Rogaine, its generic name being minoxidil, is a vasodilator that is used to treat severe hypertension. It is nowadays also used to treat male patterned baldness. However Rogaine is not used to treat the baldness at the front of the scalp. It is only used to treat thinning hair.

How Does Rogaine Work?

The mode of action of Rogaine is not exactly known, there are several theories that have been put forth supporting its ability to stop thinning of hair.

Some of these theories include:

  • Rogaine works on the hair by inducing hair follicles to widen that have thinned over time.
  • Rogaine increases the circulation of blood in the hair follicles thus strengthening the roots.
  • It also helps in prolonging the anagen phase of the hair growth.

Like any other treatments, Rogaine treatment also go through the period where the existing hair gets thinner and sometimes shed before thick hair grows back. This process happens during the first 3 months of the treatment .New hair would begin to grow approximately at the beginning of the 6th month of treatment. At the end of 2 years of treatment, hair growth peaks.

How To Use?

There are 2 types of Rogaine available: 1. Topical Solution 2. Foam

Topical Solution

  • The scalp should be completely dry before using Rogaine
  • Apply no more or no less of the prescribed Rogaine using the applicator
  • Rogaine should remain in the hair for atleast 4 hours
  • Avoid contact of Rogaine to other parts of the body.


  • The scalp should be completely dry before using Rogaine
  • Take the foam in hand and apply on the scalp where the hair is thinning
  • Massage in the scalp
  • Wash hands immediately


Scalp preparations containing 5% Rogaine are sutiable for men. And scalp preparation containing 2% Rogaine are suitable for women. The 5% dosage is not yet approved by FDA for women.

The efficacy of the treatment was significant in 5% treatment against 2% treatment.


  • People allergic to minoxidil should not use Rogaine
  • During pregnancy, Rogaine is not usually prescribed
  • Also, people with scalp diseases, liver disease, kidney disease heart problem should consult the doctor before using it
  • In case of missed dose, do not double the dose
  • This medicine should not be swallowed

Side Effects

Rogaine is originally used for treating severe hypertension. Hence, the side effects can be mild to severe on a case-to-case basis. Using 2% Rogaine shows slightly lowered blood pressure whereas using 5% Rogaine intensifies the effect. This is particularly seen in women than men.

It also causes itching, rashes and irritation in skin

Unwanted facial hair

Unusual weight gain

Breathing trouble

The effectiveness of Rogaine is still under debate. It does not work for everyone. It works only for a percentage of people. It works only on male pattern baldness. It is also not known if hair coloring and perming affect this medication. It is better to avoid these agents while using Rogaine. This medication has also not been proved effective for children below 18 years of age and for men above 65 years of age.

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