The product is recommended by the FDA as a hair loss treatment, and is given to hair transplant patients as a post-surgical treatment by hair transplant clinics. Hair transplant clinics often have access to 10% concentration solutions, not available over the counter. You can buy 5% concentration Rogaine over the counter easily without prescription.
Although available for women, the weaker 2% solutions have been found to be ineffective in the treatment of hair loss. The 2% concentration products for men have been discontinued. Natural solutions like Eclipta alba (Bhringaraj) have been more effective than the 2% solution of minoxidil.
Rogaine has been found effective in the treatment of traction alopecia – a condition where the hair loss is caused by constant pulling on the hair, usually as a result of certain hairstyles (weaving, cornrows, tight ponytails, etc.)
For the treatment to be effective, the pulling must be stopped, so hair must be worn in non-harmful styles for the duration of the treatment. It can often take a minimum of four months for the treatment to show results, and it should be continued for at least six months.
Minoxidil will stimulate the follicles to produce new hairs, and the result will often be a reversal of the condition. Although traction alopecia can often heal itself naturally, using Rogaine can speed up the process and produce more noticeable results, or help in more serious cases.
How does Rogaine work?
Minoxidil works by increasing the supply of blood to the hair follicles, stimulating them to grow the hair. It also strengthens existing hairs, although it won’t protect them from the results of pulling too much on hair and tight hairstyles. Therefore, it’s important to stick with softer styles even if you’re using Rogaine.
Rogaine side effects
Like all medicines, Rogaine is not free of side effects. The most worrying one for women is often the fact that after two to three weeks of treatment, hair seems to actually fall out at a faster pace. This is the result of the hair follicles entering the growth cycle, which can speed up the shedding of old hairs. This side effect is temporary and should not be a cause for worry. It means that the treatment is working.
“Peach fuzz” is another side effect, and the newly grown hair can often appear soft, fine and downy, rather than thick and pronounced. This is lso temporary, and the hair should soon become the same as your normal hair. The peach fuzz effect itself will disappear completely when treatment is stopped.
Other side effects of Rogaine include scalp irritation and redness, although these are greatly reduced when using the foam version.
It’s important to thoroughly clean your hands before and after each application of Rogaine. The product produces topical results – only in the area of application.
Using Rogaine will not protect the hairs from future abuse. The problem may still return if you continue to wear your hairs in styles that cause pulling or tugging or return to such hairstyles after the treatment has finished.