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Rogaine Review: We’re Making All Kinds Of Ro-Gains!

Published on Feb 26, 2017 in Bath & Body

We’ve written a number of features about hair here at Maple Holistics. From products that can help your hair, like purple shampoo and avocado oil, to companies that produce great hair products like Dove and L’Oréal. However, now it’s time for a new hair discussion – one about keeping the hair that you have. Welcome to our Rogaine For Men review 🙂

Unlike 90-something percent of mammals, humans are hairless. That is to say, we are not completely covered in fur or hair. Some people have more hair on their body than others, yes, but we are certainly not like cats or dogs. We humans have hair on strategic locations on our body. This hair is meant to protect and keep us warm, but it is also a tool through which we can express ourselves. Hair has significance on many levels.

Statistics on baldness reveal that half of us males – and a quarter of you lovely ladies – will experience pattern baldness of some kind by the age of 50. In males, this manifests itself in an overall receding hairline, and loss of hair particularly in the crown of the scalp. In females, it takes the shape of hair thinning. With guys, this is closely connected with the overproduction of the male hormone testosterone. And the way to counter this situation is first and foremost hormonal. In other ways, regaining hormonal balance.

When male pattern hair loss appears, there are several ways of dealing with such an occurrence. A) you could simply accept the situation. B) you could get some plugs (a hair transplant procedure). C) you could attempt to revitalize your hair follicles and induce hair growth, by using some form of medication. One such medication, which is very well-known around the world, is called Rogaine.

Rogaine Company Background and History

Rogaine Logo

Like many cool scientific discoveries, Rogaine’s arrival on the scene was kind of an accident. In the 1970’s, scientists were busy studying Minoxidil – which would later become Rogaine’s primary active ingredient – and happened to notice its hair-regrowing properties. Originally, Minoxidil was sold in pill form to treat blood-pressure issues.

Built on the back of this discovery, Rogaine was launched in 1988. It consisted of a 2% Minoxidil topical solution, and was obtained only with a physician’s prescription. The solution was a success, and several years later a 2% Minoxidil for women was also launched (also as a physician-prescribed medication).

In the mid 90’s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of America approved Rogaine to be sold as an over-the-counter (OTC) medication, and in 1997 an extra strength Rogaine with 5% Minoxidil became available, also for OTC use. Nowadays, Rogaine remains a strong leader in the hair-loss prevention and revitalization market.

What Does Rogaine For Men Do? What is Minoxidil?

The Rogaine Effect

Okay, Rogaine was a wonderful (albeit accidental) discovery, but what does it do? Well, this varies. While the makers of Rogaine would love it if they could boast that it works on everyone – it doesn’t. I can’t say what Rogaine’s official stats are, but – pretty much like any hair-loss medication – it works for some, and doesn’t work for others.

How Minoxidil actually does what it does is still being studied. There is no clear cut answer to the question of how it helps to regrow hair. It seems that Minoxidil manages to stimulate shrunken hair follicles, but not completely bring old ones back the dead. For this reason, Rogaine is not meant for all types of hair loss.

For loss of hair around the crown, it could do a lot of good. Rogaine is not recommended for men with a receding hairline. That is not what this product is meant for. Applied every day, twice a day, for several months, this medication can help hair become thicker. But, like I said, it cannot exactly bring your hair back from the dead. It could take several months before you see some results. Be patient.

Rogaine for Men Products

Rogaine Products

The two products which Rogaine is currently offering for men are A) unscented foam and B) extra strength (aka liquid) Rogaine. Both of these are in essence 5% Minoxidil, but with different inactive ingredients. Women only have the option of the liquid version, and it is very important that each gender use their appropriate method, since the ingredients are somewhat different.

When you go to pick it up, there will probably be one application method which will sound more appealing to you. Go with your gut, and if you find that you are not fond of that method, switch to the other.

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Rogaine for Men Review: Background

Rogaine: Before and After [note: not author results]

I have three brothers, and they all started to lose their hair in the late 20’s. I was actually the last one to be affected, but sure enough it started to happen to me as well. My older brother got a hair transplant, since his issue was with his frontal hairline. In his case, Rogaine wouldn’t have been much help, anyway, and I think he made the right move. He looks good. My own hair loss began around the crown, so I knew that this was something which could help. I had always known of Rogaine, though I had never used it since there was no need.

I didn’t want to go through any transplants, but I did want to make some kind of an effort, and see if I can salvage my mane before it is gone. It is not that I mind baldness, per se, it is just that I would rather have more hair. I don’t think baldness is unattractive. There are some people out there who look great bald. When I was in my late teens, I shaved my head for a good while, and I actually liked it a lot. If I ever decide to quit Rogaine, there is a good chance I will simply go back to doing that. It is efficient, inexpensive, and I really do love the feeling of rain on top my head, with no hair in the way.

As previously mentioned, Rogaine for men is a medication that is meant to be applied twice a day, every day. And, as also previously mentioned, it takes patience. You don’t lose your hair overnight, and you don’t help it become thicker overnight, either.

Rogaine For Men Review: My Before and After

As for actual results? Well, I could definitely see improvement at about the month-five mark. It took time, but then my crown did actually seem to be thickening out. I decided to use the foam, since I heard the liquid Rogaine could leave your scalp and hair feeling a bit greasy. I am happy with my results, overall. The key, as far as I was concerned, was threefold: A) use Rogaine as directed; B) change my diet, since you are what you eat; and C) do NOT obsess over your hair. This is crucial! Just let it do its thing, one way or another.

It wouldn’t be psychologically healthy for me (or anyone else, probably) to constantly be looking at my scalp, trying to ascertain whether or not it is working. Once or twice a month, I took a good look with a mirror, and otherwise I simply left it alone to do its thing. Did I want my hair to grow in thicker? Of course, but I was not about to put so much stock into it, to the point where I am constantly thinking of it and wondering about it. That would be unhealthy, no matter what the outcome is.

This is a long-term solution, but it takes a long-term commitment. If you don’t think you are up for it, Rogaine may not be for you. There are other methods or hair-revitalization, after all. More about those later. Right now, let’s talk about the possible side-effects of Minoxidil.

Rogaine for Men Review Side-Effects: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Like all forms of medication, Minoxidil has potential for side-effects. Much like the treatment itself, which doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, Rogaine’s side-effects vary from one man to the next. Some side-effects are more common than others. Some are very rare. In any case, if you experience persistent side-effects, of any kind, you should probably cease usage and contact your doctor.

My experience with Rogaine is positive and hassle-free, thankfully. I am usually healthy, I have no known allergies, no past history of dermatological issues (other than some dandruff here and there, which I counter with a tea tree shampoo), and I began using Rogaine pretty much as soon as I noticed the thinning/baldness begin, so I was able to act quickly and strengthen my hair. Rogaine doesn’t necessarily regrow hair, but it does strengthen the hairs which are on the scalp. Pretty amazing, considering it was an acceidental discovery.

Review of Rogaine Alternatives

As I mentioned, there are alternatives to Rogaine. Minoxidil is not the only ingredient which has been proven to succeed in hair-loss prevention or follicle stimulation. Here are a few alternatives for your consideration:

Kirkland Minoxidil and Procerin

First, Procerin. This ingredient targets specific chemicals used by the body to cause hair loss and thinning. Procerin is two separate forms of medication which can be used together for individually:

  • Vitamins. Those which are known to nourish hair, scalp, skin, and nails. Dietary supplements, as it were. Some guys aren’t ready to commit to a medical procedure, and taking a vitamin-complex tablet once a day is something which comes more naturally to them. If you feel you may be in this group, there is no reason not to try it.
  • Shampoo. Many times, anti-hair-loss shampoos contain elements similar to Minoxidil, which inhibit the overproduction of testosterone. But, since the cause of hair loss is not always connected to hormones, it may not be the treatment for you. Much like the vitamin thing, many people see a shampoo as a more natural solution, since they are used to washing their hair anyway, and usually on a daily or semi-daily basis.

Lastly, there is Kirkland Minoxidil, produced by Costco, which is actually also Minoxidil 5%. Same primary active ingredient, different brand. Prices vary, sometimes in a big way, which is why I would consider it a viable alternative to Rogaine. If you find a good deal on either one, go for it. One thing, though – the consistency and fragrance change, since these two items use different inactive ingredients. The liquid and foam version of both medications is different. You will need to make a judgement call, and see which one you like best.

Conclusion

Bottom line: hair loss is preventable. I am making a broad generalization here, I know, but for the sake of this article, I feel I can say that. Some products claim to literally reverse the process of hair loss, and I tend to be somewhat skeptical of those. Other products, which claim to strength remaining hairs, and possible stimulate some new growth – that I can believe without much hesitation. Now, I could be wrong. Maybe it is possible to actually reverse the process. I don’t know. Science is always coming up with amazing new techniques and forms of reconstruction. I wouldn’t put it past anyone or anything.

Rogaine is useful for me. It has been my faithful companion for a long while now, and I will probably continue to use it until I am not interested anymore. If it ever becomes a pain in the neck, I will stop using it. I am well aware that as soon as I stop applying it, there is a good chance that my hair will begin to thin and fall out. I am ready for that, but until then I am going to continue using Rogaine. It suits me, it helps me look good, and I have gotten used to it.

Thank you for reading our Rogaine review! Check out our L’occitane, Dove Men’s, Axe, Tresemme, and Aveeno features while you’re here at Maple Holistics!