondria, and also enhancing blood flow to your scalp, effectively stimulating hair growth. While you can use LLLT laser hair caps in conjunction with health eating and other lifestyle changes, LLLT is safe to use with your minoxidil treatment to increase your results.
Hair Loss Shampoo and Conditioner
Hair loss shampoo and conditioner help grow your hair by stimulating your scalp, negating some hormones which are harmful to hair growth, and protecting your hair from damage. It's important to treat hair loss from the inside out, so adding a solid hair growth shampoo to your shower is a great idea. Here are some ingredients to look out for when picking a hair loss shampoo or conditioner:
- Vitamin H
- Tea Tree
If you want to keep things natural, be sure to get products that are sulfate-free and third-party tested.
Along with hair loss shampoo, you can try out other hair loss products, such as finasteride, brand name propecia. Finasteride is an oral tablet developed to help treat male-pattern baldness.
Hair Loss Vitamins
Getting the proper nutrients and vitamins is an essential part of hair growth. Your body uses vitamins and minerals to grow your hair and keep it healthy. Taking a hair loss vitamin will support any nutritional deficiencies and help you hit your hair goals faster. There are tons of options on the market that are vegan, organic, and budget-friendly. Look for a supplement that includes:
You also want to up your B vitamin intake, as your body uses B vitamins to carry oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles and scalp.
Microneedling is a great way to enhance your minoxidil results or can work well on its own. Microneedling uses tiny needles to create little wounds in your skin that can encourage collagen production and also increase absorption of hair foams like minoxidil.
Hair loss is hard and finding the right treatment for your needs can quite the journey. As with any hair loss treatment, not everything works the same for every person. Finding ways to combine methods is a great way to increase your results and find the best hair growth routine to help you achieve your #hairgoals.
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