Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is generally the first-line treatment for hair loss in both men and women. Topically applied minoxidil is available over-the-counter in either a 2% or 5% solution, or as a 5% foam. Minoxidil has been seen to increase hair weight with a less dramatic increase in hair counts. This suggests that its primary effect is increasing the diameter of existing hairs.

at-a-glance

Minoxidil (Rogaine)

avg. recovery
0 days
permanence
Temporary
application
Topical
surgical
No
cost
$15 - $30

About the Procedure

Minoxidil is an over-the-counter hair loss treatment for both men and women. Minoxidil, more commonly known as Rogaine, works by repairing damaged hair follicles to increase hair diameter and thickness. Healthier hair is then able to grow longer than before treatment, improving scalp coverage. Individuals using minoxidil must use the product consistently for 6 months to see results and will need to continue to use the product indefinitely to maintain thicker hair. Other options for hair restoration include the Theradome or PRP injections. For individuals with more severe hair loss, alternative treatments such as hair transplant surgery using the FUE or FUT method. In male pattern hair loss, the 5% concentration of minoxidil is more effective than 2%, with 45% more hair growth after 48 weeks of treatment. In female pattern hair loss, once daily application of 5% minoxidil with 0.01% tretinoin was shown to be equal in efficacy to twice-daily 5% minoxidil alone. The dose of minoxidil medicine will be different for different patients. The amount of medicine taken depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses taken each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time the medicine is taken depends on the medical problem for which the medicine is being used. For topical solution dosage form, adults should apply 1 milliliter to the scalp two times a day. For topical foam dosage form, adults should apply half a capful to the scalp two times a day. For eyebrows, dispense a small amount of minoxidil gel or foam onto a cotton swab. Run the swab over the eyebrow area. Avoid getting the medication into the eyes. Do not over-apply, only a thin film of the medication on the eyebrows is needed. Using minoxidil on the eyebrows is an off-label use and not FDA approved.

Minoxidil, also know as Rogaine, seeks to reverse the early stages of hair loss created by thinning hair, bald spots and receding hairlines.

Concerns

Minoxidil (Rogaine) addresses concerns such as:

Recovery Notes

Minoxidil is a topical medication and does not require any recovery. If any adverse reactions from the product occur such as redness or itchiness, notify your medical doctor.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for minoxidil is in the early stages of hair loss. Minoxidil works best in people with hereditary hair loss at the vertex of the scalp or for women with general thinning of hair on the top of the scalp. Rogaine isn’t meant for a receding hairline or baldness at the front of the scalp. Minoxidil is most effective in people under 40 years old and for those who start using it at the first signs of hair loss. It won’t help people who’ve already gone completely bald.

Not Recommended For

Minoxidil is not recommended for candidates that do not have a family history of hair loss, who have sudden and patchy hair loss, who are under 18, or who have hair loss that is caused by another condition, like a thyroid disease or alopecia areata.

Side Effects

Side effects from minoxidil may include allergic or irritant contact dermatitis.

Pros
  • increased hair weight
  • increased hair diameter
  • increased hair thickness
Cons
  • limited increase in hair count
  • must use indefinitely

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