How does Minoxidil (Rogaine) work to stop hair loss?
Minoxidil or Rogaine is an anti-hypertensive vasodilator (high blood pressure) medication. In its topical form, its used to treat hair loss caused by androgen alopecia (male or female pattern baldness).
Minoxidil works by widening the hair follicles. This in turn creates thicker hair strands. Further, it prolongs the anagen state of hair growth which allows more hair strands to develop grow. Overall this increases hair density and creates thicker, fuller hair.
The efficacy of the medication ranges from 40%-60%. In other words, 40%-60% of individuals who use the medication see results. Minoxidil should be used on a consistent and regular basis to see noticeable results. It must be used indefinitely in order to continue seeing the results the medication provides.
Side effects have been reported such as itching, burning, redness, irritation, and allergic reactions. Some individuals have reported an increase in hair loss symptoms. But in general, minoxidil is safe and effective when used properly.
Minoxidil is a great treatment method to help stop the progression of hair loss. Dr. Yazdan believes when you’re in the throes of hair loss, the most important thing to do is protect and maintain the hairs you still have. This is because once a hair follicle dies, there is no bringing it back. Therefore, minoxidil nor any other medication can reverse hair loss in individuals whose hair follicles have died (in other words, someone whose hair loss has progressed).
Minoxidil is also a great treatment method used in conjunction with PRP therapy, laser therapy, and hair transplant surgery. The medication can increase the efficacy of the treatments, allowing you to see more results faster.
If you are suffering from hair loss and would like to learn if you’re a candidate for minoxidil or a more intensive course of treatment, give us a call for a medical management consultation.