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Is Rogaine Good For Thinning Hair

Does Minoxidil Work On Frontal Hairline Baldness

Using Minoxidil for Thinning Hair
  • Medically reviewed by: Debra Rose Wilson, PhD MSN RN IBCLC AHN-BC CHT

Minoxidil is a popular treatment for frontal hair loss. The brand name is Rogaine, but retailers sell generic versions under various names. Millions of people over the past 30 years have tried minoxidil. It is still the first treatment a man with frontal hair loss is likely to try.

This article will explain:

  • What frontal hair loss is, as well as its cause
  • How minoxidil works to treat it
  • Results you can expect for frontal hair loss
  • The different types of minoxidil
  • How to get the best possible results out of minoxidil
  • Side effects to look out for

Watch the video below if you prefer videos to reading:

Regrow Thinning Hair With These 5 Effective Methods

At the first sign of hair lossor even before that, if youre proactiveyou should visit your board-certified dermatologist to discuss the latest and most effective retention and prevention tactics.

There are numerous options available to men now, and they each have extremely high success rates. We tapped our network of experts to get their opinions on the most common methods. Before we get into them, heres what some of those board-certified dermatologists have to say about the road ahead.

Best Way To Buy Minoxidil

Since Minoxidil is an over the counter medicine, you can purchase it without a doctors visit. To buy Minoxidil, you can go to your local pharmacy, order it through , use subscription companies like Keeps or purchase it directly from Rogaine. Lets talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can pick the one that is right for you.

Recommended Reading: How To Make My Hair Stop Thinning

Also Check: What Causes Head Itching And Hair Loss

Is Rogaine Safe To Use

Rogaine is quite safe to use. It does not have any serious side effects. The only common one is that some people experience mild itching or irritation when they use it for the first time, which subsides with continued use. Other rare side effects include a change of hair texture or color and a slight increase in body hair growth.

Today, Rogaine is one of the most trusted hair loss treatment options on the market. Many men and women with thinning hear swear by it, and for good reason. In an industry suffocating under cons and false advertising, Rogaine resorted to using simple proof of concept to build their brand loyalty.

Does Minoxidil Work For A Receding Hairline


Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Like finasteride, minoxidil is scientifically proven to improve hair growth and potentially help men with male pattern baldness regrow lost hair.

However, theres some debate online about whether or not minoxidil works on the hairs around the hairline. In the tests used to secure FDA approval, minoxidil was primarily tested on the top of the scalp and crown, resulting in a common belief that it only works on these areas.

Despite this, theres lots of evidence that minoxidil is effective at promoting hair growth on the entire scalp, including the hairline.

In this guide, well look at the science behind minoxidil to give you a deeper understanding of how it works, why its effective and why its worth considering if youve noticed your hairline starting to thin and recede.

Read Also: What Causes Hair To Thin Out

How Long Before Minoxidil Starts Working

Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Minoxidil is a hair loss and hair regrowth treatment thats widely used to treat male pattern hair baldness. Its available as a liquid or foam and is applied directly to the areas of your scalp with noticeable hair loss.

Minoxidil is often sold under the brand name Rogaine®. Today, its also available as a generic hair loss medication.

If youre experiencing some of the early signs of baldness, such as thinning hair or a receding hairline, you may have looked into minoxidil as a topical treatment for protecting your existing hair and stimulating regrowth.

As with other hair loss treatments, minoxidil begins working immediately, but can take several months to produce noticeable results.

Below, weve explained how minoxidil works as a treatment for hair loss, as well as how long you may need to use minoxidil to see improvements in your hair.

Weve also listed other science-based hair loss medications and products that you can use at the same time as minoxidil to further prevent hair loss and regrow hair.

Can Thinning Hair Grow Back

Thinning hair can grow back depending on what caused it to thin in the first place. Individuals who experience thinning hair due to nutrient deficiencies, stress, pregnancy, and other non-genetic reasons could experience regrowth.

If youre experiencing new hair loss or hair thinning, its best to consult your doctor. Some medical conditions can be associated with thinning hair.

Recommended Reading: Is Tea Tree Shampoo Good For Thinning Hair

Who Is Rogaine It For

Rogaine works better for some people than it does for others. This is because it is not a blanket solution for all hair loss problems. It only prevents hair loss due to pattern baldness in men and women. Pattern baldness is hair loss due to genetic baldness, which runs in families. It is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women.

Furthermore, if you are experiencing hair loss at the vertex of the scalp, or at the back of your head just under the crown, then you are the perfect candidate for Rogaine. It is not effective for people dealing with receding hairlines at the front of the scalp. It also works better for women than men.

Finally, it is most effective among people who are experiencing premature hair loss below the age of 40. Immediately you notice the first signs of hair thinning, begin using Rogaine. It only works when there is some healthy hair to work with. However, it is important to remember that it only slows down hair loss, it cannot stop it completely. Especially when it is genetic, hair loss can only be delayed by Rogaine, not cured.

It will not work for you if:

1. You have gone completely bald

2. You are under 18

3. Your hair loss is due to itchiness, an infection, or if you have a painful scalp

4. Your hair is suddenly falling off in patches

5. Your hair loss is not hereditary

6. You are planning to use it for beard growth

Does It Work For Beards

Jill Crosby: Haircuts for Thin or Thinning Hair | Womens ROGAINE®

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, minoxidil is safe to use on the beard and eyebrows, as well as on the scalp.

Researchers in Thailand conducted a study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a 3% minoxidil lotion for people striving to grow beards.

Some 46 participants applied a minoxidil lotion twice a day. Based on doctor evaluation and the participantsâ self-assessment, this treatment resulted in a noticeably thicker, fuller beard. Side effects were reported to be mild and not statistically significant.

Female pattern hair loss is not as rare as some people might think. Many females may experience hair thinning or hair loss at some point in their lives, and more do so after menopause.

After clinical trials and a few years on the market as a medication for male pattern baldness, the FDA approved Rogaine for use by females experiencing hair loss.

Rogaine can help stimulate the growth of new hair in women, although this new growth tends to be fine hair. It also takes time to develop, and experts recommend females take Rogaine for 6 months to 1 year to see if it is effective.

Experts do not recommend Rogaine for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding as there is insufficient information on how the medication could affect the fetus. Side effects tend to be rare, and Rogaine is generally considered safe.

Read Also: How To Stop Hair Loss From Telogen Effluvium

How Long Until You See Minoxidil Results

Because of minoxidils mechanism of action, you wont experience immediate hair growth after you start using this medication.

Instead, as we mentioned earlier, you may shed slightly more hair than normal during the first few weeks of treatment with minoxidil as your hairs rapidly move through their growth cycle to begin a new anagen phase.

Most research shows that it takes a few months before youll notice any improvements in your hair after you start using minoxidil.

For example, the studies featured above — all of which showed positive outcomes — looked at the results of minoxidil after at least three months of regular use.

Although results can vary from one person to another, you should generally expect to see some improvement from minoxidil after about three to six months, with more significant results after a full year of treatment.

In the meantime, its important to be patient and continue using minoxidil even if you dont notice any day-to-day change in your hairline.

Results Expectations And Does Rogaine Work For A Receding Hairline

Does Rogaine really work? The odds are in your favor. Nearly 90% of men experience hair regrowth after four months of using 5% Rogaine Foam. Clearly, looking at all the compiled evidence, it is easy to see that Rogaine is viable. One of the most popular questions people have is: How well will it work for me? Unfortunately, that is not easy to answer. You probably know how the story goes, everyones body is different, and everyone reacts differently to certain treatments.

The only way to truly know if you will respond well to the treatment is to consistently use Rogaine for 2 times a day for about 6 months. That is the best way to determine what sort of results you can expect from long term use. Fortunately for you, prices have dropped over the years and getting a 6 month supply isnt going to break the bank. Minoxidil is a very low risk drug and side effects from sustained use are nonexistent to minimal. There are two ongoing clinical studies that plan to determine whether or not a patient will respond well to minoxidil. However, this are not complete.

However, it is still important to have the right expectations when making a commitment to use Rogaine. There are a number of ways your hair will respond. Either you will grow a moderate amount of hair back, grow a little back, not regrow hair but maintain the hair you have left, or see no results at all. It is highly unlikely that using Rogaine will accelerate your hair loss, so you can rule that response out.

Read Also: Can My Hair Grow Back After Hair Loss

Serious Side Effects Of Minoxidil

Minoxidil can cause severe or long-term side effects. Its rare, but your skin can absorb minoxidil. Stop using minoxidil if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing when lying down
  • Swelling in hands or feet
  • Unusual weight gain
  • Unwanted body or facial hair growth

As a vasodilator, minoxidil causes an increase in blood supply, which can also increase your heart rate. Healthcare providers may advise people with pre-existing heart conditions against using products containing minoxidil because it can increase heart rate and cause chest pains, signaling heart failure. If you have heart problems, consult your healthcare provider before using minoxidil.

Reason #: It Doesnt Work On Everyone


As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news, Minoxidil is not the magic solution you think it is.

Even Healthline, one of the most authoritative health websites on the Internet, has to start their article on Minoxidils clinical effectiveness with the following introduction:

Rogaine does work to some extent as evidenced by clinical studies, but only for certain types of baldness and only if you keep up with its application. But it wont work for everyone.

If it does work, you probably wont grow back all of the hair youve lost, and it can take up to four months to see results. Youll have to use Rogaine indefinitely to maintain any regrowth

And when you read the studies done on men and women using Minoxidil to grow new hair, the results are disappointing:

In the large clinical study that led to the drugs approval in 1987, 40 percent of men had moderate to dense hair growth on the crown of their head.

In a one-year observational study, 62 percent of the 984 men using 5 percent minoxidil reported a reduction in hair loss.

In one double-blind study, 19 percent of women ages 18 to 45 using Rogaine for eight months reported moderate hair regrowth, while 40 percent had minimal growth .

Lets showcase those numbers in a different way:

  • 60% of men in the first study did not experience hair growth
  • 38% of men in the second study did not report hair growth
  • 81% of women in the third study did not report significant hair growth

Also Check: Is It Possible To Prevent Hair Loss

What Is Scalpmed Is Minoxidil Good For Thinning Hair

ScalpMED is a company that markets hair regrowth therapies. Is Minoxidil Good For Thinning Hair

The companys site describes that ScalpMED reaches the origin of loss of hair by utilizing FDA-approved components to quit hair loss and regrow what youve lost.

Their products differ from most non-prescription hair shampoos, which they claim include one or more incredibly severe components that are probably adding to hair thinning or speeding up loss of hair.

Some vital active ingredients discovered in ScalpMED treatments include:

  • Retinol.

ScalpMED utilizes a multipatented approach, consisting of 2 major components:

Vitadil as well as NutriSol.

Vitadil is a formula that contains minoxidil, an FDA-approved component, for hair regrowth. NutriSol is a trademarked formula unique to ScalpMED.

While some ingredients are FDA approved, ScalpMED items themselves are not approved by the FDA.

Products that are authorized by the FDA offer us the self-confidence we need to understand that the medicines that we are utilizing have actually been tested in huge teams of people as well as were discovered to be both safe as well as efficient, clarifies Dr. Sharleen St. Surin-Lord, assistant teacher of dermatology at Howard University University of Medicine. Is Minoxidil Good For Thinning Hair

Like other topical treatments, ScalpMED will not revive dead hair roots. If your hair is thinning, yet your hair roots are still active, it can aid you grow back as well as enlarge hair.

What Were Looking For:

Doctor-recommended ingredients: As Dr. Douglas D. Altchek, founder of Altchek Dermatology, puts it, There are 1,001 products out there purporting to grow hair, but theres no definitive cure for baldness. Dr. Corey L. Hartman of Skin Wellness Dermatology adds that there have not been any major recent breakthroughs in this category, and notes that the hair-loss space is one where you want to proceed with some caution, because theres a bit of snake oil to the claims that some of these companies make.

For emerging hair-loss treatments like platelet-rich plasma injections, stem-cell activation, and micro-needling, youll need to consult with a specialized dermatologist. But before it comes to that, all of our experts say its worth leaning on reliable doctor-recommended standbys like minoxidil and finasteride a.k.a. Rogaine and Propecia, respectivelyideally in tandem. The former is helpful for preventing hair loss, the latter for promoting growth. Because of their long and trusted track record as well as the unanimous recommendation from our experts, weve deemed both of them our best overall products for tackling male hair loss.

Recommended Reading: How To Manage Thin Hair

Benefits Of Minoxidil For Hair

Liz deSousa for BYRDIE

A quick Google search will tell you that minoxidil is also an oral medication for blood pressurewhich is how it was first discovered to help with hair growth. Minoxidil was originally developed in the early 1960s as an oral treatment for high blood pressure, a condition for which it is still, albeit rarely, used, explains Kim D. Edhegard, MD, a Virginia-based dermatologist. In one of the early trials for the treatment of blood pressure, the curious side effect of hair growth was noted. After a few decades of research, the FDA approved topical minoxidil to treat male hair loss , and then later, for female hair loss as well.

Interestingly, scientists cant quite agree on how minoxidil works to promote hair growth. Possibly, this hair growth occurs because minoxidil causes increased blood flow to the hair by dilating the blood vessels in the scalp, explains board-certified dermatologist Divya Shokeen. Another hypothesis, supported by 2017 data suggests that minoxidil increases a specific enzyme in the hair follicle, extending its growth phase . It is also thought to enlarge hair follicles that have shrunken due to hormonal changes. Still, no matter how minoxidil works, one thing’s for certain: It can greatly benefit those with thinning hair and/or hair loss:

Reasons To Stop Using Minoxidil For Hair Loss

Pros & Cons of Rogaine (Minoxidil) | Thinning Hair

Minoxidil is one of the most widely used non-prescription hair loss drugs in the world.

Projected to exceed $162 million per year in sales since 1999, the global market for this medication alone is forecasted to be worth $1.2 billion USD by 2024.

Unfortunately, all of the money being spent on this drug and its ongoing popularity has nothing whatsoever to do with how effective it is.

This article will show you the seven reasons why using Minoxidil wont give you the hair follicle restoration results youre looking for and what you should be doing instead for hair regrowth.

Read Also: How To Treat Hair Loss In Dogs

What To Realistically Expect From Minoxidil

The above is not cause for despair. It only means that users should have realistic expectations.

First, a user should understand he has a 50% chance of responding to minoxidil. If he does respond, the crown is likely to respond best.

This does not mean that minoxidil is always ineffective for the front. It sometimes gives results, but within limits.

The most important distinction in frontal baldness is between a) scalp that has gone completely bald and b) thinning scalp. For areas in the front that have thinned but still have some hair minoxidil can give regrowth. For those parts of the front that are completely bald, minoxidil will not give regrowth.

This means that minoxidil cannot restore a receded hairline. What it can do is increase density in the areas behind the hairline that are in the process of thinning.

For men who respond positively, minoxidil regrowth peaks at the 1-year mark. The positive effects of minoxidil then starts to slowly decline . By the 5-year treatment mark, most men who continue treatment will still be better off compared to baseline. But for some men, hair loss might resume again after some years. In this sense minoxidil is like most other medications: some users eventually develop tolerance, but this varies from person to person.


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