Minoxidil is nowadays one of the most important treatments of hair loss. As Finasteride is was not originally foreseen for this indication.
Minoxidil was originally a drug used to treat high blood pressure, marketed under the name Loniten. It works by relaxing blood vessels to allow the blood to pass through easily. Patients using Minoxidil for high blood pressure noticed an interesting side effect, hair growth. For those with hair it was not always a pleasure to see unwanted hair growth ...
Anyhow, the hair growth side effect that caught attention and after further development Minoxidil was launched in 2% and 5% doses in 1988 under the brand name Rogaine to combat hair loss. For quite a while it was offered as a prescription only drug.
Then in 1996 the status was changed so Rogaine Minoxidil could be sold over the counter instead of being prescription only. This has no doubt accelerated the growth of Rogaine Minoxidil as a popular hair loss treatment for both men and women.
In all its forms, Rogaine Minoxidil is a topical solution that needs to be massaged into the scalp areas affected by hair loss. This must be done daily and patience is needed as results may not be seen for many months. Initially there may even be more hair loss before improvement is seen.
Two Versions: 2% and 5 %
The experience on the market lead to the distribution of 2 versions. The 2% version could be used for men and women while the 5% version was recommended for men only. Some women who used the extra strength noticed undesirable facial hair growth.
* Side effects
In view of the effect on the blood circulation, heart patients are advised to consult their doctor before considering using Rogaine Minoxidil as a hair loss treatment.
In view of the fact that Rogaine Minoxidil changed from being a prescription only hair loss treatment to over the counter status indicates the side effects are no longer deemed that serious. In fact, from user feedback it appears the side effect that causes most concern is skin irritation on the scalp.
Additionally, users report that Rogaine Minoxidil can make the hair extremely greasy. Applying it first thing in the morning after a shower can result in the hair appearing limp and matted through the day - a condition many men and women find a major disadvantage.
* New Foam
Relief for men has come in the form of Rogaine Minoxidil Foam. This new application seems to overcome this negative side effect. Like shaving foam in appearance, this new form of Rogaine Minoxidil can be easily applied to the scalp.
Rogaine Minoxidil Foam contains 5% Minoxidil and is therefore recommended for men only. It is suggested you wash your hands under cold water first before using the foam dispenser so the foam doesn't melt so quickly in the hand before applying it to the scalp. The foam appears to melt as it comes to skin temperature.
* Efficacy and Evaluation
Scientific studies indicate Rogaine Minoxidil does work for many. In one trial, over 55% of men regrew hair. That means 45% did not see any improvement. It seemed to work best on men who had been experiencing hair loss for less than 10 years with a balding patch under 4 inches across with some hairs in the middle of the balding patch.
It needs to be stressed that Rogaine Minoxidil is not a whole scalp hair loss treatment. In the clinical trials it worked best for hair loss on the crown of the head and mid-scalp area. Hair loss at the temples or a receding hairline seemed to not respond in the same way as hair loss or thinning hair on the top of the head.
These details help give a realistic picture. As the manufacturer clearly states: "Not everyone responds to Rogaine. Individual results vary."
There are at present only two FDA approved medications for hair loss treatment - Rogaine and Propecia. Propecia is for men only and it appears to have a higher success rate than Rogaine although the side effects need consideration as well as the lifelong commitment.
So if you are looking for a hair loss treatment, you may wish to consider Rogaine Minoxidil. You could be one of the group who find it is the answer they have been looking for.