Rogaine (Minoxidil) is a very common product for those with thinning hair. The product is intended to be applied topically to the scalp daily and is available as a gel or a foam. Some people who use Rogaine for the first time to regrow their hair discover that, at least temporarily, they start losing more hair.
Several clinical studies and scientific data back the use of minoxidil for mild alopecia-related hair growth. Even if it appears that you are losing more hair than before, how can you tell whether it’s working?
We will investigate as we’re going to talk about Rogaine-related hair loss so you can learn how prevalent it is, why it occurs, and whether you need to be concerned.
Since the 2% formula launch in 1986, minoxidil, the main active ingredient in Rogaine, has been available on the market to treat hair loss. This well-known hair loss medication, sold over the counter as a liquid or foam, was given FDA approval to treat male and female pattern baldness. While it’s unclear exactly how Rogaine encourages hair growth, a 2022 review suggests that minoxidil’s anti-inflammatory, vasodilating, and anti-androgenic properties may all have a role.
Only specific types of baldness respond to Rogaine, and it only works if you consistently apply it. However, not everyone experiences success with it, and it’s also possible for results to peak after a few months before troughing out. Other types of hair loss may be treated with the product off-label, but only on a doctor’s advice.
Even if the product is effective, it may take around four months before you start seeing results, and you probably won’t regrow all the hair you’ve lost. Additionally, you’ll need to keep using Rogaine to sustain any hair regrowth.
Rogaine vs. Propecia
DHT blockers like Propecia sometimes referred to as finasteride, are used to treat male pattern baldness. DHT binds to and shrinks hair follicles, one of the leading causes of baldness in males. Propecia prevents hair loss and baldness by preventing the conversion of testosterone to DHT. For the treatment of male pattern baldness, both are successful. A 2015 study found that the two drugs can be combined for maximum effectiveness.
Rogaine and Hair Growth Cycle
There are several stages of development that your hair follicles go through. Some follicles are not all in the same phase at the same time. It is believed that Rogaine affects both stages of the hair development process.
The “growing” phase of hair development is the anagen phase. This is the stage where the hair is expelled from the root. It’s possible that using minoxidil will make the anagen phase last longer.
The “resting” phase of your hair is called the telogen phase, and it occurs when your hair has finished growing but is not quite ready to fall out. When tested in clinical settings on rats, Rogaine was shown to cut the telogen phase of hair growth from 20 days down to 1 or 2 days.
What Causes Hair Loss from Rogaine Usage?
The adverse effects caused by Rogaine are often modest. The most typical adverse reactions involve mild itching, burning, and dry skin. Using minoxidil may cause you to experience hair loss, particularly when you initially begin using it. Since it accelerates the part of your hair cycle during which it is resting, you may see an increase in the rate at which your hair falls out.
Conversely, Rogaine prolongs the phase of your hair cycle during which it is growing. This indicates that even though you should initially anticipate some shedding of hair, new hair growth should start to replace the hair you’ve lost very quickly.
Although some people might not have any shedding as a side effect of minoxidil, others might suffer significant shedding. Currently, statistics that investigate the frequency of this particular adverse impact are not readily available.
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Prevention from Rogaine Hair Loss
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to stop Rogaine-related shedding, and you won’t be able to tell if you’ll have it when you first start using the treatment. Remember that the adverse effect is likely to be more substantial the more minoxidil you take and the greater the concentration. For instance, using a foam with a 2% concentration can result in fewer adverse effects than using one with a 5% concentration.
You should switch to a less potent dose of minoxidil if you’re experiencing significant hair loss. Start with a lesser concentration of minoxidil if you haven’t already and are worried about hair loss. If necessary, work your way up to a greater dosage.
Other Side Effects of Rogaine Usage
An older 2003 study found that Rogaine is generally deemed safe, and its damaging effects are not severe. The most frequent ones are:
- Scalp itchiness
- Hair growth in nearby places like your forehead
- Changes in the structure or color of your hair
Avoid getting any Rogaine in your eyes when applying it. If so, thoroughly rinse your eyes with cool tap water. Ask your doctor for advice. Although rare, Rogaine might cause more severe adverse effects. If you go through any of the following, consult your doctor immediately:
- Unanticipated, unforeseen weight gain
- Dizziness or faintness
- Chest discomfort and hand or foot swelling
As your hair follicles push out the old hair to create a place for new growth when you first start using Rogaine, you may experience increased hair shedding for the first few weeks.
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