Rogaine – Questions & Answers

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Hair loss can be a disturbing condition, which affects a person’s self-esteem and perception causing great distress and anxiety in the people who experience it. There are diverse reasons for hair loss, and their treatment depends on the causes of it. Rogaine has been helping people to regrow or stop their hair loss with medically proven results.

What is Rogaine?

Rogaine is topical Minoxidil; this means that the minoxidil comes either in a solution or a foam presentation to be applied to the regions of the scalp where thinning or balding is present.

Minoxidil is the active ingredient of Rogaine. It is a potent hypotensive drug when taking orally or it is injected into the body. It produces a marked dilatation of the arteries and arterioles (arterioles are smallest arteries inside the tissues or organs), which leads to decrease in the arterial pressure and increase of the blood flow without affecting the vein pressure. Minoxidil causes a direct vasodilator effect or dilatation of the arteries; this drug is prescribed orally only when the other antihypertensive drug combinations fail to control the arterial pressure.

When minoxidil is taken orally, it produces hair growth as a common side effect and makes hair thicker. Consequently, the hair growing properties of minoxidil are used to treat some cases of alopecia, which is the medical term for hair loss, with satisfactory outcome for many patients, who use it as topical medication on the scalp, without producing any systemic effect on other body tissues.

Does Rogaine work?

Yes, it works. Rogaine makes hair regrow, and reverse hair loss. After applying Rogaine topical solution or foam at either 2 or 5% on the scalp where there is thinning or balding. Rogaine starts acting at the hair follicle level (hair follicle is the part of your head’s skin (scalp), which produces or generates hairs). It increases the blood flow and activates some cells chemical factors secretions. The chemical factors are products made by the hair follicle cells, which can regenerate the skin lesion and stimulate the hair growth.

One of the primary elements secreted by the hair follicle is called the epithelial growth factor; it is responsible for increasing the keratin and collagen production and the ultimate hair development. Rogaine is believed to stimulate the hair follicle directly to increase production and secretion of the hair follicle epithelial growth factor and stimulate the hair regrowth directly.

Other local effects observed are the increase in cutaneous blood flow or the blood flow around the skin and tissues surrounding the hair follicle where the Rogaine is topically applied. The increased blood flow stimulates a resting hair follicle, and its cells repair themselves or induce hair follicle regeneration. Additionally, Rogaine can be applied for stronger and thicker hair on very thin, fragile or excessively delicate hair to make it stronger and more voluminous. Rogaine has been used for more than 30 years with a proven, observable medical effect on hair regrowth and a cosmetic baldness improvement. Rogaine as topical treatment has not any systemic absorption; it is considered nontoxic and safe to use. Rogaine has few side effects, and most of them are related to small skin irritation (usually localized to the scalp) on sensitive persons.

Does Rogaine work for a receding hairline?

Rogaine is approved for pattern baldness; it works on some types of receding hairlines. However, there are some receding hairlines which may or may not respond to Rogaine treatment particularly those diagnosed as Alopecia Universalis or Alopecia Totalis. Rogaine is not approved for frontal baldness.

Several clinical trials confirmed that after the topical application of Rogaine, it induces noticeable new hair growth in the treated areas. Most dermatologist will try Rogaine as the drug of choice for most non-infectious hair loss medical conditions. Rogaine as topical treatment has not any systemic absorption; it is considered nontoxic and safe to use

How long does it take for Rogaine to work?

Hair growth occurs typically in cycles of three phases. Most of the time some hair follicles are producing hair or in an actively growing period called “anagen phase” while others surrounding it are resting, and others are in actively shedding phase called “exogen phase.” This cycle occurs on each hair. Eventually, each hair will grow, rest, and be shed to prepare the way for a new hair cycle.

As a consequence, the results with minoxidil will not be sudden or immediate. Patients are required to understand that the hair grows at a speed of half to one inch per month or 0.5 to 2.5 cm monthly. Indeed, some growth might be noticed after a couple of months, but the real cosmetic results can appear after four to twelve months in men.

The topical lotion at 5% has a faster and better hair regrowth response than the 2% presentation on males if after 12 months of Rogaine treatment the patient does not show noticeable hair regrowth, the therapy failed for the patient, and it must be discontinued.

Does Rogaine work for women?

Yes, Rogaine not only works for women hair loss but also it makes the hair thicker and stronger. There is moderate evidence that Rogaine works as a treatment for female pattern hair loss. Women who were treated with topical minoxidil at 2 or 5% reported moderate to marked improvement. Women are advised only to use the 2% presentation, and they should notice a real cosmetic improvement after six to eight months of treatment.

Women who used the topical 5% concentration may have the side effect of facial hair growth, which is called hirsutisms. Consequently, they are encouraged to apply only the 2% presentation unless their doctors prescribe otherwise. If no result is seen in females after eight months, the Rogaine treatment is considered to have failed, and it must be discontinued.

Can women apply Rogaine for men?

Yes, women can apply Rogaine for men only if the presentation is at 2% concentration. The only real difference among Rogaine is its concentration presentations, which are at 2 or 5% and the vehicle or way of application, it comes either as a topical lotion or a topical foam. Women have to be cautious to never used a Rogaine with higher than 2% concentration to avoid the side effects, especially those of facial hair growth with can give a virile or male appearance.

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