Does Rogaine Work For Hair Loss? Rogaine For Men Review 2019

man with beard

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, balding 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, there is this idea that overproduction of the male hormone testosterone is closely connected with the loss of hair. That is not entirely correct. Research has shown it is sensitivity to a derivative of testosterone – dihydrotestosterone (commonly known as DHT) – which causes the follicles to shrink and consequently contribute to male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia. 

The way to counter this situation is first and foremost hormonal. In other words, finding a way of reducing the amount of DHT in the body, or minimize the effect which DHT has on the hair follicles.

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 for new hair growth, which is very well-known around the world, is called Rogaine.

Rogaine Company Background And History

Like many cool scientific discoveries, Rogaine’s arrival on the scene was kind of an accident. In the 1970’s, scientists in the United States 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 high blood-pressure issues, as it’s seen to dilate blood vessels and maintain healthy blood flow.

Built on the back of this discovery, Rogaine was launched in 1988. It consisted of a 2% Minoxidil topical solution, and people needed a physician’s prescription to get it. The solution was a success, and several years later a Rogaine for women, made with 2% Minoxidil, was launched to treat female pattern baldness (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?

Man with dreadlocks and beard

Rogaine For Hair Growth

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 undergoing clinical studies. There is no clear cut answer to how it helps hair regrow. It seems that Minoxidil manages to stimulate shrunken hair follicles and extend the growth phase of hair. However, it does not completely bring old ones back from the dead. For this reason, you cannot use Rogaine for all types of hair loss.

For those with hereditary hair loss around the crown, or for those with thinning hair, 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 hair loss treatment 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

Rogain hair foam

Rogaine Products

The two products which Rogaine is currently offering for men are A) unscented Rogaine foam and B) extra strength (aka liquid) Rogaine. Both of these are in essence 5% Minoxidil, but with different inactive ingredients. Women’s Rogaine only has 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.

Rogaine For Men Review: Background

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 men should apply 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.

So, Does Rogaine Work?

Man doing his hair.

Man blow-drying his hair.

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 Rogaine 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.

If you experience any of these side effects, be sure to call your dermatologist: scalp irritation, chest pain, rapid weight gain, swelling in your extremities, and headaches.

My experience with Rogaine is positive and hassle-free, thankfully. I am usually healthy, I have no known allergies, no past history of dermatology-related 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 accidental discovery.

Review Of Rogaine Alternatives

Box of Kirkland minoxidil

Kirkland Minoxidil

As I mentioned, there are alternatives to Rogaine. There are other ingredients that are successful in hair-loss prevention or follicle stimulation besides from Minoxidil. Here are a few alternatives for your consideration:

First, Procerin. This ingredient targets specific chemicals used by the body to cause hair loss and thinning. Procerin comes in two separate forms of medication which you can use together or individually:

  • Vitamins- Focus on vitamins and dietary supplements that are famous for nourishing hair, scalp, skin, and nails, such as biotin. 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 how Minoxidil works, which inhibit the overproduction of testosterone. But, since hormones are not always  the cause of hair loss, 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 wash their hair anyway on a daily or semi-daily basis.

Kirkland Signature Hair Regrowth Treatment Review

There’s also Propecia, which is a medication men use for male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, at the crown and center of the scalp. Lastly, Costco makes Kirkland Minoxidil, which is actually also Minoxidil 5%. Same primary active ingredient, different brand name. 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.

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

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.

Although I recommend getting medical advice from a dermatologist, it’s worth the consideration! Rogaine is useful for me, and it’s easy to find on amazon. 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 that’s all that matters!

 

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