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Rogaine and Minoxidil
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What are Rogaine and Minoxidil?

Rogaine is the brand name of a product developed by the Upjohn Company and is now owned by Johnson and Johnson. Rogaine contains the active ingredient Minoxidil.

Rogaine is also marketed as Regaine in some countries. Minoxidil, Rogaine's active ingredient, is the only nonprescription product which has been medically proven to treat hereditary hair loss. Minoxidil is a solution which is applied topically to the scalp twice a day. It can slow down hair loss in men and women who are showing signs of hereditary balding.

In consumer surveys of over 7,000 men, 80% said they noticed a difference in hair loss when using Minoxidil. Furthermore, after twelve months of continuous use, 40% showed renewed growth of hair.

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How does Rogaine (Minoxidil) work?

Minoxidil works in part by enlarging miniaturized follicles and reversing the miniaturization process. This prolongs the growth phase of the hair cycle, allowing the hair to become longer and thicker with more follicles in the growth phase, with twice daily usage it is possible to see improved coverage of the scalp over time. Although the growth phase may be prolonged, the follicle will continue to cycle. Several cycles may be necessary before maximum potential hair regrowth is achieved.

While clinical trials have proven Minoxidil can assist in hair regrowth for both men and women, thicken existing hair, reduce hair loss, and stimulate new hair growth, individual results can be affected by several factors.

  • The younger the age of patients, the greater chance of good results.
  • If hair is thinning as opposed to having a bald spot, response will be better.
  • Response will be better if the bald area is less than 10cm in diameter.
  • Response will be better if the bald area has been that way for less than 10 years.
  • Response will be better on the crown (back) rather than on the front of the scalp.
Minoxidil must be applied twice daily every day. It will need to be used for four to six months before seeing hair regrowth. If Minoxidil treatment is stopped after regrowing hair, the new hair will fall out within four months as the miniaturization process begins again.

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Is Rogaine (Minoxidil) right for you?

Extensive studies have shown that Minoxidil is effective at stopping hereditary hair loss. But there are many causes of hair loss and Minoxidil is not suitable for everyone. That's why it's important to discover first whether Minoxidil is right for you...

  • Do you have a family history of hair loss?
  • Have been losing hair for less than 10 years?
  • Do you have a balding area less than 10cm in diameter, with some remaining hair growth?
  • Do you have hair loss at the front of your scalp or on the crown?
  • Are over 18 and in good physical health?
If you answered YES to all of these questions, then Minoxidil could be your answer to ending hair loss.

If you are experiencing hair loss and it is not hereditary Minoxidil is not the answer for you. But don't despair, there are lots of other ways of dealing with hair loss which can help improve your looks and confidence. As always, before you begin using any medication, it is wise to first consult with your physician.

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Questions and Answers About Rogaine (Minoxidil)

Must Minoxidil be rubbed in or just rolled on?

It should be rubbed into the scalp.

How long after shampooing should Minoxidil be applied?

One hour after shampooing.

Can a hair drier be used after using Minoxidil?

A hair drier may be used after shampooing but should not be used after the application of the medication.

How long after application does optimum absorption take place?

Two hours.

Can Minoxidil be used more than twice a day? Will it work faster if I do that?

No, Minoxidil should only be applied to the scalp twice a day. Added applications of Minoxidil will not make the hair grow faster or better. Research has shown that twice daily is the most effective dosage of the medication to use.

Will Minoxidil thicken hair and give it more body?

Yes, it will.

Does regrowth start as vellus (downy) hair followed by pigmented, healthy hair?

Yes, the regrowth process has stages beginining with vellus hairs.

How soon after starting treatment with Minoxidil can results be expected?

The response to hair growth differs widely in patients receiving Minoxidil treatment. Response usually occurs four to six months after the treatment has started. Patients receiving Minoxidil should be patient and not expect the use of Minoxidil to make hair regrow in a short period of time.

Will Minoxidil grow hair on everyone who is bald?

No, there are several factors that can influence the growth of hair with Minoxidil treatment. These include the length of time the person has suffered hair loss or baldness, the specific type of baldness on the scalp, whether on the front of the scalp or on the crown of the head, and the person's age and physical health.

Even if Minoxidil does not cause new hair growth, will it prevent baldness?

Results of patient questionnaires indicate that the rate of baldness progression may be stopped by the use of Minoxidil.

If there is no response to Minoxidil, when should the treatment be stopped?

After six or seven months.

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Results of Clinical Trials of Minoxidil

Male Studies

Clinical studies were conducted by dermatologists at 27 US medical centers involving over 2,300 patients with male pattern baldness on the top (vertex) of the head.

At the end of 4 months, hair counts showed that, on average, patients using Minoxidil had significantly more hair regrowth than those who used a placebo (a similar solution without Minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine).

Based on patients' self evaluations at the end of 4 months, 26% of the patients using Minoxidil had moderate to dense regrowth compared with 11% of those using the placebo product.

By the end of year 1, virtually half (48%) of the men who continued in the study using Minoxidil, rated their hair growth as moderate to dense. An additional 36% had minimal regrowth, the rest (16%) had no regrowth.

Female Studies

In clinical tests conducted by dermatologists in eleven US medical centers, Minoxidil was significantly more effective than placebo (a similar solution without Minoxidil which is the active ingredient in Rogaine) in regrowing non-vellus hair in women with androgenetic alopecia.

Effectiveness was measured by physician and patient evaluation and by non-vellus hair counts.

Almost two out of every three women in the Minoxidil group were evaluated by physicians to have regrown some hair: 13% had moderate regrowth and 50% had minimal regrowth. The rest (37%) had no regrowth.

Thirty-nine percent of women in the placebo group also saw some regrowth.

However, when actual number of newly regrown hairs in the 1cm square area of the test were counted after 8 months of treatment, the group using Minoxidil averaged more than twice as much regrowth (22.7 more hairs) as the placebo group (11 more hairs).

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