The Darkside of Rogaine (Minoxidil)
You've most definitely heard about the aphorism, all the glitter is not gold, right? Well, that holds exceptionally true when it comes to this seemingly effective drug for hair loss called Rogaine. Read on to understand why Rogaine is not the miracle drug for hair loss that you might've thought.
That's probably the grimmest introduction to anything on this website, but based on our own experience, this topic deserves such seriousness. Sometimes we let hair loss get the better of us, that to some extent we make the solution of hair loss our priority over other important things. And one such thing that people do is to start using drugs to fight hair loss without giving it much thought. One such drug is Rogaine. But before we tell you the drawbacks of Rogaine, let's get you well acquainted with what it precisely is.
What is Rogaine?
Rogaine is a brand of medication, which has Minoxidil as the active ingredient in it, which has been proven to be effective in treating hair loss to some extent. The reason you've probably heard of Rogaine as compared to Minoxidil is that Rogaine had the patent to produce hair loss treatments consisting of Minoxidil until only recently. Now, however, you can find many generic products that contain Minoxidil and work similarly to Rogaine. Another well-known brand of Minoxidil hair loss treatment is Kirkland's Minoxidil. Apart from this, Regaine is another brand you might come across. So no matter the brand name, if any hair loss treatment contains Minoxidil as its active ingredients, the information provided in this article is the same for all of them.
With the confusion sorted, let's get onto what Rogaine or Minoxidil is. Rogaine is a topical hair loss treatment that does have substantial clinical evidence of efficacy in fighting hair loss for certain people. Up to 60% of the study subjects did report hair growth, but as the percentage suggests, not everyone benefits from this drug. Also, this drug does not claim strong hair growth as studied in the use of other prescription hair loss drugs like Finasteride. With Rogaine, you will never get all your hair back, and the quality of hair that does grow may not even be close to your natural hair. Also, this isn't a quick fix for your hair loss, either.
What is Rogaine Used For?
Rogaine is a topical hair loss solution for androgenic alopecia or pattern baldness caused by genetic reasons. It means that if hair loss is hereditary for you, only then will Rogaine be useful, if at all. Rogaine does not help fight any other type of hair loss like hair thinning, receding hairlines, etc. It is seen to be most effective in people who are less than 40 years old and is not effective if the hair loss is severe.
If you don't have a family history of hair loss or the hair loss is in patches and abrupt, Rogaine will give you little to no benefits at all.
Before we move on to why we are not on-board with the use of Rogaine, let's see how it works.
How Does Rogaine Work?
Primarily Minoxidil was prescribed as a drug to treat blood pressure. But with its use, people noticed hair growth, and hence its topical application was tested for effectiveness in treating hair loss. It is not entirely known as to how Rogaine works, but some of the plausible theories will be discussed here. Rogaine is typically considered to be what is known as a vasodilator. It is believed that Rogaine works by partially elongating the growth phase of the hair growth cycle and enlarging hair follicles. Due to this, you'd have more hair in your hair's growth phase at the same time on your scalp. This will give your scalp better hair coverage. Another concept is that it increased blood circulation to your scalp by dilating the blood vessels. And yet another is that it increases a specific enzyme called ATP in your hair follicles that extends the growth phase of your hair. But the critical thing to note is that the hair that does grow through Rogaine's use is often fine hair that will have texture and strength far inferior to normal hair.
So now you know how Rogaine works, let's now discuss its effectiveness.
How Effective is Rogaine?
According to clinical studies, Rogaine has been proven to be sufficient for hair loss to varying degrees. According to one study, 40% of the men reported moderate to dense hair growth. According to another, 62% of 984 men using 5% Minoxidil reported a reduction in hair loss after one year. The effectiveness, however, was varying significantly for this 62 %.
But with all its reported effectiveness, there are many drawbacks of using Rogaine to treat hair loss. Let us first discuss the plausible side-effects of using Rogaine.
Potential Mild Side-effects of Rogaine
Rogaine is considered rather safe for use, but its side-effects though rare, are still possible. These are:
Irritation of the scalp
Hair growth in unwanted areas like the forehead and ears
Varied texture and color of hair
An initial increase in hair fall
These side-effects are generally temporary and not severe. But in very sporadic cases, the side-effects may be severe. Let us take a look at those now.
Potential Severe Side-Effects of Rogaine
The severe side-effects of Minoxidil (Rogaine) are:
Abrupt and unexplainable weight gain
Dizziness or fainting
Swelling of your extremities
Pain in the chest
If any of these side-effects are experienced by you immediately stop the use of Rogaine and contact your physician.
Rogaine for Women
Rogaine is considered a better drug hair loss treatment for women than Finasteride as the latter is not suitable for them. According to one study on women, 19% reported moderate hair growth after eight months of use Rogaine, and 40% had minimal hair growth. This was compared to 7% and 33% of the placebo as well, respectively.
However, due to the nature of the drug, certain people should stay clear of Rogaines.
Who Should Not Use Rogaine?
The list of people who should not use Rogaine at any cost is:
People under 18 or over 65 years of age
Women who are pregnant
Women who are breastfeeding
People suffering from high blood pressure
People suffering from any conditions that affect their scalp
People with shaved heads or who are entirely bald
If you fall into any of these categories, do not take Rogaine as it can only do more harm than good. Also, if you use any other medications, be sure to discuss the use of Rogaine with your physician since it can react with your prescription and cause issues for you.
So Why Exactly Do We NOT Recommend Rogaine?
As discussed, Rogaine certainly has its effectiveness when it comes to treating hair loss. And though there are side-effects, they are sporadic and usually harmless. The primary reason we do not condone the use of Rogaine is that it just isn't a viable long-term solution for your hair loss. You have to continuously use Rogaine to maintain the hair growth you do manage to get from it. It essentially makes you an addict, and if you don't use it correctly, all your efforts go down the drain. As a general rule of thumb, the effects of Rogaine last around one month at most; after that, your hair will go back to the same quality as it was before you started the treatment. Also, to even get noticeable results from Rogaine, you'd have to use the drug for more than four months at the least, and then use it indefinitely to maintain your hair condition. A lot of effort with minimal return.
All of these drawbacks and potential side effects and a dubious efficacy when it comes to different hair types and people are why we do not wish to jump on the Rogaine bandwagon, and why you should think twice.
Rogaine is a traditional over-the-counter and heavily marketed topical hair loss treatment. One of the Rogain ingredients is Minoxidil, which you can buy as other brands. But all of these drugs come with near-identical efficacy and drawbacks. And as discussed in the article, the disadvantages compared with the potential benefits, not to mention the required perpetual use, are reasons to avoid the use of Rogaine. Furthermore, there are better natural alternatives that can yield far more effective results for stimulating hair growth, restoring your hair naturally, and are more cost-effective in the long run. Who wouldn't want that?
But our philosophy is not to bring you down by telling you that the drug you were hoping to solve your hair loss is not as good as it first seemed. We're here to help you with your hair loss journey as we have done ourselves! And we believe that there are so many options out there that can help you with your hair loss. Many of them are natural, more accessible, and much safer solutions, including hair serums, vitamins, natural shampoos, herbs, and more!
We hope this article gave you an insight into what Rogaine and why you may want to consider other solutions that will yield better solutions for your hair and your health overall.
We wish you the best for your hair and your health! If you would like to learn more, subscribe to our site and stay up to date with the best information on attaining natural healthy hair.